Take Charge Indy stamped his ticket to the Kentucky Derby on Saturday when he pulled the upset win in the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.
Saturday’s race was supposed to be a match-up of Kentucky Derby winning trainers Michael Matz and Todd Pletcher, whose colts—Union Rags and El Padrino, respectively—were the heavy favorites going into the race. However, when the horses broke from the starting gate, it was another Kentucky Derby winner that would steal the show.
Three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel took Take Charge Indy up the rail and to the lead. Never looking back and never tested, Take Charge Indy made quick work of the 1 1/8 mile race and won it in wire-to-wire style. Longshot Reveron, who followed in second throughout the race, held his position and finished second. Union Rags, the 2-5 post-time favorite, was tucked inside in fourth and was unable to get out from behind horses in time, but closed strongly to finish only a neck behind Reveron in third. El Padrino and jockey Javier Castellano were almost two lengths behind Union Rags in fourth with no obvious reason for the lackluster effort.
Jockey Julien Leparoux, aboard Union Rags, blamed himself for his colt’s poor performance and even remarked later on Twitter that he was going to stay off Twitter Saturday night and “to all the ones that said that I sucked, I will prove you wrong.”