Florida Derby Winner Take Charge Indy Keeps Byrne Smiling
BOYNTON BEACH, FL – After watching Florida Derby (G1) winner Take Charge Indy work five furlongs easily Thursday morning at Palm Meadows in 1:00 2/5, trainer Pat Byrne lowered his binoculars as the colt was galloping out and said to a handful of onlookers on the clocker’s stand, “There you go. How do you like those apples?”
Palm Meadows clocker Bryan Walls had Take Charge Indy in :11 3/5, :23 3/5, :35 3/5, :47 3/5 and galloping out in 1:14 3/5 under exercise rider Susie Bricker. The colt worked in company with Zimmer, a fourth-place finisher March 11 at Gulfstream in a $66,100 allowance optional claimer.
“To sum it up in a word – magnificent,” said Byrne later back at his barn. “The track here is in great shape. It was a super work. He couldn’t be doing any better. He’s ready to go. He was just stretching his legs this morning. Visually, it was very impressive. I’m delighted.”
Said Bricker, “He went super…so easy. As soon as the horse came up to us in the stretch he took off again.”
Byrne, trainer of 1997 Horse of the Year Favorite Trick and 1998 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Awesome Again, said Take Charge Indy would ship to Louisville and Churchill Downs Tuesday for the May 5 Kentucky Derby (G1).
“He’s just going to go back to galloping,” Byrne said. “I schooled him in the gate Tuesday, so we don’t have to worry about that. All we’ll do at Churchill next week is gallop over the track. He may two minute lick a little, but he likes the track. He worked a bullet prior to (last year’s Breeders’ Cup) Juvenile (G1). He doesn’t need to do anymore than what he’s done today. He’s really mentally sharp and ready to go.
“We’re looking forward to this race. He’s had a nice rest since the Florida Derby. Things couldn’t have gone better since the Florida Derby. It’s been perfect, and a mile and a quarter with his pedigree is right up the street.”
Take Charge Indy, a son of A.P. Indy, is owned by Chuck and Maribeth Sandford. The colt, fifth at Churchill Downs in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, will be ridden in the Derby by Calvin Borel.