Hallandale Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Eclipse Award winner Will Take Charge is a go for the $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Sunday, Feb. 9.
The 4-year-old colt, trained by Hall of Fame member D. Wayne Lukas, will be making his 2014 debut in the 1 1/8-mile handicap with a possible meeting with rival Mucho Macho Man.
"I haven't seen the weights yet and I'm not sure who else is running, but it's the first Grade I race of the year so I thought we'd take advantage of it," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. "He's been training sensationally. He's really developed and filled out, and he's been doing very, very well."
Owned by Willis Horton, Will Take Charge suffered a nose loss to Mucho Macho Man in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. He won the Pennsylvania Derby and Travers heading into the Breeders' Cup and was second in the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga. He closed out his 3-year-old season with a win over Game On Dude in the Clark Handicap.
"I thought he was getting better and that we had a chance at the championship if we could finish up in the fall, because that's usually what happens, the horses that finish strong are the ones (that win)," Lukas said. "He developed and even though he had a very busy 3-year-old campaign, it didn't seem to affect him. He's actually better now than he's ever been. A lot of that has to do with maturity. With the way he's filled out and finally learned how to run, he could have a sensational year."
Will Take Charge posted five wins in 11 starts last year for nearly $3 million.