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Will Take Charge Prepares for Jim Dandy

Will Take Charge Rebel 615 X 400
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 at Monmouth 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 Oaklawn 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 Derby 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 Lukas.


“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 Travers.”


Lukas has saddled two Jim Dandy winners: Is It True (1989) and Scorpion (2001).




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