WinStar Farm LLC and Maribeth and Chuck Sandford’s 4-year-old Take Charge Indy finished third in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) last out
at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 9 and is nominated for next Saturday’s
$300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G3) to be run at one mile.
“We nominated him,” said trainer Pat Byrne. “But it’s very unlikely.
I don’t see turning him back to a one-turn mile from running two turns
in the Donn and then going back to two turns for his next start. There
are several options we will consider, including the Skip Away Stakes
here at the end of the meet, which would be my personal preference for
his next start.”
The $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (G3) will be run at 1 3/16 miles on
Florida Derby Day, Saturday, March 30. Fort Larned won the Skip Away
last year early in a season climaxed by his victory in the $5 million
Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3. Fort Larned is set
to make his 2013 season debut as the likely favorite in the Gulfstream
Take Charge Indy is a regally-bred son of A.P. Indy out of Grade 1
winner Take Charge Lady and scored his biggest career victory in the
Florida Derby (G1) last year. He finished eight lengths behind
wire-to-wire winner Graydar in the Donn with Bourbon Courage second
“It wasn’t a bad race for him,” said Byrne. “It all changed early
when the California horse (Ultimate Eagle) apparently hurt himself and
didn’t go for the lead with Graydar. That left Todd’s horse (Graydar)
out there alone, although he did still set very legitimate fractions.
You weren’t going to beat him that day the way he ran.
“The other options for his (Take Charge Indy) next start are the New
Orleans Handicap and the Oaklawn Handicap with the Stephen Foster at
Churchill in the spring a later goal. We’ll be consulting with Elliott
(Walden of WinStar Farm) to make a choice.” The $400,000 New Orleans
Handicap (G2) at 1 1/8 miles will be run on Saturday, March 30 with both
Graydar and Bourbon Courage considered likely starters.