The dramatic late charge by Will Take Charge in yesterday’s Clark clinched, we’re told, the 3yo male Eclipse for Wayne Lukas’ horse. (And how about some kind of award for the trainer if his overall stats don’t qualify for the traditional honors…..some kind of Special Achievement Award?) As far as I’m concerned, he’d already clinched that award with his second place finish in the Classic, and should now be considered for Horse of the Year. Wise Dan? Yawn. Nobody outside of our little circle of racing fans even knows who he is.
The running lines for Will Take Charge have to be amongst the most unique one will ever see. After his debut at Saratoga in August, 2012, he’s either been first or second, or beaten by anywhere from 12 to 25 lengths!
I find that imperfection to be rather perfect in this case. This horse’s 2013 campaign is a mirror of his running style; lagging early on and closing with a burst one might describe as electric. (Though maybe we shouldn’t.) Perhaps a Horse of the Year award for Will Take Charge would be an inspiration to other trainers and owners to take some chances and actually race their horses, instead of the cautious approach which hasn’t seemed to do much for anyone or anything, including the health and soundness of the horses. In addition, these running lines serve as a thumb in the nose to the Triple Crown series. The way we traditionally give extra weighting in awards consideration to three-year olds for their early season performance is as illogical as horses staggering to the wire after running all-out in the early stages of the race. Indeed, there were some who still believed – at least until the Clark – that Orb should have won the 3yo honors. Ridiculous.
Kudos also to Game On Dude, and to his connections for making the trip east. Honestly, if I’d been around to bet on the race, I would have left him completely off my tickets. Indeed, perhaps the six-year old son of Awesome Again will take small consolation in being awarded the top TimeformUS speed figure for the race (122, to 119 for Will Take Charge) for his brave effort in tracking the hot early fractions (23 4/5, 23 2/5, 23 4/5) and then hanging game to the wire.
Still a lot of racing to come this weekend, and those of you who have not yet purchased TimeformUS past performances can check out the three day Trial Plan. And our unlimited daily access if available for the still low price of $5.99.