Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is back on the Kentucky Derby trail in a big way this year after saddling the top two finishers of the Rebel Stakes (G2) on Saturday at Oaklawn Park.
In a driving finish, the Lukas trained Will Take Charge at odds of 28-1 drove past stablemate Oxbow, the second wagering choice in the race, to prevail by a head in the 1 1/16-mile Arkansas Derby prep. Ridden by Jon Court, Will Take Charge, owned by Willis D. Horton, covered the distance in 1:45.18. The Lukas exacta returned $275.80.
The winner is a son of Unbridled’s Song out of the Dehere mare Take Charge Lady. Will Take Charge now sits atop the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings with 60. Oxbow is in sixth position with 36.
“I felt pretty good 100 yards from the wire,” Lukas told Daily Racing Form. “It’s so difficult to win these. We know that the competition is so tough. Anytime you get one, let alone run one-two, we’re very gracious and very humbled by it.”