Lady and The Track | December 8, 2022

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Will Take Charge about to Charge into the Whitney

Will Take Charge about to Charge into the WhitneyWhen I look at the 2014 Whitney field, I see a grade one horse in each horse, no matter if they have achieved a grade one win or not. This is probably the best Whitney field I have ever seen! We have three-year-old champion Will Take Charge, and 2013 Belmont winner Palace Malice, who is undefeated this season. There is the veteran in Prayer for Relief, who won three derbies in 2011. Romansh, who captured the 2014 Excelsior (G3) at Aqueduct, and Moreno, who played bridesmaid all last year. This field is amazing!

Will Take Charge Whitney 2014

If any horse is going to derail Palace Malice, Will Take Charge is the right horse to do so.
Photo: Will Take Charge, Trixie Hammer

Most say that this year is the year for Palace Malice, and I have a hard time arguing with perfection. This is by far his toughest challenge yet this year. Just this year, he has beaten four of the eight other horses in this race. Last out, he stole the Met Mile from grade one winner and Breeders’ Cup Champion Goldencents. This Whitney is well within the scope for Palace Malice, as we have seen, he has almost no distance limitations. He won the Belmont Stakes last year, over Oxbow and Orb, the other two Triple Crown race winners. He has really figured this whole winning thing out, and I think the connections have really figured him out as well.

If any horse is going to beat Palace Malice, I think it could be a shocker with an upset, or the load speed stealing the show! With this being Saratoga, I will choose the shocking upset! It may not be a huge upset, but at morning line odds of 4-1, Will Take Charge looks just as good, if not better than he did in his late three-year-old year. His breezes have been spectacular and workhorse like. We all know he loves Saratoga, and when I was looking at his record, when he started to emerge as the best three-year-old last year, and this early season, I found something interesting. Starting with the Jim Dandy, here is a list of his races and finishes;
6/14/2014 Stephen Foster Handicap Finish-2
5/2/2014 Alysheba Stakes Finish-6
4/12/2014 Oaklawn Handicap Finish-1
3/8/2014 Santa Anita Handicap Finish 2
2/9/2014 Donn Handicap Finish-2
11/29/2013 Clark Handicap Finish-1
11/2/2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic Finish-2
9/21/2013 Pennsylvania Derby Finish-1
8/24/2013 Travers Stakes Finish-1
7/27/2013 Jim Dandy Stakes Finish-2

When he comes out of a race finishing second, he almost always comes back to win his next race. He did this in the Jim Dandy/Travers, the Classic/Clark, the Santa Anita Handicap/Oaklawn Handicap. If any horse is going to derail Palace Malice, I think Will Take Charge is the right horse to do so.

2014 Whitney Handicap, Saratoga Race Course, 08/02/2014 5:46 PM ET
Will Take Charge 4-1 124lbs [Horton/Three Chimneys, Lukas, L. Saez]
Prayer for Relief 20-1 117lbs [Zayat, Romans, Rosario]
Moreno 10-1 117lbs [Southern Equine, Guillot, Alvarado]
Itsmyluckyday 12-1 119lbs [Trilogy/L. Plesa, E. Plesa, P. Lopez]
Palace Malice 1-1 124lbs [Dogwood Stable, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez]
Departing 6-1 121lbs [Claiborne/Dilschneider, Stall, Albarado]
Romansh 10-1 119lbs [Godolphin, Albertrani, J. Ortiz]
Golden Ticket ML 20-1 117lbs [Magic City Thoroughbred, McPeek, Leparoux]
Last Gunfighter ML 15-1 121lbs [Gunther, C. Brown, J. Castellano]