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Apr 06, 2012

Take Charge Indy steals Florida Derby from favorite


Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - Take Charge Indy, ridden by Calvin Borel, took the lead early and went all the way to post an upset victory in Saturday's $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. The three-year-old colt covered the 1 1/8-miles in 1:48.79 on a fast track.

The field of eight was headed by 2-5 favorite Union Rags and 5-2 second choice El Padrino. Take Charge Indy, trained by Patrick Byrne, was the 7-1 third pick.

Breaking first from the gate was Reveron with Take Charge Indy quickly taking the lead entering the clubhouse turn. Borel's mount led the field into the backstretch followed by Reveron, Neck 'N Neck, El Padrino and Union Rags. El Padrino was along the rail with Union Rags to his outside.

Up the backstretch it was still Take Charge Indy leading the way with no changes to the next four runners. Entering the far turn, Union Rags was passed by Fort Loudon as Take Charge Indy led the field around the turn.

Coming into the stretch, Take Charge Indy still had the lead with Reveron second and Union Rags moving up the inside into third. The favorite, ridden by Julien Leparoux, moved off the rail for the final run down the stretch.

Take Charge Indy powered through the stretch to register a length win over 31-1 longshot Reveron. Union Rags, coming off a win in last month's Fountain of Youth, fell just short to finish third with El Padrino getting fourth.

"Just a terrific race, we're very proud of him," said the winning trainer.

Completing the order of finish was Neck 'N Neck, Fort Loudon, News Pending and Camelot. Bartolome was scratched in the morning by trainer Jose Garoffalo because of a bruised foot.

Take Charge Indy, a son of 1992 champion colt A.P. Indy, picked up $600,000 for the win, enough to guarantee a spot in the Kentucky Derby on May 5. Owned by Charles and Maribeth Sandford, it was just the colt's second career victory in six starts with total earnings of $721,000.

It was also the first Florida Derby win for Calvin Borel, who has won three Kentucky Derbies.

After winning in his first start last July at Arlington Park, Take Charge Indy finished second in the Arlington-Washington Futurity and fourth at Keeneland in the Breeders Futurity. The colt was fifth behind Hansen and Union Rags in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November at Churchill Downs. His only other start this year was a second in an optional allowance at Gulfstream.

Take Charge Indy returned $17.40, $9.00 and $3.60. Reveron paid $18.40 and $4.00, and Union Rags paid $2.10 to show.

Recent Florida Derby winners to go on and capture the Run for the Roses were Monarchos (2001), Barbaro (2006) and Big Brown (2008).

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