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Take Charge Indy Breezes at Palm Meadows

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

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.”


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