Giant Oak , winner of the Donn Handicap (gr. I) earlier this year, tops a field of 11 entered in the May 6 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III) that is part of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) undercard at Churchill Downs.
The Alysheba, a prep for the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) to be run June 18, will go as the afternoon’s ninth race with a 3:52 p.m. post time. The Alysheba, won last year by Arson Squad, is run at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Giant Oak, Virginia H. Tarra Trust’s Illinois homebred son of Giant's Causeway , comes into the Alysheba with a record of 5-5-4 from 25 starts and earnings of $1,296,677. In addition to the Donn, Giant Oak was awarded a win in the Clark Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs last fall after first-place finisher Successful Dan was disqualified.
Trained by Chris Block, Giant Oak comes into the race off a third-place run behind Alysheba rival Mission Impazible in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds on March 26.
The Alysheba field includes three other multiple graded stakes victors topped by West Point Thoroughbreds’ Awesome Gem, winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) last year and two other graded stakes. Along with his New Orleans victory, Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Mission Impazible won last year’s Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and finished ninth to Super Saver in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) Also in the field is Godolphin’s Regal Ransom, a grade II winner in the U.S. and a group II winner in Dubai who has earned more than $1.3 million.
$300,000 Alysheba Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 3:52 p.m., 3-Year-Olds and Upward, 1 1/16 Miles)
1. Wise Dan, Julien Leparoux, 117 pounds
2. Caracortado, Joe Talamo, 119
3. Icabad Crane, Rajiv Maragh, 117
4. Equestrio, Jose Lezcano, 117
5. Giant Oak, Shaun Bridgmohan, 123
6. Mission Impazible, Garrett Gomez, 123
7. First Dude, Martin Garcia, 117
8. Jardim, Jon Court, 117
9. Awesome Gem, Robby Albarado, 117
10. Demarcation, Rosie Napravnik, 119
11. Regal Ransom, Alan Garcia, 117.