2014 Donn Handicap

Donn Handicap at Gulfstream

Will Take ChargeIt is time to preview the Grade 1 Donn Handicap for four year olds and upward going a distance of 11/8 miles with a purse of  $500,000. It is a privilege to be previewing this race because a horse that I touted all of last year is participating in this one. The morning line favorite in the Donn is D. Wayne Lukas’ Will Take Charge and that of course is the horse I am talking about. I touted him from a dream I had prior to the Kentucky Derby and I remained loyal to him throughout his three year old campaign. This is the only time that he was the favorite with the exception of the Pennsylvania Derby. He likes to lay just off the pace and make one big run down the stretch. And boy can you see him coming, because of the blaze he sports. I don’t know why, but I have become very fond of Will Take Charge. He will be ridden by Luis Saez. But you all know how I detest betting the favorite, so let’s go on and try to find someone that can beat him. Second choice in the ML is Nicholas Gonzalez’s River Seven. He has won three in a row including a Grade 3 at Churchill in November. He will be ridden by Joseph Rocco and he likes to be close to the pace. In fact he may well have the early lead here and try to go wire to wire. He is weighted  seven pounds less than Will Take Charge and three pounds less than Revolutionary. I have to ask this question. If the racing secretary has appointed him to be second choice in the morning line, then why does he carry less weight than Revolutionary who is appointed to be third choice? It doesn’t make sense.

River SevenNext in the morning line is Todd Pletcher’s Revolutionary. He was laid off from June 8 until January 11 when he won an optional Claiming race for $100,000. He has been training forwardly for this one and is getting four pounds less than Will but three pounds more than the second choice??? Last year his running style was from well back of the pack and then make a furious charge down the stretch. Javier Castellano will be aboard for his Stakes debut of 2014. This is somewhat a tough handicapping assignment. The racing secretary assigns weights according to which horse he thinks is the best with that one getting the most weight and his second choice getting the next weight package and so on. Will Take Charge’s only other Handicap race was the Clark in which he carried 123lbs. That is what he is carrying in this race. I am a little worried that he hasn’t run since November 29th, but he has been working out just fine. Anyway this is how I see it. I am going to stay loyal to Will Take Charge and pick him to win it in a photo with River Seven second and Revolutionary third. Enjoy the race!




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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of With over 38 years of experience and a degree in the "School of Hard Knocks" for handicapping, Mike has seen it all when it comes to thoroughbred racing and wants to help other horse players learn how to handicap and avoid the mistakes he has made in the past.

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