Lea Proves Victorious in a Battle against Will Take Charge
Lea Proves Victorious in a Battle against Will Take Charge at the 2014 Donn Handicap: A battle took place at the 2014 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park as Will Take Charge and Lea battled it out for a win. Lea proved to be the tougher opponent in today’s race, taking the win.
Lea is a 5-year-old horse owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider and trained by Bill Mott and was ridden by Joel Rosario in today’s Donn Handicap. This was the Will Take Charge’s Debut race for the 2014 race calendar year, and his team had big hopes for him to step out with a big win at Gulfstream Park, but Lea was able to stalk the early speed of pacesetter Uncaptured and eventually take the lead in the far turn in the field and got a fast sprint at the top of the stretch. Despite Will Take Charge’s best efforts to try to win with a late charge in the deep stretch, Lea never ran out of fire and Will Take Charge’s threat didn’t prove to be enough.
Lea was transferred to Bill Mott to train late last season, upon entering the Donn Handicap, trainer Mott said “The race is a new test because it’s nine furlongs instead of a mile, and I’m just hoping he handles that extra furlong well.”
Mott’s hopes came true as Lea, handed the dirt track well, and even set a track record. Lea posted a time of 1:46.86 for a Gulfstreak Park track record, Will Take Charge was second and Viramundo got third place.
On a side note, although Viramundo did not get the first place position, his third place finish was actually impressive as he came into the race as a longshot. All in all, it wasn’t just luck that got Lea into the first place spot, Lea ran a great race and proved that he was a worthy competitor and winner. Once Lea took charge at the midway point of the race and stepped up at the far turn, his win looked pretty secure in the 11 horse race.
The 2014 Donn Handicap is the first Grade 1 win for Lea, though he has already won two Grade 3 races, Hal’s Hope and Commonwealth Turf. Lea takes home a $500,000 purse for the 1 1/8 mile race.
Donn Handicap 2014 Results and Payouts
8-Lea, $13.00 to Win, $4.60 to Place, $4.00 to Show
2-Will Take Charge, $3.40 to Place, $2.80 to Show
7-Viramundo, $11.80 to Show
2014 Donn Handicap Replay: