08/19/2013 4:40PM

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

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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.

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Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Cagey move working a horse in the dark. Especially for one who loves the spotlight. Second in JD was his best race...could be a horse for coarse hunch bet.
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Ricky Williams More than 1 year ago
W.T.C = MONEY
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
D Wayne "we are in business to ruin dreams....." sometimes......not here.. Verazzano romps in here........if todd played better cards Verzo........wins triple crown
Ricky Williams More than 1 year ago
Did you watch the Derby! Verazzano's wheels flew off lol.
Bob More than 1 year ago
You mean Palace Malice don't you? He quit like a cheap pig. Verrazano much the best here
Allan Gauthier More than 1 year ago
Verazanno couldn't even stagger past Palace Malice in the Derby. Did you even watch it??
Mike Lee More than 1 year ago
u wanna see a pig...take a look in the mirror loser
Mike Lee More than 1 year ago
See some similarities between Lucas trained Optimizer and Will Take Charge...In last years Rebel Optimizer charged home like a freight train and nearly ran down Secret Circle,only to be run off his feet a few weeks later by Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby..Now,after a huge run in the Jim Dandy,think Will Take Charge will suffer the same fate in the Travers...will have to run down two improving Pletcher beasts on the front end,and deal with fellow closer Oooorb!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am having a bit of difficulty motivating myself to study having just learned that one of every three American Thoroughbred horses ends it's life in a slaughterhouse...gives a whole new meaning to the term dead fit....there is something rotten here in Denmark
Cory Patton More than 1 year ago
very unlikely statistic.... where did you obtain this info?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
from an article by Vickery Eckhoff in Forbes magazine...not exactly a bleeding heart publication...google thoroughbred horses Forbes magazine and you will find it
Perl More than 1 year ago
So what? When my time is done they can eat me for all I care.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
do you care if they jam you into a cattle car with no food or water until you get to the slaughter house where they smash your forehead with a hammer to end your time?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That is entirely, entirely untrue, sorry. Most are adopted out as personal/sport horses. The Ferdinand Fee and other charities work hard to make sure many OTTBs get homes. Vickery Eckhoff is not exactly an unbiased source. The Jockey Club is VERY anti-slaughter, other horse associations (the AQHA, APHA, etc) support it. Racehorses are just an easier and more visible target. OH, and I looked up that Forbes article. Princess Madeline, the anecdote, was at Camelot Auctions - well-known in the horse community for NOT having sent ANY horses to slaughter in many years. The 2 PM Saturday deadline is basically for show, now. Many owners send their horses there because they know they will find a home quickly.
R. Carlos Nanez More than 1 year ago
I wonder if some one give Lukas a billy goat to train he would run in all the classic races as well. He will run that poor horse until he drops death.
R. Carlos Nanez More than 1 year ago
I mean dead.
Robert More than 1 year ago
WOW ...DEDRAIN SAID TAKE CHARGE IS DEAD FIT FOR SATURDAYS TRAVERS JUST HOPE HE S NOT DEAD...(S---) BY SUNDAY MORNING,,,OFF THE PLANE AND DOWN THE DRAIN...!