Lukas colts Will Take Charge, Oxbow complete Derby
Calumet Farm’s Oxbow, ridden by jockey Gary Stevens, and Willis Horton’s Will
Oxbow’s time was :59 4/5, the fastest of 34 workouts at the distance. His
Will Take Charge’s time was 1:01, the 12th fastest of the morning. His
“A work’s a work,”‘ Lukas said. “I’ve always said we put a little too much
“I don’t get caught into it so much, but I told Gary in the tack room here, I
said, ’59 and four to a minute would fit me today,’ and that’s my opinion — I
didn’t discuss it with the horse at all — and he hit it right on the head,
which I know is an accident, but it was good.
“Will, I thought worked a little bit slower, but Rudy was afraid. I’d pretty
much beat up on him in there about going too fast this close (to the race), so
less is always better. Always better. If you’re going to err on any side of a
work, you always err on the slow side, never err on the fast side.”
Stevens, 50, will be riding in his 19th Derby but first since 2005. In
January, Stevens came out of seven-year retirement.
His three Derby victories include two for Lukas — on Winning Colors in 1988
and Thunder Gulch in 2005. Silver Charm (1997) was Stevens’ other Derby winner.
“The experience factor — you cannot downplay it in this one, with 20 horses
“It never gets old,”‘ Stevens said of participating in the Derby. “It’s no
Stevens expressed gratitude for the support he has received from trainers and
“Wayne called me back in January after I’d ridden for just the first week,
Lukas, who was listening, took a wad of bills out of his pocket and acted as
if he would hand money to Stevens. “Don’t let me interrupt, Gary,” Lukas said.
“Just roll with it.”