Take Charge Indy to debut for WinStar Farm in Donn
Trainer Patrick Byrne is looking forward to a Happy New Year, now that an agreement has been finalized to return Take Charge Indy to the races for the 2013 season.
WinStar Farm, which recently purchased 100 percent of the 2012 Grade 1 Florida Derby winner's breeding rights, will campaign the four-year-old colt in partnership with Chuck and Maribeth Sandford this season.
Take Charge Indy is scheduled to race in the colors of WinStar for the first time in the Grade 1, $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on February 9.
"It worked well for Patrick Byrne. Not having him in the barn would be a tough stall to fill. It's a win-win, situation for everybody," Byrne said. "We're going to have a lot of fun with him this year. He's doing everything we expect from him, so we're looking forward to the Donn. Is he going to win it? Who knows? But he'll run his race."
Take Charge Indy, who is stabled at Palm Meadows Training Center, demonstrated an affinity for the Gulfstream Park racing surface last April while capturing the $1 million Florida Derby. His subsequent run in the Kentucky Derby was compromised by an injury that caused him to miss more than five months of racing. The son of A.P. Indy returned to finish third in the Grade 2 Fayette at Keeneland and second behind Shackleford in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill on November 23.
"He's doing fantastic," Byrne said. "We had our second breeze the other day (December 31), just stretching his legs with a half in :49. He'll have four more works, I guess, before the Donn."
Byrne has been impressed with Take Charge Indy's physical development.
"He's picked up some good weight going into this four-year-old year, and that's what we like to see as horsemen from any three-year-old going into his four-year-old year," Byrne said. "They always do well coming into Florida. They just seem to grow and develop for obvious reasons: the sun and everything."
Byrne said no racing schedule has been set for his colt.
"I have no idea where he'll run after the Donn," he said. "At the end of the day, we're all just trying to make the Breeders' Cup Classic at the end of the year."
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