Will Take Charge continued his recent winning ways with a dramatic tally in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G2) at PARX Racing on Sept. 21.
Will Take Charge, winner of the Travers Stakes (G1) in his previous start, was handled patiently by jockey Luis Saez in the race’s early stages. Behind a wall of horses on the far turn, the son of Unbridled’s Song was angled to the inside by Saez. Once in the clear, Will Take Charge hit the front and drew away from pacesetter Moreno. Kept to task through the lane, Will Take Charge won by 2 1/4 lengths.
Sent off as the betting favorite at 2-1, Will Take Charge paid $6.60, 3.80 and 2.80. Moreno (3-1) fought back to reclaim second and paid 3.80 and 2.80. Battier, the longest price on the board, finished a respectable third and paid 6.80. The final time for the mile and an eighth on a track labeled fast was 1:49.28. While trainer D. Wayne Lukas has won virtually every important race in America over his legendary career, Saturday’s victory with Will Take Charge was his first in the 34-year history of the Pennsylvania Derby.
Owned by Willis Horton, Will Take Charge is out of Take Charge Lady. He is now an earner of more than $1.8 million and is a winner in five of 13 lifetime starts.