Champion Will Take Charge retires to Three Chimneys
Monday, September 22, 2014

Champion Will Take Charge retires to Three Chimneys
Eclipse Champion Three Year Old and Horse-of-the-Year finalist Will Take Charge, a horse that Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas described as "the best of his generation" has retired to Three Chimneys to take up stud duty for the 2015 breeding season.

In a campaign rarely seen in the modern era, Will Take Charge, by Unbridled's Song out of Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady, a multiple Grade 1-winning multimillionaire, captured championship honors in his three year old season where he ran 11 times in 11 months at 8 different racetracks. He defeated the best three year olds of his generation in the the $1 million Travers S. (G1) run at the American Classic distance of a mile and a quarter, defeating Whitney H. (G1) winner Moreno, Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb and Metropolitan H. (G1) winner Palace Malice.

On racing's greatest day, racing for the first time against older horses in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), Will Take Charge ran a winning race after a troubled trip, only to be denied victory by a nostril at the wire against Mucho Macho Man. In the Classic, he defeated Game on Dude, Palace Malice, Fort Larned, Paynter, Flat Out  and Moreno among others. The effort put him on the ballot for Horse-of-the-Year honors.

His race record also includes victories in: the Grade 1 Clark H. as a three-year-old against older horses where he defeated 8-time Grade 1 winner Game on Dude, the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (G2), the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) over Preakness winner Oxbow, and the $600,000 Oaklawn H. (G2) over Grade 1 winner Revolutionary. In addition, he placed in the $1,500,000 Whitney H. (G1), the $750,000 Santa Anita H. (G1), the $500,000 Donn H. (G1), and the $500,000 Stephen Foster H. (G1), carrying highweight in all but one those Grade 1 events.

On the board 14 times in 21 starts, Will Take Charge amassed career earnings of $3,924,648 winning from 7 furlongs to 1 1/4 miles.

"Will Take Charge's retirement is particularly disappointing as we were  primed, as an older horse, to win the Classic this year which we lost by a whisker last year. If the race were a mile and a quarter and two inches, Will Take Charge's career earnings would be at nearly $6 million. This horse has done what few other horses can do any more. He is a different kind of Unbridled's Song. He defeated the best three year olds in the country in the Travers and then the best older horses in the Classic. He is a true Champion who ran to his blue-blooded pedigree. He proved himself to be the best of his generation. He is a proud addition to my resume," said Hall of Famer Wayne Lukas.

"As we forge a new path forward at Three Chimneys, we feel very fortunate to announce that a Champion like Will Take Charge will help us write the next chapter in the farm's storied history whose foundation as a stallion operation was built on the shoulders of such towering breed changers as Seattle Slew, Dynaformer, Rahy, and the like." said Three Chimneys Chairman  Gonçalo Borges Torrealba.

"Will Take Charge is  a  serious racehorse and is an even more important stallion prospect.  His body of work on the racetrack is remarkable and unique, and his magnificent pedigree anchors a physical presence that will impress any breeder that sees him. To me, he's as good as it can get" stated Doug Cauthen, Vice-Chair of the Three Chimneys board. "Three Chimneys is armed and ready with an impressive array of  quality mares to  launch Will Take Charge's stud career. No stone will be left unturned to help make him a success."

Co-Owner Willis Horton commented: "Will Take Charge is a horse of a lifetime, and I can't say enough about how "hickory" he has been, starting 21 times all across the country against the stiffest competition time after time.  We have had the time of our lives with him, and met wonderful people all across America.  He's been a real  fan favorite, and we think he'll be a Kentucky breeders' favorite too!  I also can't compliment Wayne enough on developing this exceptionally talented horse into a Champion.  It's been one heck of a ride."

The horse was retired due to a mild strain to a branch of his suspensory apparatus. Given the horse's value at stud, a decision was made to retire him. A stud fee has not yet been announced.
More News
Top-three First-Crop sire Palace Malice registered his 18th winner on Dec. 1 at Gulfstream Park when the 2-year-old filly Grudge held off Choose to Be Happy...
November ended with a bang for Fast Anna as he had a pair of allowance winners on the final day of the month...
Palace Miss' three-length maiden special weight win Saturday at Churchill Downs made the 2-year-old filly the 17th First-Crop winner for Palace Malice...