The Santa Anita Handicap became the West Coast's most prestigious racing event by consistently bringing out the best people and horses. The race's history has been dotted with gritty campaigners who just don't give up.
Will Take Charge breezed a bullet half-mile March 2 at Oaklawn Park in his final local workout ahead of a tantalizing showdown with Mucho Macho Man and Game On Dude in the March 8 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I).
Champion Will Take Charge arrived by van early the morning of Feb. 4 at Gulfstream Park, where he is slated to make his 2014 debut in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) on Feb. 9.
Will Take Charge, recently crowned 3-year-old champion male, will be the 123-pound highweight for his 4-year-old debut, the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) on Feb. 9 at Gulfstream Park.
Will Take Charge remains on course for his 2014 debut in the $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 9, but a start in the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) is unlikely, owner Willis Horton says.
Three runners who delivered remarkably different campaigns in 2013 face off for Horse of the Year honors at the Jan. 18 Eclipse Awards, highlighting the open-for-interpretation nature of the category.
In a year when the 3-year-old male leaderboard kept changing by the month, it should come as no surprise that a horse like Will Take Charge, who excelled from August to November, be the frontrunner for the Eclipse Award.
Three Chimneys Farm has secured a 50% interest in multiple grade I-winning 3-year-old Will Take Charge, this year's favorite for the Eclipse Award as 3-year-old male champion and also a Horse of the Year candidate.
Owner Willis Horton isn't in a hurry to make a deal for likely 3-year-old champion Will Take Charge, and hasn't signed stud contracts or partnership agreements for the chestnut son of Unbridled's Song, he said Dec. 19.
Willis Horton's Will Take Charge was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the Churchill Downs barn of trainer D. Wayne Lukas the morning after winning the Nov. 29 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I).
- By Claire Novak
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas and owner Willis Horton discuss Will Take Charge's win the 2013 Clark Handicap. Watch Video
Willis Horton's Will Take Charge, gearing up for a bid in the Nov. 29 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. I), breezed five furlongs Nov. 22 at Churchill Downs in 1:01 for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.
A nose loss to Mucho Macho Man in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (Grade I) at Santa Anita Park by Willis D. Horton's Will Take Charge might not be the late-blooming sophomore's final race of the season.
Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contenders livened up the worktabs at Santa Anita Park and Churchill Downs Oct. 8, as Game On Dude cruised around his California base and Fort Larned and Will Take Charge drilled in Kentucky.
Willis Horton's Will Take Charge finally got the big one, and did so at the expense of the country's top 3-year-olds in the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 24 at Saratoga Race Course.
Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Oxbow, stablemate Will Take Charge, and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up Golden Soul turned in preparations for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on the morning of May 30 at Churchill Downs.
Will Take Charge and Goldencents are at the opposite ends of this year's sales histories for horses entered in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Normandy Invasion and Will Take Charge both worked over a fast Churchill Downs main track April 21 as they near their scheduled starts in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands.
Willis Horton's Will Take Charge notched his first stakes victory Jan. 21 when he got the best of eight other 3-year-olds in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Lemons Forever, the longshot winner of this year's Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), was scheduled to be sold following her run in the Nov. 4 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I). But she never left her stall in the Churchill Downs barn of trainer and co-owner Dallas Stewart.
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