Will Take Charge, second in the Jim Dandy in late July, surged at long-time leader Moreno in the shadow of the wire to win the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Kentucky Derby winner Orb made a big move on the far turn and looked poised to take command of the race at the top of the stretch but could never get by Moreno. Orb faded to third at the wire, holding off Palace Malice in a photo.
Will Take Charge is a three-year-old colt by Unbridled's Song out of a Dehere mare (Take Charge Lady), trained by D. Wayne Lukas and ridden by Luis Saez.
As expected, the trio of Verrazano, Orb and Palace Malice took the majority of the wagering action from the public in the lead to the Travers. Verrazano went to the post at odds of 8/5, while Orb and Palace Malice pegged at 5/2 on the tote board. Palace Malice broke poorly from the gate and raced at the back of the pack but made a late run to get into the top four inside the final furlong. Verrazano tracked the early leaders but faded badly in the stretch, putting into doubt any chances that he'll be a serious contender for the Breeders' Cup Classic.
The results of the Travers raise some serious questions with this year's crop of three-year-old colts as we head towards the fall season and preparations for the Breeders' Cup. At this point, Verrazano looks like a horse that doesn't want anything to do with 10f. If the connections have Breeders' Cup aspirations, the Dirt Mile is probably a better fit. And while Orb probably needed a race after the long layoff, it's also possible he peaked in a sloppy Derby with an insane pace. As for Palace Malice, he might have the least questions after the Travers since his problem was more to do with the fact that he had a horrendous start.
Below are the payouts, fractions and internal splits for the Travers Stakes:
|5-Will Take Charge||$21.20||$8.60||$5.20|
|Base||Bet||Combo||Payout||Pays to -|
Prior to the Travers, Saratoga ran the G1-Test, G2-Ballston Spa and G1-King's Bishop. The results from each of those three races are below.
|8-My Happy Face||$2.50|
|7-Hard Not To Like||$7.50|