Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC’s 3-year-old Take Charge Indy,
winner of the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park in late
March, breezed three furlongs in 36 4/5 Friday morning at Palm Meadows
in his first workout since finishing a game second by a length in the
Clark Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 23.
“He’s right on schedule,” said trainer Patrick Byrne, who has
spelled out plans for the A.P. Indy colt to make his first start of 2013
in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) to be run at 1 1/8 miles on Sat.,
Feb. 9. “He went real well and we’ll come back and work again in eight
or nine days.
More immediately, Byrne will send out Jack Mandato’s 6-year-old
homebred Zimmer as a longshot in Saturday’s $75,000 El Prado Stakes as
the son of Empire Maker makes his first start since finishing sixth in
the Ack Ack Handicap (G3) on the main track at Churchill on Nov. 2.
Zimmer has been very consistent in just five career starts on turf
with two wins, a second and two thirds. In his last start prior to the
Ack Ack, Byrne shipped him to Del Mar for a rich allowance race going
one mile on turf on Aug. 23, winning by a neck.
“Mike Smith gave him a great ride that day,” said Byrne. “They had
that bonus to ship and the race was worth more than $90,000, so it was
worth making the trip. The big thing with him though is track surface.
He wants it firm to do his best.”