Will Take Charge made a move along the rail in the final quarter mile en route to a two-length victory in the Grade 2 $1 million Pennsylvania Derby at Parx on Saturday afternoon. At the break Moreno, second to Will Take Charge in the Travers last month, grabbed the lead but never got the easy lead he and jockey Jose Ortiz might have anticipated and had to settle for second. Battier, the longest shot on the board at 17/1, held on for third.
While the morning line odds painted a clear picture of the top contenders for the Pennsylvania Derby (Will Take Charge and Moreno), the bettors saw the race as a more open affair than track officials. The entry of Transparent and Romansh was bet from 8/1 down to 5/2, while Fury Kaprcori, another 8/1 morning line horse, dropped to 6/1.
Will Take Charge is a three-year-old colt by Unbridled's Song out of Take Charge Lady (Dehere), trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Luis Saez. His victory in the Pennsylvania Derby is his third graded stakes victory of the year (G1-Travers, G2-Rebel) and adds another line on his resume to be named Champion 3YO Colt at the end of the season.
Will Take Charge will likely make his next start in the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park on November 2nd. A victory in that race would easily assure him of being named the top three-year-old colt of 2013, although a change to win Horse of the Year honors is a long shot, at best. Runner-up Morneo would also appear to be a good candidate for the Classic as the Santa Anita main track should fit his front-running style to a "T".
Below are the results and payouts for the Pennsylvania Derby at Parx:
|7-Will Take Charge||$6.60||$3.80||$2.80|
|Base||Bet||Combo||Payout||Pays to -|