Will Take Charge, Strong Mandate Breeze
Photo: Reed Palmer/Churchill Downs
Will Take Charge
Newly minted 3-year-old champion Will Take Charge   drilled a half-mile Feb. 2 at Oaklawn Park in preparation for his expected start in the $500,00 Donn Handicap (gr. I) Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park and Casino. 
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas was pleased with the colt's breeze in :49 4/5 on a sloppy track while stablemate and classics hopeful Strong Mandate   posted a bullet :48 3/5 for the same distance. 
"In light of the track, I thought the work went real well," Lukas said of Will Take Charge's move. "It was aggressive, strong and I wouldn't change a thing." 
Willis Horton's Will Take Charge is schedule to leave Feb. 3 for South Florida, where he will make his seasonal debut as the 123 highweight in the Donn, a 1 1/8-mile test for older horses.
Horton said earlier last week that the early season campaign for the 4-year-old Unbridled's Song colt will consist of the Donn, March 8 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), and the April 12 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) victor and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) third-place finisher Strong Mandate, who is among the 413 early nominations for this year's Triple Crown series, is preparing to start his year in Oaklawn's $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 17. 
"His work was just awesome," said Lukas said of the Tiznow   colt, whose breeze was the fastest of 76 at the distance.
Strong Mandate is campaigned by Robert Baker and William Mack. 

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