01/22/2013 1:55PM

Gulfstream Park: Take Charge Indy very strong in work for Donn Handicap

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Tom Keyser
ake Charge Indy missed much of his 3-year-old season after suffering a bone chip in the Kentucky Derby.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Take Charge Indy, the reigning Florida Derby champion, gave every indication he will be a force to be reckoned with when he returns to the scene of his finest hour to launch his 2013 campaign in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap after working five furlongs in 1:01.18 at Palm Meadows early Tuesday morning.

With jockey John Velazquez aboard for the first time, Take Charge Indy was full of himself coming to the five-eighths pole but rated nicely, posting early fractions of 25.03 and 37.52 seconds before exploding down the stretch without need of much urging. Take Charge Indy was full of run coming across the wire and proceeded to gallop out equally as strong into and around the turn, completing six furlongs in 1:13.78 and pulling up seven-eighths in 1:27.78.

Both trainer Pat Byrne and Velazquez were excited after the work.

“I’m sure Johnny chirped to him a little bit, because he was just 25 and then boom, at the eighth pole he exploded,” Byrne said. “I loved the work. He looked good getting over the track. He galloped out thirteen and change after an opening quarter of 25 – that’s pretty good. And he did it going on his own, too. I haven’t done a lot with him, but he just does so well fresh. He loves it down here, mentally he’s sharper. We’re right on schedule for the Donn.”

After backing Take Charge Indy up to the wire, Velazquez said the horse was so sharp going into the work that he was a little concerned he might not be able to gallop his horse around to the pole,

“Backing him up, he was pretty aggressive for me,” Velazquez said. “He was trying to run off with me the wrong way, and normally I don’t have to gallop that long going to the pole.

“He settled into the work fine. He was settled but on the bridle. I let him go little by little, and when he finished, he reached out really good then galloped out nice, very nice.”

Take Charge Indy is owned by Chuck and Maribeth Sandford, who sold breeding rights to the colt to WinStar Farm last summer. A son of A.P. Indy, Take Charge Indy missed much of his 3-year-old season after suffering a bone chip in the Kentucky Derby. He closed out the year finishing second behind Shackleford in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Velazquez also worked a second horse for Byrne on Tuesday, a 3-year-old filly named Successful Luck who went three furlongs from the gate in 37.05 seconds. Successful Luck is a half-sister to Eclipse Award winner Blind Luck by Successful Appeal.

“We had her in as a 2-year-old, but she just needed time to grow up,” Byrne said. “She looks like she’ll be a nice filly. We thought as long as we had Johnny up here for the colt, we’d put him on the filly, and he was very impressed. He said she’s not that far off, so hopefully she might only be about three weeks away from running.”

Deaton More than 1 year ago
agree with, NH...going into a G1 off a long layoff and against what is shaping up to be a good race on paper is asking a lot. If I were Byrne, I would've found something to run him in before the Donn.
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
Great idea deaton. He will not win this race. This is asking too much of a horse that is already a mediocre racehorse. Maybe pat shud have done what pletcher did and prep take charge indy in one of those high level allowance race then bring him to the Donn seasoned. That's the route el padrino took and get a 6 week rest. He will crush this field. Take it from me bro.
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Pool Play will be closing late against Take Charge Indy's lead to the wire...
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
Not a chance GJP he will not get those scorching fractions in this race. Secondly he dont put two good consecutive races together. Hes very inconsistent.
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
Aqua: flat out will not place in this race, neither will csaba. As for flat out he is a horse that does not like the track. If you wanna box a tri. Box (El Padrino, Soldat & Take Charge Indy) pool play ran down a blazing fraction and still did not get up. He does'nt figure here bro. El Padrino will stalk and blow by this bunch.
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
Good luck bryne but take charge indy will not come off that lengthy layoff to take a grade 1 caliber race like the Donn. El Padrino will crush that field
aqua racer More than 1 year ago
Pretty sure he won the Florida Derby off about the same layoff didn't he?
aqua racer More than 1 year ago
The Donn is shaping up to be very interesting. Flat Out, Csaba, El Padrino, Take Charge Indy, Bourbon Courage, Pool Play, Soldat, etc. Wouldn't be surprised to see Mucho Macho Man show up either. Flat out should be the favorite, but there sure are plenty of options underneath. Flat Out, Take Charge Indy, Bourbon Courage tri box.
Nicholas Heaven More than 1 year ago
Sorry Aqua. This competition is too steep for csaba. This is not the hals hope. Hes meeting real caliber horses. Will not make the board.
volponisingle More than 1 year ago
What i hate about a work, you'll see the work clear and they would say other wise! I saw the galloped out as 12.3 w/ double galloped out 14.0! Where as trainer says 13.0 galloped out, i don't understand how they read the splits!