John Oxley’s Noble Bird
, who just missed springing a 19-1 upset in last year’s Alysheba, figures to be a much shorter price this time around when he takes on nine rivals in the 13th running of the $400,000 Alysheba (GII).
The Alysheba will go as the ninth race with a 4:02 p.m. post time.
Trained by Mark Casse, Noble Bird used the Alysheba as a springboard to a victory six weeks later in the Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) here. Second in the Ben Ali (GIII) at Keeneland in his most recent start, Noble Bird will be ridden by Julien Leparoux and break from post position five.
Ben Ali winner Eagle, owned by William S. Farish, will try to cage Noble Bird again. Trained by Neil Howard, Eagle will be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. and break from post position four.
The field for the Alysheba, with riders and weights from the inside, is: Cat Burglar (Gary Stevens, 118 pounds), Natchez (Channing Hill, 118), Departing (Robby Albarado, 118), Eagle (Hernandez Jr., 120), Noble Bird (Leparoux, 120), Majestic Affair (Javier Castellano, 118), Top Billing (Joe Bravo, 118), Face of Winner (John Velazquez, 118), Majestic Harbor (Corey Lanerie, 118) and Midnight Storm (Flavien Prat, 120).
Source: Churchill Downs