12/29/2013 7:43PM

Three Chimneys buys stake in Will Take Charge

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Tom Keyser
Will Take Charge earned Grade 1 wins this year in the Travers Stakes and the Clark Handicap.

Will Take Charge, a two-time Grade 1 winner and the leading contender for a 2013 Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old male, will stand at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., upon the conclusion of his racing career.

The stud farm, owned by Robert and Blythe Clay and the Borges Torrealba operation of Brazil, announced Sunday that it had purchased a 50 percent interest in the Unbridled’s Song colt and that original owner Willis Horton will retain the other 50 percent interest once Will Take Charge is retired to stud. The colt will remain in training with D. Wayne Lukas for a 2014 campaign.

“I can’t think of a better result,” Horton said in a statement. “This deal allows me to enjoy racing Will Take Charge another year. He is the horse of a lifetime.”

Will Take Charge was purchased by Horton for $425,000 as a yearling at the 2011 Keeneland September auction and was stakes-placed as a 2-year-old in 2012. He won the Smarty Jones Stakes and the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on the Triple Crown trail last spring but was unplaced in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes.

After a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga, Will Take Charge emerged as a championship contender during the second half of 2013, winning the Grade 1 Travers Stakes and the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby. Following a nose defeat to Mucho Macho Man in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, the colt captured the Grade 1 Clark Handicap to close out the year.

Will Take Charge has six wins in 15 starts and $3,055,148 in earnings.

When asked recently about Will Take Charge’s 2014 racing campaign, Lukas said the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 8 and the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita on March 8 are early-season targets, with a return to the Breeders’ Cup the year-end goal.

Will Take Charge is out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Dehere mare Take Charge Lady and is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Take Charge Indy. Take Charge Indy will stand his first season at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky., in 2014.

“Will Take Charge is the kind of horse we all dream of having in our stallion barn because he’s the complete package,” said Case Clay, president of Three Chimneys.