"It was pretty devastating," said trainer Bob Baffert of Take Control, who was campaigned by Kaleem Shah. "He was breezing, and right before he came to the quarter pole, he took a bad step. It was really quick—there was no warning."
The lightly raced 6-year-old chestnut horse had been under consideration for the Nov. 1 Breeders' Cup Marathon (gr. II). Breeders' Cup success flows through Take Control's bloodlines as his dam, Azeri, won the 2002 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), while his sire, A.P. Indy, captured the 1992 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I).
Take Control broke his maiden on his first try at 2 on Dec. 30, 2009. Due to shin problems that required two surgeries, however, he did not race again until the summer of 2012, when he took an allowance optional claiming contest at Betfair Hollywood Park, followed by a fourth in that year's San Diego Handicap (gr. II). In his final start, Take Control finished unplaced in the Sept. 28 Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) off a 14-month layoff. He had career earnings of $70,450.
"It's really tough...he's a nice horse, and he's been with us a long time," Baffert said. "It was a really sad day at the barn. It's a part of the business that makes you not want to be in it, but things happen, and it's just bad luck. One bad step and that's what happens."
Bred in Kentucky by the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust, Take Control—then named Vallenzeri—was a $7.7 million RNA at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale. The following year, he fetched $1.9 million from Shah at the Keeneland April 2-year-olds in training sale when consigned by Eddie Woods, agent.