Updated on 02/09/2014 12:17AM

Gulfstream Park: Will Take Charge tops 11-horse field for Donn

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Barbara D. Livingston
Will Take Charge, the champion 3-year-old of 2013, will make his 4-year-old debut in the 1 1/8-mile Donn Handicap.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Will Take Charge was assigned post 2 as part of an outstanding field of 11 older horses Sunday in the 59th running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Donn marks the first start for Will Take Charge since he ended his 3-year-old season with a dramatic victory over Game On Dude in the Nov. 29 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs, a Grade 1 race that clinched the colt the Eclipse Award for top 3-year-old of 2013.

[Donn Handicap: Get PPs, watch Sunday's card live]

Will Take Charge arrived here Tuesday from Oaklawn Park, while his Hall of Fame trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, was scheduled to arrive here Friday.

The 4-year-old Revolutionary, a sharp winner of a Jan. 11 allowance in his first start in seven months, drew alongside Will Take Charge in post 3 as the likely second choice for Todd Pletcher.

Yet another 4-year-old, Uncaptured, is one of a handful of fringe players in what shapes up as an intriguing start to the major handicap events of 2014.

“We’d just like to get a Grade 1 with him and thought he’d fit with these horses,” said Mark Casse, trainer of Uncaptured.

[Clocker Reports: Get Mike Welsch’s clocker reports from Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows]

From the rail, and with weights and jockeys, this is the Donn lineup: Uncaptured, 116, Miguel Mena; Will Take Charge, 123, Luis Saez; Revolutionary, 119, Javier Castellano; Neck ‘n Neck, 116, Julien Leparoux; River Seven, 116, Joe Rocco Jr.; Romansh, 116, John Velazquez; Viramundo, 114, Paco Lopez; Lea, 117, Joel Rosario; Bourbon Courage, 115, Jose Lezcano; Macho Bull, 112, Magomet Kappushev; and Joshua’s Comprise, 114, Francisco Maysonett.

The Donn kicks off the new nine-race Jockey Club Tour on FOX series, with a 90-minute broadcast set for 5-6:30 p.m. Eastern on FOX Sports 1. Greg Wolf will host the show, with analysis and interviews provided by Simon Bray, Andy Serling, Richard Migliore, and Alyssa Ali.

The forecast for Sunday calls for a high of 82.

The Donn goes as the last of 12 races on a Sunday program that starts at 12:40 p.m. Post time for the Donn, the richest of three graded stakes on the card, is 6:01. In the undercard stakes:

◗ Grade 1, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (race 11, post 5:31): Boisterous, with Castellano riding and making his first start for Pletcher, drew the outside post as the 119-pound highweight in a field of eight older horses.

The 1 1/8-mile race looks well matched, with Summer Front and Imagining also likely to take strong play.

The field from the hedge: Lochte, Tetradrachm, Nikki’s Sandcastle, Charming Kitten, Summer Front, Amira’s Prince, Imagining, and Boisterous.

◗ Grade 3, $200,000 Hurricane Bertie (race 4, post 2:03): Two-time champion Groupie Doll will make her 23rd and final career start when she starts from the rail against six other fillies and mares in this 6 1/2-furlong race. Trainer Buff Bradley said Thursday he is extremely happy with how the 6-year-old Groupie Doll has trained up to the race.

“Now we just need to go out with a little racing luck,” said Bradley.

Three fillies scratched from the $75,000 Awesome Feather on Thursday are back in this race: My Due Process, Five Star Momma, and Wildcat Lily.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the last name of the host for Sunday's Jockey Club Tour on FOX broadcast. He is Greg Wolf, not Greg Fox

