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Mr. Derby Does It Again - Take Charge Indy wins the Florida Derby

There is no doubt about it. When it comes to winning Derbies, Calvin Borel is the expert and all other jockeys should take note. On a day when everyone was ready to crown Union Rags, it was not the heavy favorite that crossed that wire first. Rather, it was Take Charge Indy, the colt who had skipped the Tampa Bay Derby due to a bad post position, that took home all the glory. In his first ever Florida Derby ride, Borel guided the upstart colt to victory on a breezy, sunny day at Gulfstream Park. Obviously, skipping one Derby in favor of another paid off for trainer Patrick Byrne, who earned his first stakes win since 2005 with today’s victory in the 63rd running of the Grade 1 Florida Derby.
At the break, Take Charge Indy and Borel were quick out of the gate, taking advantage of the three hole to get out front and over near the rail. Union Rags and El Padrino were also out in good order, while News Pending simply strolled out of the gate. Longshot Reveron with Fernando Jara aboard quickly moved up to run with the leader. Union Rags with Julien Leparoux aboard had to settle for a hard held fifth in the early stages, bottled up in amongst rivals. Take Charge Indy led the field through fractions of 23:60 for the opening quarter and 47:71 for the half with Reveron tracking the pace right outside of him the whole time. As the field hit the final turn, Fort Loudon moved up outside and ahead of Union Rags, who had absolutely no where to go. With a five wide wall of horses in front of him, Leparoux chose to stay to the inside. When a hole finally opened up for the favorite, it was too little, too late. Despite a very game effort, Union Rags simply had too much to do, though he did manage to get up for the show. Take Charge Indy led from gate to wire, and Reveron stayed with him the whole time to hang on to the place. Second choice El Padrino finished fourth. Neck 'n Neck, Fort Loudon, News Pending, and Z Camelot rounded out the order of finish, though Z Camelot was eased in the final stages after trailing the entire race.
Not to take anything away from Borel’s first Florida Derby win, but there were a few contributing factors to Take Charge Indy’s win and Union Rags’ loss. Firstly, Rags was back up to his usual bad habits, rearing up after exiting the van. Shortly thereafter, he lost a shoe and had to be re-shod in the saddling paddock. Trainer Michael Matz stated in a post-race interview, however, that neither of those two incidents had anything to do with Rags’ loss. The biggest factors then were racing position and pace. During the race, it appeared to be Javier Castellano’s (aboard El Padrino) mission to put himself in a position to win while keeping Rags and Leparoux in a position that would not allow them to win. In that case, Castellano can consider that a mission accomplished. He and El Padrino successfully kept Union Rags bottled up until it was too late. His ride did not appear to affect El Padrino’s placement either adversely or positively as the colt was not going to catch the leaders anyway. Lastly is the pace. Take Charge Indy was allowed to get away with very reasonable fractions on the lead, running 6 furlongs in 1:12.09 on a track that traditionally favors speed.
Take Charge Indy’s win and Reveron’s place vaulted them both up into the Top 20 in Graded Earnings. Indy’s $600,000 winner’s share of the $1 million purse ensures him a place in the starting gate come May; however, Reveron will likely still have some work to do. The $200,000 second place finisher’s share moved him up to about 18th in the standings, but he will need more earnings in order to retain his position since there are still several huge prep purses up for grabs in the coming weeks. As for Union Rags, he already had enough earnings to ensure his place in the Run for the Roses, and today’s loss probably constitutes more of a learning curve than a setback for the flashy bay colt who was, earlier today, described as being full of swagger. 


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Older Comments about Mr. Derby Does It Again - Take Charge Indy wins the Florida Derby...

Whip Whip Whip. Whatever Borel did to R.A in the Woodward it may have been worth it. Because of this race she was H.O.Y and proved her undeniable will to win.
@shadowno- that is exactly how I understood the popper whips to be. they make alot of noise.
Since Borel was using a padded "popper" whip in the Woodward how could the animal be "gutted" . The real question should be did she even feel a sting? Quote from Hall of Famer jockey Kent Desormeaux regarding the Popper Whip, "The whip is not a whip. It is a noisemaker." Also per ET Baird, "It's like you're hitting with a marshmallow."
I don't think the whip had anything to do with Rachel being "gutted" in the Woodward. She put out a HUGE effort in an attempt to win because she was a winner and always tried her best.
I think you guys are missing Travel_vics point. After a certain amount of whips, the horse will stop responding IN A POSITIVE MANNER. Surely you knew what he was saying, just nit picking.
I thought UR did well too considering. He's never NOT run and never backed up in deep stretch, and that's more telling about his nature and capablities than his 2nd and 3rd.
Are you both saying that if a horse is giving all she's got, regardless of more whip, there's only so much and this is all there is? Hal Wiggins in Bloodhorse wondered if the Woodward didn't take too much out of RA.
So your saying that Rachel was in fact responding to the whip even after the first few hits Before you said horses didn't respond to the whip after the first few hits. So which is it? Rachel was responding to the whip or wasn't she?
no wonder PETA and other animals rights activitst are shouting that the whip is abuse
after 5 or 6 pops and if there is no change, further popps make no difference
exactly thsi guy, along with MOST of the riders these days have NO idea how to use the whip WORLDWIDE and as the result this aniimal was never the same again
but according to you when her stride was shortening she was no longer responding to Borel. To say it was Borel's fault that she was 'gutted" because he whipped her too much then turning around and saying horses don't respond to the whip after the first few hits is a total contradiction. Do you really not see that your making both arguments at the same time?? On one hand your saying Rachel was "gutted" because Borel hit her 19 times. On the other hand your saying repeated whipping doesn't change things.
Australia has limited the whip as well
Laffit used the whip a lot, BUT he knew when to stop. He willed Skywalker to wire many a timesThat is what differentiates a legend from a just a rider
because the guy never stopped when she started shorteing up ...He never stopped when she backed up at the Fari Grounds either Anyone who knows the stride of a cometeting animla can see when they are done ecsept the riders often
Exactly. Further whipping beyond a few strokes does not make a difference. therefore you can't blame Borel for Rachel being "gutted". After the first few hits she wasn't responding to Borel whipping her. Hows is it Borel's fault if she wasn't responding to him after the first few hits? All that stuff you say about whipping not mattering after the first few hits proves it wasn't Borels fault because she was no longer responding to him, she was doing it on her own. According to you him whipping her after the first few hits had nothing to do with how she ran so how can you blame Borel if she was doing it on her own at the end.
Beyond the first few hits to "wake the animal up" thes rest are superfulous

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.


Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation blogging as The Florida Filly. Using that moniker, she mainly covered racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. A move north to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the new From Coast to Coast blog for HRN, which is simply a revamped version of The Florida Filly. Don't let the new look and name change fool you, though. Ashley still brings to the table the same great coverage as From Coast to Coast as she did for The Florida Filly. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.


An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.

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