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 1 Clark Handicap on November 23.
Take Charge Indy, winner of the Grade 1 Florida Derby, breezed a bullet three furlongs in :35 3/5 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 Grade 2 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."
Owners Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Sandford 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 Courage, winner of the Grade 2 Super Derby and most recently second behind Neck 'n Neck in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby, 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."
Cease, runner-up to Pool Play in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup, breezed five furlongs in 1:02 2/5, 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.
Thirty horses were nominated for the 138th running of the $400,000 Clark, including Grade 1 winners Game on Dude, Shackleford, Pool Play, and Coil. Weights for the Clark will be announced Friday.