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Byrne Considers Take Charge Indy's Next Start

Take Charge Indy with Calvin Borel up wins the Florida Derby (G1) Gulfstream Park Hallandale Beach Florida. 03-31-2012. Arron Haggart/Eclipse Sportswire

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 Park Handicap.

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 between them.

“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.

 

 

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