Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas had Triple Crown veteran
Will Take Charge open up through the stretch this morning in preparation for Saturday’s Grade 2 Jim Dandy.
“Both he and [Preakness winner] Oxbow breezed through the
stretch,” said Lukas of the duo, the latter who is headed to the Haskell
Park. “Because of the heat and everything
we’d been having, I didn’t want to put another stressful work into them.
They’re dead fit. I just let them come off the turn and they breezed
pretty strong through the stretch.”
Will Take Charge, winner of the Grade 2 Rebel on March 16 at
Park, had trouble lines in each of the three
Triple Crown races. He was checked at the three-sixteenths pole making a
five-wide move in the Kentucky Derby, finishing eighth, and brushed at
the start of both the Preakness and the
Belmont Stakes, in which he finished seventh and 10th, respectively.
“He was moving beautifully in the
but he got stopped,” said Lukas. “That could have made him right there.
I’m not saying he would have won it, but he was moving with Orb at the
time and would have been right there. He’s had
some rough trips. I’m hoping this track with bigger, wider turns will
be a little better for him.”
The decision on which path to take to the Grade 1, $1 million
Travers on August 24 was made based on the two colt’s dispositions, said
“From a standpoint of their dispositions and condition, I
thought it was better that Will Take Charge remain here for the Jim
Dandy and run out of his own stall rather
than ship again; I didn’t want to ship him again,” he said. “I thought
it would serve him [better] to take this one trying to get to the
Lukas has saddled two Jim Dandy winners: Is It True (1989) and Scorpion (2001).