The Dream Became a Nightmare, Will Take Charge Disappoints

Will Take Charge Takes 7th in 2013 Preakness

Will Take Charge Did you ever have a date with a woman who was so beautiful that you thought this is the one? In anticipation of the date you did everything possible to put on a good impression, you saved up a great sum of money to spend on your dream date, and thought everything was ready to set on course the string of events that would place you in eternal bliss.

When the date finally arrived and you were in the middle of it, to your dismay, the chick could talk only about her favorite subject, herself, and when it came time for the kiss, it was like kissing someone through a screen door. The date ends and you were painfully aware that, although she was beautiful and sexy, she was obviously a disappointment to you.

Well that was how I felt about Will Take Charge in The Preakness. I don’t know whether to blame the horse or the jockey or the trainer for his pitiful run for the Blackeyed Susans. Lukas said that he gets paid to spoil dreams, well whether he knew it or not, he spoiled mine by not winning with Will Take Charge.


Mike Smith “Follows” Gary Stevens in Preakness

Mike SmithBefore the race the NBC commentator interviewed Mike Smith and the eventual winner Gary Stevens and Smith said he was going to follow the old veteran Stevens in the race. Well that he did. He followed him alright-to a 7th place finish.

Stevens also said something that was interesting. He said he was not going to push Oxbow out of the gate but rather have him settle in.  What? Oxbow led every step of the way and was 1st at every call in the race becoming the first Preakness winner to go wire to wire since Aloma’s Ruler in 1982.

Whether Stevens was using psychology or just made a mistake in judging the pace of the race in his pre-race interview, he certainly did push Oxbow from the gate quickly.

But back to the horse in question.  The Lukas charge of Will Take Charge made absolutely no effort whatsoever to win or even get in the money. It was as bad a ride I have seen from Mike Smith since, well let’s see, his ride on Palace Malice in the Derby where he set the 4th fastest fractions in Derby history, knowing  his horse could not sustain that pace and win the Derby.

Will Take Charge Headed for Belmont?

2013 Rebel StakesSo why am I ranting so much about Will Take Charge’s effort in the Preakness? Many of you will say “Hey, get over it. The horse is just not the caliber of horse that Oxbow or Orb or some of the others.” Well I don’t believe that for a second. Will Take Charge defeated Oxbow in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn.

What am I saying? Do I think there was a conspiracy to give the win to Gary Stevens, the 50 year old Jockey? Of course not. I believe Stevens rode a great ride and absolutely stole the Preakness Stakes. But I also believe that Mike Smith rode a terrible ride and did not even try to win it.

So my dream about Will Take Charge turned into a nightmare. It seems you just can’t trust dreams anymore. Of course Lukas says he will probably run Will Take Charge in the Belmont. Why? Did he show anything to make him want to run him a mile and a half? Maybe Lukas saw something, but I did not. Unless of course Lukas knows that he did not run up to snuff in the race. Will I bet him again?  I am more or less forced to. I have invested too much in the horse not to. Who knows, the third time may be a charm. Or maybe its three strikes-you are out…


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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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