Florida Derby (gr. I) winner Take Charge Indy worked an easy five furlongs in 1:01 2/5 April 19 at Palm Meadows.
With trainer Pat Byrne looking on, Take Charge Indy went :24 and :48 1/5 under exercise rider Eric Rodriguez, according to clockers. Take Charge Indy, owned by Chuck and Maribeth Sandford, worked in company with Transplendent, a maiden from the barn of John Kimmel.
It was Take Charge Indy’s first work since his one-length victory in the March 31 Florida Derby under jockey Calvin Borel.
“The horse is ready, the horse is fit,” said Byrne. “Eric said he was like a Cadillac. He’ll have one more work (at Palm Meadows) next week, but he won’t have any company. I’m going to do something next week just to do something.
“I’ve never been one to beat up on a horse. He’s fit, now it’s in the hands of the racing Gods. He’ll clip off 12’s like that all day. I told the rider not to do too much and he didn’t take a deep breath.”
Take Charge Indy, a son of A.P. Indy, is scheduled to leave Palm Meadows May 1 for Churchill Downs, four days before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). He finished fourth at Churchill in the Nov. 5 Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
Byrne has little doubt Take Charge Indy will get the Derby’s 1 1/4 mile distance.
“He’ll get the 1 1/4 mile off his pedigree and ability,” he said. “It’s a wide-open Derby. I love the timing of the five weeks (between the Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby). Calvin’s very confident; he’s got a lot of confidence in the horse. He said he had plenty left after the (Florida) Derby.
“I think if you talk to seven or eight trainers they would say they wouldn’t trade places with anyone in the Derby. And I wouldn’t, either.”