Lukas sweeps Rebel Stakes; Will Take Charge and Oxbow Finish 1, 2

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by Gary Roedemeier

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 16, 2013 at 9:21 PM

(WHAS11) -- Four time Kentucky Derby winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas has made a huge imprint on the Derby trail with a one-two finish in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

Will Take Charge swept by stable mate Oxbow to win the $600,000 stakes by a nose. The three year old colt by Unbridled's Song gets 50 Derby points and moves into first place on the Derby trail with a total of 60.

Oxbow, running for Calumet Farms, got second place for Lukas he gets 20 points for a total of 36.

Oxbow moves into 6th place and his Awesome Again pedigree indicates he should love the added distance as the races get longer.

The re-emergence of Lukas on the Derby scene after a quiet decade was a stunning development in a time dominated by younger trainers like Todd Pletcher and Bob Baffert.

Baffert did manage a third in the Rebel Stakes with Den's Legacy, but his favored Super Ninety Nine finished fifth and were swallowed up in the stretch run.

Jon Court rode Will Take Charge to victory in the Rebel. Court had been aboard when the horse won the Smarty Jones Stakes in January, but the colt had labored on a sloppy track while chasing Super Ninety Nine in the Southwest Stakes.

The winner is a half brother to last year's Florida Derby winner, Take Charge Indy and he's the second straight Derby contender produced by champion race mare Take Charge Lady.

Lukas, who has struggled to find a Derby starter in recent years, now has two top contenders and his barn.  He has the pleasant task of deciding where his horses will make their final Derby prep in April.

But one thing is certain after a day of racing in Arkansas, the "Coach" is back and on the Derby trail.
 

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