The Official Order of Finish
1) Will Take Charge - broke well and sat in fifth position most of the way around, he started gathering momentum at about the 5/16ths pole and kept working and kept working to eek out the win.
“I changed up a few things,” winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. “I took a chance on an up-and-coming rider. I thought my horse trained well, but these things (races) are so tough. At the three-eighths pole, I thought we’ll get a piece of it, but I didn’t know if we’d get up.”
“This horse was training good” winning jockey Luis Saez said. “Last time, when he finished second, I saw the replays and I knew how to ride him. I tried to ride him like he runs.”
Lukas said Will Take Charge, who went off at 9-1 and scored a 107 speed figure in the win, is “doing wonderful; really good. I’m very pleased with that. He had great energy this (Sunday) morning, out grazing and feeling good, very good.”
The $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup against older horses on Sept. 28 at Belmont Park or The $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for 3-year-olds at Philadelphia’s Parx Racing on Sept. 21 are where the colt by Unbridled Song will be pointed next.
“One of them’s a Grade 1 and very prestigious. If you were to win the Jockey Club, you’d go damn sure to the head of the division,” Lukas said. “If you stay in your division, the million dollars is not necessarily bad, either. We’ll weigh all the things. You get an extra week if you go to the Jockey Club, so that’s also something.”
2) Moreno- absolutely strolled thru the early part of the race and ran his lungs out to get beat half of a nose in a very good performance.
“Brutal, huh? Last jump,” trainer Eric Guillot said. “He couldn’t have done any better—stay in the three-path, stay off the rail, make them come to you, don’t let them go inside you, don’t let them pinch you on the rail. The kid rode him just like I told him. He knows the horse and he rode him perfect; we got beat. He said the horse kind of waited on them that last part. What are you going to do?
Guillot said Moreno was “bright and doing well” Sunday morning but that his horse raced with a large abscess near his throat.
“That’s an abscess that started Monday,” said Guillot, “I think the worst day was yesterday. We started compressing it. We’re good to go now, but I thought I was going to have to scratch on Monday. We don’t know what caused it; I think an ingrown hair, maybe, or he jerked back on the chain. It got infected and went the wrong way. You don’t want to pack it and work on it too hard and too fast. Yesterday, we iced it. I gave him a lot of anti-inflammatories.”
About his horse’s race he said afterwards “Everyone thought I was talking trash, He just beat the Derby winner, the Haskell winner, and the Belmont winner, right?”
Guillot said he plans to leave Moreno at Saratoga to train up to the Pennsylvania Derby, then a possible start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to follow that.
3) Orb- was a little closer to the early pace that I though he’d be as he laid fourth most of the way around. He unleashed a big move on the turn for home while skimming the rail but lost momentum at the eighth pole to finish third in a good effort considering it was his first since the June 8 Belmont Stakes.
“I thought he ran a great race,” said trainer Shug McGaughey. “He came to the paddock the way I wanted him to, and I thought he had running on his mind. I thought Jose (Lezcano) rode him great. He was down on the inside the other two horses, and he couldn’t get by Moreno, really, after that slow pace. I’m disappointed we didn’t win, but I’m not disappointed in his effort one bit.”
Jose Lezcano, who was subbing aboard Orb for Joel Rosario, who fractured his foot the day before in a fall at Saratoga, said Orb responded well in his first race back off the brief freshener.
“I got a very good trip,” Lezcano said. “I got the position I wanted. The break was good, and he gave me his race. At the quarter pole, he accelerated, but the other horses kept going, too.”
“Now we’ve got a good, solid race under his belt, we’ve got all last winter and spring’s stuff behind us,” McGaughey added. “I think we can really move forward now. I’m going to look at the (Jockey Club) Gold Cup. That’s not to say the Pennsylvania Derby or the Indiana Derby (Oct. 5 at Indiana Downs) or something is completely out of the picture, but I think we want to go to the Gold Cup.”
4) Palace Malice- had even reason to throw in a complete clunker of a race on Saturday but he didn’t. The colt by Curlin “stumbled at the start” and was next to last (a position he is not used to) most of the way down the backside. He was then forced to go five wide on the turn for home which spelled curtains for him….I thought he did very admirable to get fourth.
“He broke really, really, really bad,” jockey Mike Smith said. “What am I going to do? I cannot go for the lead. All I could do is sit back there, creep up, creep up, creep up and see if I could get him there. I thought I still had it for a little bit there, but it was just too much to make up.”
“Mike said Palace Malice missed the break,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He slipped behind and dropped way back, not his characteristic spot. Mike thought he was much the best; the break killed him. It’s horse racing. It happens every day, every race, 14 times a day sometimes. We would have liked to have won it, but we’ve had a great meet and we’re not going to cry about it. We’ll regroup and try again.”
On Sunday Pletcher said Palace Malice come out of the Travers “in good order” and “have no firm plans. We’ll wait a few days and talk it over with (owner) Mr. (Cot) Campbell and the other connections before we make any decisions.”
5) Romanish- outran his almost 37-1 odds that’s for sure. He was among the early leaders and held well into the final furlong before tiring a bit. Overall, he didn’t run badly against the elite three year olds.
6) War Dancer- was last most of the way around passed a few tired horses late but was not a threat while being beaten seven lengths and (basically) outrun at almost 30-1 odds