HRN Original Blog:
Dueling Down The Stretch

Will Take Charge Steps Up

If the Travers wasn’t enough notice, then on Saturday, September 21, 2013 Will Take Charge officially let the racing world know that he was for real. Throughout the season, Will Take Charge has shown flashes of promise, but never built on that promise. He won the Smarty Jones in a thrilling finish, then disappointed in the Southwest. He came back with another thrilling stretch run to nab the Rebel Stakes, only to disappoint in all three Triple Crown races.


By the Belmont, I had given up on Will Take Charge ever living up to the potential he showed in early stages of the Triple Crown trail….little did I know he was about to prove me wrong in a big, big way.


First, a blinkerless, Will Take Charge rumbled down the stretch in the Jim Dandy, to run a fast closing second. He followed that up with a nose win, over Moreno, Palace Malice, and Orb in the Travers Stakes. Some may think that was luck. That he capitalized on the difficulties of others. Orb was running in a grade one Classic, in his first start off an 11 week break. He understandably was short, while Will Take Charge was in the form of his life. Palace Malice broke awkwardly and was over 8 lengths behind on a speed favoring track, while getting floated wide on the final turn, losing precious ground. While these thoughts may be true. For many people, Will Take Charge was going to have to prove he was no fluke.
In the Pennsylvania Derby, he would be on a surface that is very conducive to front runners. He would be shortening to nine furlongs, off the 10 furlong trip he enjoyed in the Travers. All of these factors gave the speedy Moreno, second in the Travers, a clear advantage in the race.
When the gates opened It was Moreno and Fury Kapcori who set out for the front, with Moreno emerging with the lead, being hounded by Fury Kapcori. The pace was a solid one, 23.35, 46.74, and 1.10.41 for the first six furlong. Will Take Charge was surprisingly close up, for his typical one run style, never more than four lengths off the pace. Around the turn he was already to make his move, but trapped in behind a wall of horses. Jockey Louis Siaz, then angled the big colt inside, finding him a seam on the rail, and Will Take Charge exploded.

Entering the stretch, it was all Will Take Charge, charging down the stretch. He went on to win the race by over 2 lengths, the largest winning margin of his career. The Pennsylvania Derby may not be a grade one, but the field was worthy of a grade one status, and his performance was nothing short of a grade one performance.
With his win in the Pennsylvania Derby, Will Take Charge served notice that he is no fluke, that he is indeed for real, and will enter the Breeders’ Cup Classic as a horse that merits respect. With this win, he threw down the gauntlet, putting the ball squarely in Palace Malice, and Orb’s court, when the run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Should they lose, he surges to the front of the three year old standings….should they win, be prepared for possibly the most highly anticipated Classic since 2007.


comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about Will Take Charge Steps Up...

I'm sure she's using the down-time to plan her next tactical engagement. :)
No kittens for her. Monkey is upset that he can't play with... I mean continue to teach her.
She's a wise lady. Hopefully it was just "preventive maintenance," and nothing serious.
Not as of yet. She's a couple of days post op, and she requests no pictures ;)
:) Whoa, Didn't realize I was that close to the edge. I better articulate myself better in the future. :) Speaking of the Princess of Biloxi...any new pix?
Ok, ok. Whew! I had to hold Abbi back there for a second. LOL
Wait a minute SS, I said, "IF he gets beat." I'm gonna be pulling for your boy just like the SS household was cheering Big Will to victory in his last two outs. :)
But...I am an Orb fan. If Flat Out gets beat, I hope it's by Orb.
RUffianlover, I disagree that WTC was dodging Orb and PM. Too be honest, I don't think they're the least bit concerned about Orb. I do think they felt leading-up to the BCC, and at this point in his development, it was better to tackle the 3-yr-olds one last time. If they were dodging anyone, it's Flat Out. He's gonna be a monster against PM and Orb, IMO. I think the win in Pennsylvania was the best thing for WTC as he rolls towards a win in the BCC. :)
Ooops. GURRRL, you're speakin' my language!
Man, you're speakin' my language!
I don't think he surges to the front unless he wins the classic. I just don't see any other way with him winning 3YO. He only has three graded stakes wins and only one being a G1.
  • Ruffianlover · And he dodged orb and pm this weekend. If they really wanted three year old- they should have run him in the JCGC. · 1518 days ago
I agree Deadheat.
There will be a lot of great racing next weekend. Churchill made a genious move with running this new stakes. Won't take long for it to move to a grade one.
watched the replay again and looked like he has more run in him. the rest really helped out in the and along with no blinkers.
And Fort Larned is going to try and get it going at CD on Saturday night!

Related Pages

      Connect With Laura
Me On Facebook
Follow Me On Twitter

Meet Laura Pugh

Laura Pugh got her first taste of Thoroughbred Racing when she watched War Emblem take the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2001. After that point, she fell in love with the sport, reading every piece of news and information she could get her fingertips on.

Laura has a long history with horses in general, taking her first ride on her fifth birthday, with her first official riding lesson when she was eight years old. Both years she attended college she joined her school’s equestrian team, first at the now closed Virginia Intermont College, then again at Delaware State University. Unfortunately, after back and shoulder injuries, she had to hang up her saddle. 

In 2010 Laura came to Horse Racing Nation, but soon branched out to other media outlets, such as Lady and the Track,, and USRacing. She currently works at a local newspaper as a community reporter, while making a return to Horse Racing Nation, where she will once again feature her opinionated columns on the latest in horse racing. 

Related Stories

Top Stories