Breeders Cup Classic For Derby Winner
Will Take Charge produced what is becoming a trademark finish to land Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for trainer D. Wayne Lukas
Sent off favourite at 2-1 in a field of eight 3-year-olds, Wil Take Charge won his second major sophomore test in a row after claiming the G1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
"His maturity is really starting to take hold," Lukas said. "I really think he gained 25-30 pounds since the Travers."
Lukas said Will Take Charge will leave for Kentucky and will train at Churchill Downs until he ships to California for the Breeders' Cup Classic on November 2.
"He is going to get better," Lukas said.
"He had a great four weeks after the Travers and he will get a nice five-week break now. We are going to turn the page on this one and look forward to the Breeders Cup."
Will Take Charge is now firmly in the mix for the champion 3YO title for 2013.
"It is going to come down to head to head," Lukas said. "I am not blown away to think we are going to overwhelm anything, but we are very much in the picture and it will come down to head to head competition."
Will YTake Charge settled fourth on the outside heading into the first turn and hit a comfortable stride under jockey Luis Saez while Travers runner-up Moreno took his customary place in the lead.
Into the far turn Will Take Charge shifted toward an opening left on the rail when a tiring Moreno drifted out and burst through the gap to take the lead, drawing off under steady handling to win by more than two lengths.
Moreno held second with Battier getting third after a big run off the turn.
Will Take Charge improved his record to five wins and two seconds from 12 starts and has come into his own after campaigning in all three Triple Crown races in which he finished off the board.
Champion five-year-old California Chrome raised the roof at Del Mar when he fought out a thrilling finish to the G2 San Diego Handicap in his first appearance since his World Cup win in Dubai in March.