02/28/2014 10:13AM

Oaklawn: Lukas sending three horses to Santa Anita for Big Cap Day

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Barbara D. Livingston
Will Take Charge is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Monday for next Saturday's Santa Anita Handicap.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.– Will Take Charge will have some company when he ships from Oaklawn Park to Southern California on Monday to run in the Santa Anita Handicap. Will Take Charge will be joined on his trip by Optimizer, who is to run in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile, and Unstoppable Colby, who goes in the San Felipe, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said on Friday.

The three races are March 8. Luis Saez, the regular rider on Will Take Charge, has the mount on each of the horses, said Lukas.

Will Take Charge, the champion 3-year-old of 2013, will be making his second start of the year in the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap. He was second in the Grade 1, $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park in his 4-year-old debut on Feb. 9, a race that went in track-record time. For his effort, Will Take Charge earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 111. His final blowout for the Santa Anita Handicap could come Sunday at Oaklawn, depending on the weather, said Lukas.

"He might breeze through the stretch Sunday before he ships," Lukas said. "We’ll see how it is."

Will Take Charge races for Willis Horton and Three Chimneys LLC.

Unstoppable Colby got the call for the Grade 2, $300,000 San Felipe for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth following a sharp maiden special weight win at the distance at Oaklawn on Feb. 20. He fought for a neck win, and earned a career-high Beyer Figure of 80.

"I think he’s a gusty horse that really tries," Lukas said. "He gets into his races. He probably fits the scenario of the California tracks. He’s got good tactical speed."

Unstoppable Colby, who races for Zayat Stable, is named for Colby Sawyer. Sawyer is a 9-year-old who in 2012 was diagnosed with leukemia. Sawyer recently was sent a large win photo of Unstoppable Colby’s victory at Oaklawn.

Optimizer, a multiple Grade 3 winner of $916,747, will be making his first start since August in the Grade 1, $350,000 Kilroe.

Optimizer, who races for Calumet Farm, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80 on Friday. Unstoppable Colby also worked Friday, breezing a half-mile in 49.80 seconds.

Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Now this is how a horseman handles his stable, Lukas ships his horses to run in the big races and the fans love it, not like most trainers today who hide their horses in the barn most of the year and never ship, as if they (horses) were made of glass. The Sport Of Kings needs learn from Lukas how to manage a horse today because the majority of these trainers are just milking the owners by hiding their horses in the barn to get that monthly payment to support that life style they are living.
Biz P More than 1 year ago
Say what you will about DWL, the guy doesn't duck a challenge and is great for the sport. I will be there all weekend and look forward to some great racing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MMM worked 2/22 at GP. Now he is just watching the rain.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Mucho has already been out In California training. This won't be good for The connections of WTC.
Walter More than 1 year ago
Great news. Thanks Lukas, CA can use your help.
SPARTINA More than 1 year ago
will he bring the buzzer?
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Say what you will about Lukas, but he never dodges a fight. Great for racing!
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Absolutely love this guy
Craig More than 1 year ago
D Wayne off the plane!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
So what are the local guys planning for the 'Cap? Also wondering if they are shipping Lea out for it. Handicap season looks good.
MD23 More than 1 year ago
Lea was not nominated to the Big Cap so he won't be running. Locals are led by Game On Dude.....other runners are not Grade 1 caliber: Blingo, Imperative, Rousing Sermon, maybe American Blend and Majestic Harbor.
Tom Hua More than 1 year ago
Viva Lukas.
Collette Stewart More than 1 year ago
Why, Why. Why are people so negative. The 'Buzzer issue" as you call it, was thoroughly investigated and was unfounded. In fact the connections of the horse that made the accusations apologized. Even the police or FBI labs got involved. It didn't happen ! I think some people are just jelouse. Can't spell that word, I don't use it often.