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Will Take Charge Possible For Clark

The narrow loss to Mucho Macho Man in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade I) at Santa Anita by Willis D. Horton’s Will Take Charge might not be the final race of the year for the late-blooming 3-year-old star.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who guided the son of Unbridled’s Song through an impressive second half of 2013 that included victories in the Travers (GI) and Pennsylvania Derby (GI), said Wednesday that Will Take Charge could wrap-up his racing season in the $500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) at Churchill Downs.

Lukas described Will Take Charge as “possible” for the Clark.

The 139th running of the Clark, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up that shares its history with the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI), will be run in its traditional Friday-after-Thanksgiving spot on the calendar on Nov. 29.

“We may run him one more time, since it’s a Grade I,” Lukas said.  “I think we’re in good shape anyhow. Most people I’ve talked to in the press think he’s champion (3-year-old male). If he wins the Clark, it would probably put the icing on the cake.”

Lukas said Will Take Charge would be nominated to the Clark prior to the Nov. 13 deadline. His runner-up finish in the Classic left the colt’s career record to 5-3-0 in 14 races and boosted his earnings to $2,727,371.

“It broke my heart,” Lukas said. “I just stood there and said, ‘How could he get that close and not win it?’ (Belmont Stakes winner) Palace Malice cost us the race. He bore us out real bad, bumped us and pushed us way out on the turn and we had to recover from that.”

A victory in the Clark Handicap wrapped-up an Eclipse Award championship for a Lukas star in 2000. After Overbrook Farm’s Surfside finished second to Lukas-trained stablemate Spain in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs, Lukas wheeled the regally-bred daughter of 1978 Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew out of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) winner Flanders back against males in that year’s Clark, which was then a Grade II race.

She won the Clark by four lengths to conclude a campaign for which she was named the year’s champion 3-year-old filly.

Lukas said 2-year-old star Strong Mandate is not a candidate for the $175,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs on Saturday, Nov. 30. Robert C. Baker and William L. Mack’s son of Tiznow finished third to New Year’s Day in last Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) at Santa Anita

Lukas said Strong Mandate, the winner of Saratoga’s Hopeful (GI), would be pointed for a spring campaign that would begin at Oaklawn Park.  The colt concluded his juvenile season with a record of 2-0-1 in five races with earnings of $432,900.

 

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Older Comments about Will Take Charge Possible For Clark...

I honestly think it doesn't matter what is under this guy's feet... he is going to blow them away whether they like it or not ;)
Alwasy the big closer: NEXT TIME and they often only catch the field at the 15/16th pole....or later
Mike- I hope that if MMM stays in training, that he does what Mr.Haskins mentioned on his podcast. Run him in the big Cap, now add WTC to that equation, vs the dude.
Will Take Charge seems to be in top form, I expect a great race from him. I don't like the idea of a trip to Dubai however, American dirt horses are not having success on the new Tapeta surface and the trip knocks out so many horses for months. Hey maybe if Lukas is looking for a race in March, how about the Big Cap? He likes the track and distance.
Until something goes wrong,ala Oxbow. Then Lukas is accused of being the mad scientist in his basement Lab.
IMO, the problem might not be in running him in the Clark. The problem could be that he’s been in training with 14 races in 15 months without a break and the Clark would be a 15th. Included in that time frame was a tough three race pre Derby campaign at Oaklawn and then the three race TC. He’s run in five races at 9.5F and longer in a six month span. Time for a break, if only not to get stale and lose that desire to run. That’s happened too many times to count. Winning the Clark would definitely cinch the three year old Eclipse, but I strongly feel that he’s won that already. Instead of the Clark, the Donn would be a possibility, but Gulfstream isn’t kind to his running style. I would keep him in the barn until the New Orleans handicap on a track that really suits his running style.
jenna, excellent points!
I'm with ya Jenna!
yes they should do right by the horse, but as outsiders, who are we to say what is right? that is arrogant. maybe running him frequently is what is best for him.
just a thought...it is a common thread on here to moan and complain that today's horses are so much weaker than horses of yesteryears (before my time at least) in that they only run a few races a year and then retire. So how is it when we have a sound, healthy, flourishing 3 year old that is running often and seems to be thriving on it, do we suddenly change our tune and say "oh the poor baby we are running him into the ground." just the way i see it. i expect wtc to do well in the clark, but if he doesn't not the end of the world. he's a tough colt.
Hilarious
Preach it, URR!
Will Take Charge is the man... if he's as good as he was in the BCC he wins this one going away by 5. I'm biased, of course, because he's my favorite horse in training! GO WILL TAKE CHARGE!
I have really liked this colt since the day I watched him break his maiden at Keeneland. I think he has an extremely promising future. That said, I feel he has run in enough races and done enough for one year. If he were mine I would be giving him the winter off on a peaceful farm, with a view towards bringing him back sometime around the Keeneland spring meet. And this is coming from me - a person who wishes horses could and would run more often than they usually do in this day and age. He is a huge horse with a sire known for throwing unsound offspring. Give him the winter to relax and recharge.
I think this is a bad move.If the Horse won the BC,there is no way he would of run here.In plain English,it is a knee jerk reaction.You just conditioned and prepped him for a 5 million dollar race,that he ran awesome.Do you honestly think that he can recover and re generate his strength in a matter of 4 weeks. DWayne and the owners.To the hell with the awards.Take care of your horse,you will have a top 4 yr old.Do not fall to the mercy of the Media and their popularity votes.Show some respect for the horse and his accomplishments.Winning or losing should not be your concern.What will the race potentially take out of him is.
OAKLAWN the Best little meeting of the yeaer by FAR!!!
"Run them till the wheels fall off, that's my motto!" go old dranged Darryl
amino, if Will makes it to Oaklawn I'll be there! I'm still walking on Cloud 9 from his BCC performance. Final running time...2 minutes and 2 inches.
It looks as though Lukas will have several there. Yes, it would be a good trip!
WTC, he's worth the trip, too.

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