Highlighting the list of more than 100 horses who recorded published workouts at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning was Take Charge Indy, Bourbon Courage and Cease. The trio of stakes winners is being pointed to the Grade I Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare on Nov. 23.
Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC’s Take Charge Indy, winner of the Florida Derby (GI) prior to finishing 19th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), breezed a “bullet” three furlongs in :35.60 with Calvin Borel aboard.
It was nothing but smiles at trainer Pat Byrne’s barn following the work.
“This horse is doing so good,” Borel said. “The race at Keeneland (third in the GII Fayette) was an awesome race. I’m not scared of anyone right now, especially after this morning. Pat has done such a good job with this horse and this horse is just starting to get good. He’s just going to get better and better.”
Byrne was equally as happy with the colt’s performance on a crystal clear fall morning.
“He worked super, so we’re ready to go,” Byrne said. “You couldn’t have a horse work any better than that.”
The Sandfords were on hand for the work, as was Elliott Walden, president, CEO and racing manager of WinStar Farm, where Take Charge Indy will stand at stud following his racing career.
“He’s only had eight races, so he’s a lightly raced horse,” Chuck Sandford said. “No wear and tear. He’s the best Patrick has ever had him, so we have no excuses. We’re ready to run.”
Bourbon Lane Stable and Wayne Lynn’s Bourbon Courage, winner of the Super Derby (GII) and most recently second behind Neck ’n Neck in the Indiana Derby (GII), breezed five furlongs in 1:00. It was the second fastest of 48 at the distance.
“He’s really doing good right now,” trainer Kellyn Gorder said. “I can’t wait for the race.”
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s Cease, runner-up to Pool Play in the Hawthorne Gold Cup (GII), breezed five furlongs in 1:02.40, which ranked 33rd at the distance.
“The horse is doing really well,” trainer Al Stall Jr. said. “Maybe it’s his turn.”
Take Charge Indy, Bourbon Courage and Cease will have their final works prior to the Clark next weekend at Churchill Downs.
NOMINATIONS RELEASED FOR CLOSING-WEEK STAKES – Nominations for the five graded-stakes events to be run during closing-week at Churchill Downs were released Saturday. Headlining the 158 nominations are Shackleford, Game on Dude, Take Charge Indy, Uncaptured and Sign.
Thirty horses were nominated for the 138th running of the $400,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI), including Grade I winners Game on Dude, Shackleford, Pool Play, Take Charge Indy and Coil. Weights for the Clark will be announced Friday.
Thirteen fillies and mares were nominated for the 97th running of the $150,000-added Falls City Handicap (GII), including Grade I winner Daisy Devine and multiple graded-stakes winners Afleeting Lady, Arena Elvira, Brushed by a Star, Joyful Victory, Juanita and Salty Strike. Weights for the race on Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 22 will be announced Friday.
Fifty-one 2-year-old colts and geldings were nominated for the 86th running of the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) on the Stars of Tomorrow II program on Nov. 24. The list of nominations includes Iroquois (GIII) winner Uncaptured, Nashua (GII) winner Violence and Futurity (GII) winner Overanalyze.
Twenty-seven 2-year-old fillies were nominated for the 69th running of the $150,000-added Golden Rod (GII) on Nov. 24. Multiple Grade I-winner Executiveprivilege leads the list of nominations that alsoincludes Pocahontas (GII) winner Sign.
The list of nominations for the 35th running of the $100,000-added River City Handicap (GIII) on closing day on Nov. 25 includes Grade II winners Dominus and Guys Reward. Weights for the River City will be announced Nov. 18.
PEDIGREE NOTES FOR SUNDAY – The Fall Meet at Churchill Downs is known for showcasing 2-year-olds with the Stars of Tomorrow programs, but there are plenty of potential juvenile stars that race throughout the meet. A perfect example of this is Sunday’s sixth race, which includes several high-profile bloodlines.
#2 Indygoflyer – out of the multiple Grade I-placed mare Jade Queen
#3 Louie Villain – out of Grade I winner Pampered Princess
#5 Boundless Heart – half-brother to multiple graded-stakes winner Bizzy Caroline
#6 Dominate – half-brother to graded-stakes placed Mr. Whitestone
#7 Majestic Lad – out of stakes winner Cat’s Glow
#8 Squall King – full-brother to Grade I-placed colt Finnegans Wake
#9 Lurego – half-brother to Grade I winner Turallure
#11 Quick Trial – half-brother to stakes winner Town Queen
AE #16 Redwood Kitten – full-brother to stakes winner Artemus Kitten
AE #17 Gunderson – half-brother to Grade I winner and champion Hansen
DOWN THE STRETCH – Illegally Blonde’s victory in Friday’s first race was number 309 for trainer Ken McPeek at Churchill Downs. He moves into 12th in the all-time standings … Corey Lanerie became just the 19th jockey in Churchill Downs history to reach the 400-win milestone when he won Friday’s eighth race aboard Pushthebuttonmax … The Spanish Hope’s victory in Friday’s second race was the first career win at Churchill Downs for jockey Azael De Leon … Churchill Downs will host Family Fun Days Presented by Kroger on Sunday. Activities, which will take place on the Horsemen’s Balcony overlooking the Paddock, include pumpkin painting, face painting, corn hole and a visit from Churchill Charlie.