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Dec 06, 2013

Will Take Charge edges Game On Dude in Clark Handicap


Louisville, KY ( - Leading 3-year-old Will Take Charge caught 6-5 favorite Game On Dude just before the wire to win Friday's $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Will Take Charge, ridden by Luis Saez, had been racing off the pace being set by Our Double Play with Game On Dude pressing the leader from the outside in the nine-horse field.

Around the final turn in the 1 1/8-mile handicap, Game On Dude and jockey Mike Smith moved to the lead with Will Take Charge gaining from the outside into second. Game On Dude had the lead coming out of the turn with the 3-year-old in second on the outside.

With a furlong to go Game On Dude had a two-length lead over the 2-1 second pick. Approaching the wire, Will Take Charge drew even with the favorite and was able to post a head victory over the 6-year-old gelding.

Easter Gift finished third followed by Finnegans Wake, Bourbon Courage, Golden Ticket, Prayer for Relief, Our Double Play and Jaguar Paw.

The time for the Clark was 1:49.39 on a fast track.

Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, Will Take Charge was making his first start since finishing second by a nose to Mucho Macho Man in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 2.

The Clark victory was worth $327,777 as the colt went over $3 million in career earnings. Will Take Charge notched his fifth win in 11 starts this year for $2.96 million.

Owned by Willis Horton, Will Take Charge finished first or second in his previous four starts, which include victories in the Travers and Pennsylvania Derby.

He was eighth in the Kentucky Derby, seventh in the Preakness and 10th in the Belmont Stakes.

Game On Dude suffered his second straight defeat after beginning the year with five consecutive wins. Trained by Bob Baffert, the gelding was ninth in the Breeders' Cup Classic as the 17-10 favorite.

"Dude showed up today. Happy for my friend D Wayne Lukas. Will Take Charge HOY?," Baffert tweeted.

Will Take Charge returned $6.80, $3.00 and $2.60. Game On Dude paid $3.40 and $2.60, and Easter Gift paid $5.20 to show.

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