Will Take Charge surges to victory in the Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday at Parx Racing. (Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)
Will Take Charge overpowered Moreno in the stretch of the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday at Parx Racing and surged clear to win by 2 ¼ lengths for his third graded stakes victory of the year.
Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, Will Take Charge won the Rebel Stakes in March but was unplaced in each of the three legs of the Triple Crown.
The Unbridled’s Song colt regained his best form this summer, however, finishing second in the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course before posting a thrilling win by a nose over Moreno in the Travers Stakes on Aug. 24 at Saratoga.
The Pennsylvania Derby featured a rematch of the Travers top two. Just as he did in the Travers, Moreno went right to the lead and set a strong pace through a half-mile in :46.74.
Will Take Charge found a nice rhythm under Luis Saez while racing in fifth in the 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby, but he was trapped behind horses approaching the stretch.
Saez guided Will Take Charge to an opening on the inside and he responded powerfully to seize command. Moreno tried to keep pace but could not match strides with the victor who was much the best on Saturday as the 2.30-to-1 favorite.
WILL TAKE CHARGE WINS 2013 PENNSYLVANIA DERBY
Photo By Barbara Weidl / EQUI-PHOTO
Will Take Charge improved to five wins and two seconds in 13 lifetime starts and boosted his career earnings to $1,827,371 with his second straight win in a $1 million race.
Horton purchased him for $425,000 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale. His dam (mother) is multiple Grade 1 winner Take Charge Lady.
The Pennsylvania Derby-Travers double moves Will Take Charge into the race for the Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old male.
For an Equibase chart, click here.