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Submitted by Gasper Moschera on Friday, February 28, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Lukas sending three horses to Santa Anita for Big Cap Day


HOT SPRINGS, Ark.– Will Take Charge will have some company when he ships from Oaklawn Park to Southern California on Monday to run in the Santa Anita Handicap. Will Take Charge will be joined on his trip by Optimizer, who is to run in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile, and Unstoppable Colby, who goes in the San Felipe, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said on Friday.

The three races are March 8. Luis Saez, the regular rider on Will Take Charge, has the mount on each of the horses, said Lukas.

Will Take Charge, the champion 3-year-old of 2013, will be making his second start of the year in the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap. He was second in the Grade 1, $500,000 Donn in his 4-year-old debut on Feb. 9, a race that went in track-record time. For his effort, Will Take Charge earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 111. His final work for the Santa Anita Handicap could come Sunday at Oaklawn, depending on the weather, said Lukas.

"He might breeze through the stretch Sunday before he ships," Lukas said. "We’ll see how it is."

Will Take Charge races for Willis Horton and Three Chimneys LLC.

Unstoppable Colby got the call for the Grade 2, $300,000 San Felipe for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth following a sharp maiden special weight win at the distance at Oaklawn on Feb. 20. He fought for a neck win, and earned a career-high Beyer Figure of 80.

"I think he’s a gusty horse that really tries," Lukas said. "He gets into his races. He probably fits the scenario of the California tracks. He’s got good tactical speed."

Unstoppable Colby, who races for Zayat Stable, is named for Colby Sawyer. Sawyer is a 9-year-old who in 2012 was diagnosed with leukemia. Sawyer recently was sent a large win photo of Unstoppable Colby’s victory at Oaklawn.

Optimizer, a multiple Grade 3 winner of $916,747, will be making his first start since August in the Grade 1, $350,000 Kilroe.

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