04/01/2012 1:03PM

Take Charge Indy, Union Rags, El Padrino heading to Kentucky Derby

Elizabeth Macy
Take Charge Indy, winner of the Florida Derby, will make his next start in the Kentucky Derby.

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – Take Charge Indy, Union Rags, and El Padrino all emerged from Saturday’s Florida Derby in good shape, their respective trainers said Sunday morning, and all will be pointed to the May 5 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Patrick Byrne, trainer of Take Charge Indy, said the Florida Derby winner “looks fresh this morning.”

“He cooled out really quick last night,” Byrne said.

Byrne said Take Charge Indy would leave for Churchill Downs by van April 11, arriving on April 12, and would not have a workout until he gets to Kentucky.

“He’ll probably just work once or twice” prior to the Derby, Byrne said. “He doesn’t need a lot of training.”

Union Rags, who was a troubled third in the Florida Derby, will remain in Florida for at least two weeks, and perhaps longer, depending on the weather in Kentucky, trainer Michael Matz said here at the Palm Meadows training center.

Matz said Union Rags was fine after his eventful trip in the Florida Derby, in which he was boxed in for much of the race. He said jockey Julien Leparoux likely learned a lot about Union Rags in the race, and Matz said he had no problems with the tactics employed by jockey Javier Castellano – the former rider of Union Rags – aboard El Padrino.

“Javier was doing his job, race riding,” Matz said. “He knew [Union Rags] was the horse to beat. I’m sure Julien would have done the same thing if he was in his shoes.

“Hopefully, Julien learned a lot from it. That part of it is good. The rest was disappointing. He wasn’t able to run until he got to the eighth pole.”

Matz said the re-shoeing incident with Union Rags prior to the race was a non-factor. Union Rags had his right rear shoe become askew while saddling, and it was quickly affixed.

“It was just one nail,” Matz said.

Trainer Todd Pletcher said El Padrino, who finished fourth, “seems in good shape this morning.”

“He ran 68 feet further than the winner, according to Trakus, which is about 20 yards,” Pletcher said. “I’d be inclined to go to the Kentucky Derby, based on his body of work.”

Pletcher worked Gemologist on Sunday morning in preparation for the Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial on Saturday at Aqueduct. Gemologist, working under exercise rider Hector Ramos while outside of stablemate R King of the Road, was timed in 1:00.48 for five furlongs. He leaves Wednesday for New York.

“I thought he went really well, in hand,” Pletcher said. “He finished up well and galloped out strongly.”

Also before the renovation break, Pletcher worked Stat, who is scheduled to run in the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 14. With exercise rider Norman Bush up, Stat was timed in 48.93 seconds for a half-mile.