Kentucky Derby horses 2013: Will Take Charge

Rob Carr

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won the Kentucky Derby four times in his career and he has two horses in the field in 2013: Oxbow and Rebel winner Will Take Charge.

Will Take Charge

2013 Rebel Stakes

Sire: Unbridled's Song
Dam: Take Charge Lady
Damsire: Dehere

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Jockey: Jon Court
Owner: Willis D. Horton
Record: 7-3-1-0
Earnings: $545,371
Notable Races: 1st, G2-Rebel; 6th, G3-Southwest; 1st, Smarty Jones Stakes; 13th, G2-KY Jockey Club

Positives: Will Take Charge's only bad race of the year was his sixth place finish in the G3-Southwest Stakes back on Feb. 18, and that race came over a very sloppy and sealed track. Some horses just want nothing to do with slop and mud and he just might be one of them. His other two races in 2013, however, were wins in the G2-Rebel and the ungraded Smarty Jones and signaled a nice development pattern as he matured from a juvenile to a three-year-old colt.

Will Take Charge has flashed a bit of early speed in prior races but he's also displayed an ability to sit two or three lengths back of the leaders if necessary in the early stages. Jockey Jon Court should be able to place this court in any number of positions after leaving the gate

Will Take Charge is a half-brother to Take Charge Indy, winner of the 2012 Florida Derby, and was a $425,000 purchase at the 2011 Keeneland September sale.

Negatives: The long layoff between the Rebel and the Kentucky Derby is a bit worrisome even though we're smack in the middle of the "less is more" philosophy of many of today's trainers (although D. Wayne Lukas hasn't followed that pattern much in recent years).

After his Rebel victory, Will Take Charge had enough points to guarantee a spot in the starting gate and, as a result, trainer D. Wayne Lukas decided to skip the Arkansas Derby (or any other final prep race) and simply train his colt up to the first Saturday in May. The time off in between the Rebel and the Derby is the first break for this colt since late summer and early fall of his juvenile season, so perhaps this move will freshen him up. Additionally, that flop in the slop at Oaklawn could be cause for concern if the Churchill Downs track comes up wet on Derby day.

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