According to Patrick Byrne, trainer of Florida Derby winner, Take Charge Indy, will ship to Churchill Downs early for the May 5 Kentucky Derby. “We’ll ship to Kentucky in 10 days,” Byrne said on April 1. “We’re going to Churchill Downs and back off for a couple of weeks and freshen him up. We’ll give him a couple of half mile runs.”
With three-time Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel on board, Take Charge Indy recorded his first victory over winners in the $1 million Florida Derby. Borel has the return mount aboard Take Charge Indy in the Run for the Roses.
“Calvin rides Churchill so well. He’s a smart, heads-up rider. He’s a big-money rider, everyone knows that,” Byrne said. “He suits the colt well.”
Byrne said that Take Charge Indy, who has been based at Palm Meadows Trainer Center, was doing fine after the biggest effort of the colt’s career. Byrne said there was no need to do much analyzing of Take Charge Indy’s performance in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. “It was pretty straightforward. He broke sharp and Calvin did a super job,” he said.
Meanwhile, trainer Michael Matz said he had not firmed up his Kentucky Derby plans for Union Rags, who finished a neck behind Reveron in third. It was Union Rags second loss in six lifetime starts.
“We’re going to be here (at Palm Meadows) for at least two weeks, then after that we’re going to make the decision whether we go up to Keeneland, Churchill, or stay here,” Matz said. “Those are three options and a lot depends on how the weather is. We’ll play it by ear.”
“I think he ran his race, I just think they went slow the first part and there wasn’t much we could do about it,” Matz said. “The good part is I hope that Julien learned about the horse a little bit more. When they did go that slow, I think he would have tried to press the pace, but he was stuck in that trap and couldn’t get out of there. He knows he’s on a horse that people are going to try to get him beat, and that’s what happened. The good thing about it is Julien will put himself in a better position where he won’t let that happen again.”
Matz reported that Union Rags came out of the Florida Derby in good order and was acting frisky when turned out in a paddock at Palm Meadows early Sunday morning.
“Obviously, I think he only ran the last quarter of a mile, so hopefully it wasn’t a tough race on him. Maybe the good part of it is that he didn’t run a hard race going into the Derby,” said Matz. “But it was just disappointing because I thought he was the best horse going in.”
Elsewhere, trainer Augustin Bezara said runner-up Reveron would be pointed toward the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Todd Pletcher reported that El Padrino came out of his fourth-place finish “really well.”
Tags: 2012 Kentucky Derby tickets, Augustin Bezara, Calvin Borel, Churchill Downs, El Padrino, Gulfstream Park, horse racing, Keeneland, Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Derby horses, Kentucky derby prep, Kentucky Derby Tours, Michael Matz, Patrick Byrne, Reveron, Take Charge Indy, Todd Pletcher, Union Rags