Updated on 09/16/2011 7:58AM

McPeek's dynamic duo rolls on

Harold Roth/Horsephotos
Repent (left) wears down Easyfromthe-gitgo to win Sunday's Louisiana Derby, a day after his stablemate Take Charge Lady won the Fair Grounds Oaks.

NEW ORLEANS - Having conquered this town over the weekend with Repent and Take Charge Lady, trainer Ken McPeek returned on Monday to south Florida, where this Saturday he will send out Harlan's Holiday in the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. McPeek is the man of the hour right now, moving into territory previously held by the likes of Bob Baffert, D. Wayne Lukas, and Nick Zito. He has a potent combination of several top-class 3-year-olds.

McPeek on Monday said he was "thrilled" that scored a narrow victory in Sunday's $750,000 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, but he admitted that the colt's failure to change leads until late in the lane, and his weaving through the stretch, would not have writers waxing poetically.

"I don't know that it was poetry in motion, but he got the job done," McPeek said.

There are two ways of looking at Repent's performance. He just nosed out Easyfromthegitgo, a colt he had defeated handily in last month's Risen Star Stakes, so it could be argued Repent regressed off the Risen Star. But in the Risen Star - which is 1 1/16 miles, like the Louisiana Derby - Repent's late charge benefited by a hot early pace of 46 seconds for a half-mile. In the Louisiana Derby, the half-mile was run in 48.31 seconds, with six furlongs in a pokey 1:13.07.

"The thing about a closer is that they are going to try and dawdle down the pace when he runs," McPeek said. "That's the tactics of horse racing. He's always going to have to overcome things, and pace is one thing he's going to have to fight against."

Repent got a Beyer Speed Figure of 95 in the Louisiana Derby, compared to a 102 in the Risen Star. Take Charge Lady got a 107 for her victory in Saturday's $350,000 Fair Grounds Oaks.

Repent and Take Charge Lady came out of their races in good condition and were scheduled to fly back to Florida on Tuesday, according to Helen Pitts, McPeek's assistant trainer. They will train at Gulfstream Park until the end of March, then go to Kentucky, where McPeek has a stable at Churchill Downs. McPeek said he was considering several options for Repent's next start, but said the most likely spot would be the $500,000 Illinois Derby at Sportsman's Park on April 6.

The Illinois Derby offers a bonus of $1 million to a horse who can win that race, plus any Triple Crown race. And Repent already is eligible for a $1 million bonus that goes to a horse who can win the Louisiana Derby and May 4 Kentucky Derby.

"We're intrigued by the bonus," McPeek said, "plus the long stretch at Sportsman's, and the timing of the race." McPeek said that if Repent needs another week to prepare for his next race, the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and $750,000 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct - both on April 13 - would be considered.

If Repent runs in the Illinois Derby, his jockey, Jerry Bailey, might have a conflict. Bailey also rides Siphonic, who is scheduled to run in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 6 after competing in this Sunday's $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

Both Repent and Take Charge Lady are owned by the Select Stable of Jerry and Feye Bach. McPeek said the owners were considering nominating Take Charge Lady to the Triple Crown. She was not nominated at the first deadline in January, when it cost $600. If she is nominated prior to the second deadline on March 30, it would cost $6,000.

Take Charge Lady is scheduled to face fillies in her next start, the $500,000 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland on April 6, but McPeek said he would nominate Take Charge Lady to the $500,000 Arkansas Derby on April 13 at Oaklawn Park "as an option in case we need another week."

The Arkansas Derby is the next likely spot for Easyfromthegitgo, who lost a heartbreaker to Repent. The loss was crushing for trainer Steve Asmussen and owners Jim Cassels and Bob Zollars, who, along with jockey Donnie Meche, won last year's Louisiana Derby with Fifty Stars.

"I can't explain the disappointment or the range of emotions," Asmussen said Monday morning while watching his horses train at Fair Grounds. "I thought he had won when I watched the race. I was really proud of the effort he put in, and I thought Donnie gave him a perfect ride."

Bob's Image, who finished fifth in the Louisiana Derby with jockey Pat Day, is off the Derby trail, according to trainer Dallas Stewart. Bob's Image was cut on his left front leg leaving the gate when he collided with White Flame, but Stewart said that the cut was only superficial.

"Pat said he got up in his mouth a little more than he wanted," Stewart said at his Fair Grounds barn Monday morning. "Pat thought he displaced his palate turning for home. He scoped fine. Pat said he traveled like he had pulled a shoe off, so maybe the cut bothered him, but horses run through worse than that when they get their adrenaline going."

Stewart said Bob's Image would likely make his next start in the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on April 20. He said the race's distance of 1 1/16 miles is attractive.

"I think that's more suitable to his style," Stewart said. "I'm not sure he wants to run much farther than that. He's a nice horse, but I don't think the first Saturday in May has his name on it."

Yougottawanna, the upset winner of Saturday's El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, most likely will make his next start in the Santa Anita Derby, according to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Yougottawanna got a Beyer Speed Figure of 87 for his victory on Saturday. Hollendorfer also trains Sham Stakes winner

U S S Tinosa, who is scheduled to face Siphonic and Sunday Break in the San Felipe.