12/30/2009 12:00AM

Take Control, son of Azeri, scores in debut

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Take Control, a $1.9 million purchase out of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, won his career debut in Wednesday's third race, rallying in the final furlong to score an impressive victory.

Take Control ($7.80) ran a mile in 1:37.64 under jockey Martin Garcia. Fifth in a field of seven on the backstretch, Take Control made up 3 1/2 lengths in final furlong to finish 1 1/2 lengths in front of pacesetter Ivory Fudge.

Trained by the red-hot Bob Baffert, Take Control is by A.P. Indy and was bought by Kaleem Shah at the Keeneland 2-year-olds in training sale last April.

Shah said he was a little worried about Take Control's position on the turn.

"I didn't want to be embarrassed," he said. "I'm glad he came on running."

Baffert said that Take Control will remain in California for the next 60 days but that a start on another circuit is possible in the buildup to the Triple Crown.

"We'll stay here," Baffert said. "We won't go anywhere until March. The weather is horrible everywhere."