08/19/2013 4:40PM

Saratoga notes: Will Take Charge 'dead fit' for Travers

Tom Keyser
Will Take Charge breezed five furlongs in 1:01.88 on Monday as he prepared for Saturday's Grade 1 Travers.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Despite not being able to bring Preakness winner Oxbow to the race, trainer D. Wayne Lukas still will make his first Travers appearance in more than a decade with Will Take Charge, a sneaky longshot in Saturday’s $1 million race.

After getting beaten double-digit lengths in all three legs of the Triple Crown, Will Take Charge rebounded with a solid second-place effort in the Jim Dandy Stakes while racing with blinkers off.

“I thought the Jim Dandy was definitely his best race,” said Lukas, a two-time Travers winner who hasn’t participated in the race since 2002. “He’s had a really good month up here. I don’t know if it’s the cool weather, but he’s been in the [feed] tub better than he was at Churchill. I like what I see. I think he’s maturing nicely.”

It was hard to see much of Will Take Charge’s final Travers workout Monday, as it was done right when the Oklahoma training track opened at 5:30 a.m. and was enveloped in fog. Will Take Charge was credited with a five-furlong move in 1:01.88 under exercise rider Rudy Quevedo.

Quevedo “loved the way he felt,” Lukas said. “It was just to keep him interested. He’s dead fit. He stays a little light. I didn’t want to do a lot.”

Post positions will be drawn Wednesday for the Travers. The field is expected to include Golden Soul, Moreno, Orb, Palace Malice, Romansh, Transparent, Verrazano, War Dancer, and Will Take Charge.

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Royal Delta, Flat Out work for Mott

Royal Delta completed her preparations for Sunday’s Grade 1, $600,000 Personal Ensign Invitational by working four furlongs in 48.35 through the fog Monday morning over the Oklahoma training track.

Trainer Bill Mott, who caught Royal Delta in 47.80, said he was pleased with the portion of the work that he could see through the fog.

“Did it look like he was pushing on her or whipping her?” Mott said, referring to exercise rider Rodolphe Brisset. “It was fine. She’s been good.”

A short while later, Flat Out worked five furlongs in 1:01.75, with a final three furlongs in 36.91, under exercise rider Neil Poznansky. The move was an improvement over what Mott had seen from Flat Out in his most recent work and appears to keep him on track for the Grade 1 Woodward here Aug. 31.

“I thought he went pretty well today,” Mott said. “He was 1:01 and change. On this track, do they work much faster than that? Not many of them. We went a little further, and Neil thought he went well.”

◗ On Monday, Dance to Bristol drew the rail in an 11-horse field for Friday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Ballerina, a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

◗ The Lumber Guy, last year’s Grade 1 Vosburgh winner, will make his return to the races in Friday’s $100,000 Chowder’s First, a 6 1/2-furlong overnight stakes for New York-breds.