03/09/2012 3:45PM

Tampa Bay Derby losing Take Charge Indy, who will wait for Florida Derby

Barbara D. Livingston
Take Charge Indy drew post 10 for the Tampa Bay Derby.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Pat Byrne confirmed Friday that he would scratch Take Charge Indy from Saturday’s Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby to await the $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 31.

“We just decided we’re not going to go up to Tampa to come out of the 10 hole over a track he’s never been on before,” Byrne said. “We’ll just keep him here and shoot for the Florida Derby now. We already know he likes that racetrack at Gulfstream, and he’s been training well at Palm Meadows. I guess it means we’ll be putting all our balls in one basket, having only one more Derby prep instead of two, but the Florida Derby is a $1 million race, so even if he finishes second or third we should have enough earnings to make the Derby.”

Take Charge Indy’s defection still leaves a field of 11 3-year-olds for the 1 1/16-mile Tampa Bay Derby led by Spring Hill Farm, Battle Hardened and Prospective.