04/09/2013 10:10AM

Kentucky Derby: Will Take Charge will train up to the race

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Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park
Will Take Charge, with blinkers, defeats stablemate Oxbow in his last race, the March 16 Rebel Stakes.

Will Take Charge, who won the Grade 2, $600,000 Rebel at Oaklawn Park in his last start March 16, will train up to the Kentucky Derby, his trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, said on Tuesday. Lukas had been debating training up to the May 4 race or running in the Grade 1, $750,000 Blue Grass at Keeneland on Saturday.

“We’re going to train up to the Derby,” Lukas said. “I just love the way he’s doing and the way he’s maturing. He’s really, really in the zone to me. I love what I see. He’s put on weight and his energy level’s really increased and I like that. I would just like to go in there fresh.”

Will Take Charge has 60 points on the new system governing preference into the Kentucky Derby, enough to secure a spot in the gate if the race is oversubscribed. Will Take Charge ranks seventh on the points leaderboard for the Kentucky Derby.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Lukas said plans are to work Will Take Charge on Friday, possibly a mile. The horse is based at Oaklawn and is scheduled to ship to Churchill Downs on April 14, he said. Will Take Charge will likely have a total of three works up to the Kentucky Derby.

“He’ll have a regular work pattern and it will be pretty much predictable,” Lukas said.

Lukas said the decision to train up to the Kentucky Derby was finalized Monday after he talked with owner Willis Horton.

Jerre George More than 1 year ago
I like D. Wayne, but he usually runs the shoes off his horses. I'm glad he's doing this.
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Very intelligent decision, Mr.Lukas. Your two colts, are in top condition, and have the pedigree to negotiate the derby distance. Personally, i like Oxbow, and they both have a serious shot to nail the roses. Good luck.
not impressed More than 1 year ago
I met Baffert when he first got big in the sport and he was a great person to be around. Funny, energic and charming. Then I met him again after success went to his head several years later. A complete jerk now who had little time for anyone unless you were HRTV. I jumped off his band wagon at that point. I have always liked Shug because he's an old school trainer who stays out of the limelight but still gets good horses and does have time to talk with people. Several of my friends have met him and hung around his barn during the Saratoga meet. One of my friends got to work in his stable for a summer too. All of them said the same thing: a great teacher and great person to get to know. As for DWayne, I've never been a fan, but I do agree with this: he knows how to pick a winner and has a good eye for horseflesh most others don't.
Eli Dawkins More than 1 year ago
wayne is an hightly acomplish trainer who clearly knows what he is doing.good luck to all come derby day N I baby
Craig More than 1 year ago
Interesting move for a trainer who likes to run his horses often.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
The horse that gets on the lead from the bell and can walk the rest of the field around will win. There are so many that will want the front or right off the pace.
Mark Scheider More than 1 year ago
This Kentucky Derby is going to be a very very good one. This IS a very talented group this year. Very good.
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
Totally agree,Mark. From what I have seen, most are front end runners, and think it sets up nicely for a closer. Normandy Invasion should be right there.
cody e More than 1 year ago
After reading these comments on here, I cant help but wonder how tracks can hold racing meets or any trainers can train their horses, without consulting these people first.. Ive never seen such smart people, that know so much, sit around and write comments.. Surely some of you must have trained Derby horses, and owned some racetracks.. You seem to have so much knowledge.
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
Agreed.....
mrm More than 1 year ago
Dismiss him at your own risk. His training up to the race will tell the story.
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
Sat in the box around D Wayne during Northern Giants Preakness run... Talked with his owners and they were Wonderful People...Spoke with D Wayne too and had thought he was to cocky but have since changed my mind (maybe that 0/120 streak had something to do with it)...Most Horse Racing people are OK...Its the Cheaters that "The Game" has got to Rid itself of...Sooner Than Later...ty...
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Careful. How do you define "cheater"? Who do you think the cheaters are?
George Sudduth More than 1 year ago
Yes..........my ol man used to say if you think the game is cheating you....... better not wager