O'Brien winner Will Take Charge wins qualifier
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After having not recorded a charted mile since last fall’s TVG Free For All Trot at the Meadowlands Racetrack, Will Take Charge, who was voted as Canada’s 2018 Older Trotting Horse of the Year, surfaced Thursday morning during Woodbine Mohawk Park’s qualifying session.
Bob McClure was up behind the 6-year-old Kadabra gelding for his co-owning trainer, Jeff Gillis. The winner of 21 of 76 starts and $900,000 in purses started from the outside Post 5 in the last of the session’s qualifying dashes (Race 6).
McClure and his charge were quickest from the start, as the duo had sprung out to a three-length lead by the time they clicked off the quarter pole in :29.3 (the race was contested over a ‘fast’ track that was rated one second slow).
Will Take Charge continued to lead the field down to the half-mile indicator, as the O’Brien Award winner trotted down to the marker in :58.3.
McClure and Will Take Charge were on cruise control on the turn, as they made their way to the three-quarters pole in 1:28.1 and still led by 1 3/4 lengths.
Their lead had expanded to 3 1/2 lengths by the time they hit the head of the lane. Will Take Charge capped off his comfortable mile by sealing the deal with a :29.4 final quarter. His margin of victory was 2 1/4 lengths and he cruised under the wire in 1:58.
Will Take Charge won nine races and more than $469,000 in 2018. He scored victories in the Maxie Lee Memorial Invitational and the Crawford Farms Open Trot. He etched his name into the world record books after his Maxie Lee effort, as he sped to a 1:50.3 win and joined Sevruga and Homicide Hunter as the world’s fastest aged geldings over a five-eighths-mile course.
Gillis co-owns Will Take Charge along with fellow Ontario resident Mac Nicol. (SC)