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Updated on 03/19/2013 9:03AM
Rebel Stakes: Lukas one-two as Will Take Charge runs down Oxbow
HOT SPRINGS, Ark.- Will Take Charge edged stablemate Oxbow by a head to give his Hall of Fame trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, a one-two finish in the Grade 2, $600,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.
With the win, Will Take Charge earned 50 points to become the new points leader on the inaugural system that governs Kentucky Derby eligibility if the May 4 race is oversubscribed. Oxbow picked up 20 points, while Den’s Legacy, who finished two lengths back in third in the Rebel, earned 10 points, and fourth-place finisher Texas Bling, 5.
Will Take Charge ($58) settled in fifth behind leader Title Contender, who took the field through fractions of 23.36 seconds for the opening quarter and 47.19 for the half-mile before being overtaken by Super Ninety Nine and then Oxbow through six furlongs in 1:12.39. Will Take Charge took up the chase in the stretch under jockey Jon Court, and forged past his stablemate to cover 1 1/16 miles on a track rated fast in 1:45.18.
“I felt pretty good 100 yards from the wire,” said Lukas, who trains Will Take Charge for Arkansas resident Willis D. Horton and Oxbow for Calumet Farm.
“It’s so difficult to win these,” Lukas added. “We know that the competition is so tough. Anytime you get one, let alone run one-two, we’re very gracious and very humbled by it.”
Court was pleased with the trip he got in the Rebel.
“The race was executed to the plan,” he said. “It worked out perfectly. I was able to position him where we wanted. He was very professional today.”
Super Ninety Nine chased Title Contender in second to the final turn, moved to the lead, then floundered in the stretch, said his rider, Rafael Bejarano.
“I didn’t feel like the track helped my horse,” Bejarano said. “He didn’t feel comfortable on it.”
Will Take Charge was sent off at 28-1 after finishing sixth in the Southwest run on a sloppy surface. One start prior, he won the $150,000 Smarty Jones at Oaklawn by a neck over Texas Bling.
“Will Take Charge, I think, is a fair weather horse and he said, ‘I’m not running in the rain,’ ” said Lukas. “He got a good track today.”
Will Take Charge is a son of Unbridled’s Song and the multiple Grade 1-winning mare Take Charge Lady. He is a half-brother to Take Charge Indy, the winner of last year’s Florida Derby.
Will Take Charge earned $380,000 for his win in the Rebel. He has now won 3 of 7 starts and $545,371.
The remaining order of finish in the Rebel was Carve in sixth, followed by Title Contender, Treasury Bill, Hardrock Eleven, Stormy Holiday, and Delhomme.
Rebel Day is one of the biggest programs of the year at Oaklawn, which had an ontrack crowd of 33,963. Handle on the 11-race card from all sources was $7,895,380. Both are meet-highs for Oaklawn.
The Rebel was the local stepping-stone to the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby, which will be run April 13.
This horse will peak on Derby day. Pay attention to his work tab at CD the weeks before the race.
Points are points, and this race was a good one. (Let's keep the upsets coming) The Derby will see at least a few well thought of horses lack the points to actually run.
I'm really interested in seeing vyjack and revolutionary compete against these other horses. Both of their last races were different but very impressive...Big money will abound at the Derby again this year on some big longshot.
lucas still sucks - that snake oil saleman has broken down more horses than any trainer in history.
Baffert seems intent on these "Bodemeister" performances of trying to charge to the lead, or second and getting overtaken late. You win the KD with a closer, something he has forgotten. Lukas has not forgotten. Which is why mike Smith took so many seconds for Baffert last year. Wake up people. .
Its too bad there's no tomorrow after the Derby. I'm not one for mania but the second paragraph says it all for me. The most important thing it seems is running after the abstract points to get into the Kentucky Derby or, as it is better known today, the blue chip stallion market. Prestige and the annals of time are mere abstractions, hence distractions. Good horse races are watching good horses on the top of their game beat each other at equal weights which is what ALL Derbys are for. These horses could still run in the Florida Derby or the Santa Anita Derby but today, the way they train horses, you have to give a horse at least a month to get their metabolism back in shape from the drugs they use to train and race them on. Another abstraction ruining the sport of kings. Is the Kentucky Derby really worth that much more than the Santa Anita or Florida jackpots to a wealthy owners? "Points"....that's what the racketeers calls a percentage in their game. Are the new sportsmen and ladies today running a racket on the track? Look back and see how many horses became world sires by winning the Kentucky Derby. Then when a trainer or owner says they will skip the Kentucky Derby and point toward the Preakness or Belmont, then I'll see a nobleman or lady with supreme class who doesn't want to run a "Mine That Bird" for a one time trip to the winner's circle and garner a supposed immortal, legendary halo. I want to see the real muscle fighting it out and have no interest in seeing how many points or dollars an owner earns. I want my horse to beat their horse and I'll go anywhere they say at equal weights to witness a legendary horse race and not drool over a legendary media affair. God forbid if a trainer told the DRF, "Yeah, I think will skip the Derby because the best horses on top of their game won't be showing up. We're gonna wait to see who goes where and try to hook up with the best of them for some real sport" Dream on.......I think I'll boycott the Kentucky Derby and just check the DRF results Saturday evening the first Saturday in May. I don't want to see another Super Saver or Mine That Bird running a one-time race. So do we go on vacation after the Kentucky Derby? Why not? The media does along with the hyperbole. I'm most interested at the moment to see if Haer The Ghost can beat Flashback in the Santa Anita Derby. You can bet your sweet bippy Veranzzo won't be showing up to make it a super duper show. He's too busy having blood counts to see where he can run next. On second thought, maybe I'll hit the trout lakes early, it depends on the "ice out" though. I'll set up camp and welcome the media arrive on the first Sunday in May. Lord knows those hucksters will need a deserved break too. Besides, there's a fish I can't catch in one lake but this year I think I have enough points to hook 'em.
Congrats to Wayne Lukas.....Always Happy to see him win, but he hasn't won many of the big purses lately.....Will be fun following these and Lukas in the DERBY.....
I wasn't impressed. Nothing said wow. Certainly not a bodiemeister type performance. Lukas getting some stock.....imrpving colts...maybe 4th in the derby. Verrazano looks like the one.....
S99 hit the ground as hard as any horse I've seen run on TV, IMHO he will show up with some kind of injury after this race. Congrats to the Lucas team, but they won't be there in the Kentucky Derby. Both of his horses are good horses, but that was not a very tough race without S99 in the picture.
i thin next year your going see trainers like pletcher and baffert ship more and run more horses in these preps. with the new system there going have some horses left out because they put all there eggs in one basket. it makes a big difference not having 2 year old races count for much or anything at all. this year one bad race and were going some top horses not in the derby