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Baffert Throws Support Behind Colt For HOTY
While many believe Wise Dan is poised to be crowned champion US thoroughbred for the second consecutive year, top 3YO colt Will Take Charge has received some support from an unlikely quarter, reports sportsnetwork.com. Hall Of Fame trainer Baffert, who trains rival heavyweight galloper Game On Dude, was effusive in his praise of Will Take Charge following the colt's narrow win over 'The Dude' in last Friday's Gr1 Clark Handicap, believing he has undeniable claims for Horse Of The Year honours. "He's got to be considered seriously for Horse of the Year, because that was pretty impressive," Baffert said following Friday's race. "The Dude, he ran his race. He brought his 'A' game today, and Will Take Charge still got us. So that's pretty impressive." Will Take Charge, winner of the Gr1 Travers and Gr2 Pennsylvania Derby, has continued to improve throughout his 3YO campaign, unlike his peers, culminating in a brilliant last-start performance in the Breeders' Cup Classic where he exploded down the straight to lose by a nose to Mucho Macho Man in the US$5 million feature. One man that certainly doesn't need any convincing is Will Take Charge's trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who commented following his Clark victory. "If I'm reading the headlines right, Game On Dude was in contention for Horse of the Year. If that's the case, we just beat a damn nice horse. And we did beat a nice horse today. We beat a damn good horse."