“Julien said Javier was on him the whole time down the backside, but that’s just race-riding,” said trainer Michael Matz of the disappointing performance. “He said he should have been closer the way the track has been right now. Horses aren’t coming back. Pat’s horse got an easy lead and he got a head start on me, and we just couldn’t get him.”
Winning trainer, Patrick Byrne, said of Take Charge Indy’s position as third choice among the bettors at 7-1, “I didn’t feel there was any pressure on me going in. It’s nice to be 1-5 because it usually means you have the best horse on that day, but I wouldn’t trade places with him [Matz and Union Rags]. This was a solid race today. I appreciate owners like Chuck and Maribeth Sandford for giving me an opportunity. I’m blessed to have a horse like Take Charge Indy.”
Byrne took some heat in the press leading up to the Florida Derby because he scratched the son of A.P. Indy from the Tampa Bay Derby (March 10) due to a poor post position, opting to wait for the Florida Derby. The heat came because, in doing this, it created a two-month layoff between starts and would mean that Take Charge Indy would only have one prep and one chance to make the Kentucky Derby. With Saturday’s victory, Byrne put the naysayers in their places and proved that he knew just what was best for his Kentucky Derby contender.
Take Charge Indy paid $17.40, $9.00, and $3.90. Reveron returned $18.40 and $4.00 and completed the $2 exacta for $252.40. Union Rags paid $2.10 and completed the $1 trifecta for $224.80. El Padrino completed the $1 superfecta for $583.60. The final time for the 1 1/8 mile race over the fast track was 1:48.79. Click here to see a replay of the race.
Photo: Courtesy Kentucky Derby