Owner of Will Take Charge optimistic heading to Preakness Stakes
Marshall, Ark. —
Behold, the amazing instant replay.
After finishing eighth in this year's Kentucky Derby, Arkansas-owned racehorse Will Take Charge wasn't likely to make a run at the Preakness Stakes Saturday at Pimlico Racetrack in Maryland, but then the horse's owner watched the replay, which changed his whole perspective.
Even with rain, and a muddy track surrounding the fastest two minutes in sports, the largest obstacle in the way of Will Take Charge happened when he was making his move.
"Here they are coming to together, and this is where Verrazano came out and then he went back in," described Willis Horton, the horse's owner, as the watching the replay of the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.
"Will Take Charge was knocked sideways, see there," he added as we watch the horse clearly change paths.
As Horton, a Marshall, Ark. native and resident, watched the derby replay, he notices a lot things that he didn't see while at the race in person -- infractions he wish hadn't happened.
"On my way back from Kentucky I got probably five or six calls from different people that saw the same thing you did."
Another person who witnessed the event unfold mid-race was the horse's jockey, Jon Court.
"Unfortunately as I was moving within the head of Orb, we were running together, (John) Velasquez's horse, he switched stitch and made a hard right duck and impeded my position," Court told us about what he witnessed as horse Verrazano ran wildly.
Court received an unfortunate front-row view of wild running that made him lose pace with the eventual Kentucky Derby winner, Orb, as the two starting passing the field.
"It's hard for me to put into words what was really going through my mind, it wouldn't be appropriate," Court added during a phone interview.
"By the time I hit the showers, I had cooled off and cooled out, but of all things to happen that traumatic it had to happen in the derby."
Leaving Churchill Downs following the race, Horton wasn't optimistic to run in the second-leg of horse racing's Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, that is until he saw the replay.
"If he would've gotten a clean race and run like he did, I wouldn't have went to the Preakness," Horton said during his sit down interview only with Channel 7.
"I know the horse is a lot better than what he showed, and something had to have happened."
After watching that derby replay, Horton moves forward with brash optimism that Will Take Charge won't allow a Triple Crown winner this year.
"We're planning on winning the race, we're going to beat Orb. We're going to have our eyes on Orb you can bet that. We plan on winning this race," Horton said sternly.
There will be one change in the game plan as Racing Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith takes the mount for Will Take Charge, and not Jon Court. The switch doesn't change the veteran jockey Court's perspective of the 17-hand high horse.
"He's very capable of running down any horse that is going into the Preakness in my opinion," Court said in closing.
Will Take Charge enters slot seven for the race and opened up at a 12-1 long shot.