Roger Wiskavitch More than 1 year ago
Go WTC!!! That big white faced horse can go classic distances and does not seem to ever stop coming. I just wish that scrub Verrazano did not block WTC in the stretch in the Derby.
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
Here are my pace calculation for the Donn. They are actually "work" calculations so that distance can be equated with speed. Multiply the length of the race segment (in furlongs) times the "work" number to get the amount of "work" for that race segment. Add each to determine total "work" (a.k.a. the amount of effort expended. Don't worry about the rounding errors...) The number of furlongs are in parentheses followed by the "work" number. The rolling total is encapsulated with the "pipe" character '|' (Leaning toward Revolutionary in this one...) 1. Uncaptured: (2)14|29|-(2)21|70|-(2)20|111|-(2)17|144| Previous: (2)19|38|-(2)21|79|-(2)17|114|-(2)13|141| 2. Will Take Charge: (4)18|72|-(2)19|109|-(2)15|139|-(1)12|151| Previous: (4)18|73|-(2)17|106|-(2)15|135|-(2)12|160| 3rd back: (4)19|76|-(2)19|115|-(2)14|142|-(1)11|153| 3. Revolutionary: (2)17|33|-(2)23|78|-(2)20|118|-(2)16|149| Previous: (4)18|71|-(2)16|102|-(4)10|143|-(2)6|155| 4. Neck 'n Neck: (2)16|32|-(2)22|76|-(2)18|112|-(2)16|144| Previous: (2)15|31|-(2)19|69|-(2)18|105|-(2.5)12|136| 5. River Seven: (2)16|32|-(2)19|70|-(2)19|108|-(2.5)15|146| Previous: (2)18|36|-(2)13|61|-(2)16|94|-(2.5)19|141| 6. Romansh: (4)17|70|-(2)17|104|-(2)16|136|-(1)15|151| Previous: (4)20|78|-(2)19|116|-(2)11|138|-(1)7|145| 7. Viramundo: (2)15|31|-(2)21|74|-(2)20|112|-(2)17|147| Previous: (2)13|27|-(2)23|72|-(2)19|110|-(2)16|142| 8. Lea: (2)17|34|-(2)22|77|-(2)19|115|-(2)17|148| Previous: (4)15|60|-(2)16|91|-(2)16|123|-(1)16|138| 9. Bourbon Courage: (2)16|31|-(2)19|69|-(2)18|104|-(2)14|139| Previous: (4)15|61|-(2)20|101|-(2)17|135|-(1)12|147| 10. Macho Bull: (2)15|30|-(2)20|70|-(2)19|108|-(2)12|133| Previous: (2)15|30|-(2)16|62|-(2)18|98|-(2)18|134| 11. Joshua's Comprise: (4)17|66|-(2)19|105|-(2)13|130|-(1)8|138| Previous: why bother...
Scott More than 1 year ago
I haven't looked closely at the race yet, but I really like the field in general. If Will Take Charge is to be a true HOTY candidate, then this is a great race to start that campaign with. Even without looking closely at the race yet, there are several horses that will need to be looked at closely. I might try to beat Will Take Charge in this race even though I do think he's the most talented in this field for a couple reasons - it's a pretty large field and the inside post might make things difficult for him. Will they gun early to get him into position or sit back and then try to circle the field? Either way, he could be compromised in what appears to be a very talented field.
Eric Singer More than 1 year ago
We will see what WTC can become starting with Sunday. Going back and looking at some of his most memorable races (The Travers, The Clark, his narrow defeat in the BC Classic) what strikes me is that he does not need pace help to reel in front runners. He just runs faster than the other horses late. He is also not a dead closer, he sits about mid-pack, and is a monster of a physical specimen. I remember the first time I saw him thinking he looked like a dinosaur (kind of like Curlin but prettier!) No harm taking a stand against if you don't like for Sunday - for me I would consider River Seven and Lea (like Pagani and Lynn below) - and I do think WTC will get up. I think he's a Grade I, black-type animal and he wills it, classes up and gets the job done.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Some folks on here need to cool it with the over hyping of WTC. He is a VERY fine animal, and a very good racer. He is no Holy Bull, Cigar, Slew, or Exterminator. He beat older horses ONCE. That race he had ONE opponent.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Your winner will be River Seven going away.
Lynn Thomas More than 1 year ago
WTC will doubtlessly be the top handicap horse in the country but he will not win Sunday. Lea is the controlling speed under Rosario and should win at a decent 4-1. Mott's next big dirt horse.
Mark More than 1 year ago
Motts next big dirt horse is a 3 year old named Mosler.
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
Mucho macho man says. Bring it!
Sy Bonem More than 1 year ago
Revolutionary and Uncaptured couldn't beat WTC with a head start.
eastie More than 1 year ago
you dont know much about Rev do you ?
Wesley Wright More than 1 year ago
Uncaptured over WTC in a photo finish
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
No he won"t......
Mark More than 1 year ago
Uncaptured ? Wow
fuggedabodit More than 1 year ago
I really, really love Will Take Charge, and it's gonna be so hard to bet against him. I just don't think that with the campaign he had last year he'll be ready. It's his first race back in nine weeks, plus he'll be carrying four to eleven pounds more than his rivals. Revolutionary, a very talented colt in his own right, has an allowance win on his return, and I think will be fit and ready! WTC is better, but I think Revolutionary gets him in the Donn based on the factors previously mentioned.