12/10/2012 4:04PM

Gulfstream Park: Take Charge Indy will race as a 4-year-old; pointing to Donn Handicap

Barbara D. Livingston
Take Charge Indy, winner of the Florida Derby, will race as a 4-year-old and is eyeing the Donn Handicap.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Take Charge Indy, winner of the Grade 1 Florida Derby earlier this year, will be back to race again at 4 with his first goal the Grade 1 Donn Handicap on Feb. 9.

WinStar Farm purchased the breeding rights to Take Charge Indy from owners Chuck and Maribeth Sanford earlier this year. Take Charge Indy is by A.P. Indy out of the multiple Grade 1-winning mare Take Charge Lady.

“Everything about Take Charge Indy exudes class, from his race record and good looks to his pedigree,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar’s president and CEO. “He joined Bernardini as the only sons of A.P. Indy in North America to win a Grade 1 as 3-year-olds, and we feel that he will be tremendously well received when he comes to stud. The prevailing belief by everyone involved is that Take Charge Indy will be even better as a 4-year-old, so we’re excited about his potential to come back and be a top-level racehorse next year.”

Take Charge Indy burst into the national spotlight with his victory over Reveron and the early Kentucky Derby favorite Union Rags in the $1 million Florida Derby. Take Charge Indy used his victory in the Florida Derby as a final prep for the Kentucky Derby, only to finish far behind I’ll Have Another and exit the race with a chipped ankle.

Take Charge Indy resumed his career this fall in Kentucky, where he finished third at Keeneland in the Grade 2 Fayette and a game second behind Shackleford in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap.

“He’s here at Palm Meadows, he’s training, and we are pointing for the Donn,” trainer Pat Byrne said. “I thought his race in the Clark was great. We knew Shackleford was the horse to beat. When he’s on his game, he’s a serious horse, and we were only getting three pounds from him that day.”

Byrne said Take Charge Indy is galloping on a regular basis at Palm Meadows, but has not breezed since his arrival in south Florida.

“I’ve got a little time. He’s already proven that he runs well fresh, and I’m very happy going into the Donn without a prep race,” Byrne said.

Byrne also is excited about a 2-year-old prospect he trains for the Sanfords, Positively, who was Grade 3 placed on a couple of occasions this season. Positively, a son of Distorted Humor, was runner-up to Uncaptured in the one-mile Iroquois before closing out his juvenile campaign finishing a wide-running fifth behind that same rival in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club.

“I ran him one more time than I probably should have,” Byrne said. “He ran well in the Iroquois. Overanalyze finished behind us, and he came back to win the Remsen. We were in the 12 hole in the Jockey Club going a mile and one-sixteenth against a very tough field, and I should have scratched him. I’m going to give him a little break and probably bring him back sometime in February.”