Take Charge Indy, Silver Max
back in action
Take Charge Indy, the star of the 2012 Florida Derby, will play a supporting
role on Gulfstream’s biggest day this year when he heads a field of 10 in Grade
3, $100,000 Skip
Away. The 1 3/16-mile test, which yielded eventual Breeders’ Cup Classic
winner Fort Larned last term, is one of five stakes on Saturday’s Florida Derby
and Gulfstream Park Oaks undercard.
The Pat Byrne-trained Take Charge Indy has run strongly in a trio of starts
since returning from injury last fall. Third in the Grade 2 Fayette off a near
six-month layoff, he came within a length of Shackleford in the Grade 1 Clark
Handicap in his sophomore finale. In his 2013 debut, in the Grade 1 Donn
Handicap, the son of A.P. Indy could not keep up with a loose-on-the-lead
Graydar, finishing third by eight lengths.
Cigar Street, briefly a classic prospect last year for Steve Margolis, has
won two straight allowances at Gulfstream this winter for Hall of Famer Bill
Mott. The speedy son of Street Sense will be reunited Saturday with John
Velazquez, who rode Take Charge Indy in the Donn. Rosie Napravnik picks up the
mount on the latter.
Also of note in the Skip Away are Golden Ticket, the dead-heat winner of the
Grade 1 Travers who exits a third in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap at Fair
Grounds, and Grade 2 veteran Pants On Fire, most recently an allowance winner in
the slop over a one-turn mile.
The Grade 3, $100,000
one-mile feature on the grass, marks the return of the Dale Romans-trained
Silver Max. Although unplaced in his final two starts of 2012, the Badge of
Silver colt previously won five straight stakes in wire-to-wire fashion ,
including the Grade 2 Virginia Derby, Grade 2 American Turf, and the Arlington
The main threats to Silver Max — Joes Blazing Aaron, Beau Choix and Za
Approval — finished second through fourth, respectively, in the last month’s
Grade 3 Canadian Turf. While Joes Blazing Aaron is also likely to show early
foot, Beau Choix and Za Approval might benefit from a fast pace set by that
rival and/or Silver Max.
One of Gulfstream’s oldest features, the Grade 3, $150,000
fillies and mares, attracted a field of 10 to go 1 1/2 miles on the turf.
Starformer, whose Grade 3 scores include The Very One, Long Island Handicap,
and Robert G. Dick Memorial, figures to be tested by Aigue Marine, who followed
up a close third in the Long Island with a convincing four-length allowance
triumph at Gulfstream earlier this month.
Closing Range, upset winner of the Grade 3 La Prevoyante Handicap two back,
and Florida Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf winner Regalo Mia, are other
The Grade 3, $150,000
Rampart, a 1
1/8-mile test for fillies and mares, came up soft this year with champion and
Grade 3 Sabin winner Royal Delta competing Saturday in the Dubai World Cup. The
two favorites in the Rampart will be Successful Song, a winner over Florida-breds
in the Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff and the Ocala in her last two, and Ciao
Bella, an impressive 5 3/4-length allowance scorer for owner Michael Tabor and
trainer Todd Pletcher last month.
Shackleton, at 6 1/2 furlongs, attracted a solid field of eight older
sprinters. The field includes 2012 Sir Shackleton winner Travelin Man, multiple
stakes winners Action Andy and Guam Typhoon, Grade 1 veteran Capt. Candyman Can,
and the Pletcher trainees Soaring Stocks and Spring Hill Farm.