Take Control, the $1.9 million 2-year-old who broke his maiden impressively at first asking but was sidelined before he could make it onto the Triple Crown trail earlier this season, had his first recorded work in five months June 18 at Santa Anita.
A son of champions A.P. Indy and Azeri, Take Control breezed three furlongs for trainer Bob Baffert on the Pro-Ride, stopping the clock in :36 4/5. Baffert was excited to see the regally-bred chestnut colt back on the track.
“He was off for his shins; he bucked his shins,” Baffert said. “He’s really filled out since then; he’s changed a lot.
“He went well. We’re just starting him back. I don’t have any long-term plans for him right now.”
Take Control won his only start last December at Santa Anita, scoring a one-mile maiden special weight by 1 1/2 lengths while coming from off the pace under Martin Garcia. Baffert said Take Control, who is owned by Kaleem Shah, was a legitimate Triple Crown threat before his injury, but admitted that in hindsight the time off was probably a good thing for him.
“He went right to the 2-year-old sale (at Keeneland in April, 2009) and was rushed a bit,” Baffert said. “(Bloodstock agent) Eddie Woods had to get him ready pretty quickly.
“The time off was probably for the best. He was immature. His mother was a late-developing horse too. It was a blessing in disguise, I think. He looks so much better now than last year.”
Take Control, who was bred in Kentucky by The Allen E. Paulson Living Trust, was consigned to the Keeneland September 2008 yearling sale by Hill ‘n Dale Sales Agency, agent, but was bought back for a record $7.7 million.