Penn Derby- WTC & Moreno Rematch

2013 Pennsylvania Derby

Will Take Charge Beats Moreno in TraversLet’s take a look at the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby for 3 year olds going a distance of 11/8 miles with a purse of 1,000,000. This race has some interesting participants so let’s get to it and figure it out. The morning line favorite is Will Take Charge at 2 to 1. Did I actually say that he was the morning line favorite? Most of you know that I have touted him in every race he has been in from the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Jim Dandy and of course the Travers. I finally got it right in the Travers and he finally vindicated me. I dreamed about him before the Derby and have given him the nod in every race since. And now he is the favorite in this race. You all also know how I try and beat the favorites in almost all races. We’ll see what happens here, but first I want to talk about something else.

In the Travers Will Take Charge got up and nosed out Moreno for the win. Eric Guillot, trainer of Moreno, made an outlandish accusation against Will Take Charge saying that his rider, Luis Saez used a buzzer to get his horse to pass Moreno and win the race. To believe that D. Wayne Lukas would stoop to such a level as to use a jockey that would put both their careers on the line is totally ridiculous. Lukas had this to say about the accusation-


“It’s just unfortunate. That’s a good kid. He (Saez) didn’t do anything wrong. It’ll run its course. The people that look at that stuff will come to the right conclusion. Somebody has a little trouble accepting defeat.”


Moreno’s trainer is a nut case. He has gone so far as to make a voodoo doll of Todd Pletcher, trainer of Travers favorites Verrazano and Palace Malice. Coincidentally, the stewards fined Guillot that same day before the race for using a mechanical massage blanket 24 hours out from a race, causing the scratch of Willyconker from the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap. He is a crybaby and does not deserve to even be in the same room as D.Wayne Lukas. There I have said it. Moreno is a fine horse and is worthy of a look here. He will be on the lead as always and if no one goes with him early, he will steal this one. He is trained by Eric Guillot and I take nothing away from Moreno just because his trainer is an idiot.

Java's WarAnother horse in here that should be considered is Java’s War. He won the Bluegrass in April, but finished a disappointing 13th in the derby. He has only raced once since then and finished 4th in the Grade 2 Swaps in July. Normally he makes a charge from well back but I expect to see him closer to the pace in this one. Todd Pletcher has Battier in here today and he will be ridden by Angel Castillo. He is a stalker that will lay pretty close to the pace, as well.

This one is a difficult race to handicap. I guess because I have been on the Will Take Charge bandwagon for so long and now he is the morning line favorite. If Will Take Charge is to win this one he will have to lay a little closer like he did in the Travers. If he is going to be the great horse I expected him to be, he will win it. I like him and will bet a little on him. Like I said before, if Moreno gets an uncontested lead it will be over. Look for Java’s War to make a late charge down the stretch.

Good luck to you all.




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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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