From Ed Golden of the Santa Anita publicity department:
With those words this morning from D. Wayne Lukas, the stage is set for one of the most eagerly anticipated rematches in recent memory, one between Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge in the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 8.
The two handicap stars finished a scant nose apart in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita last Nov. 2. The Lukas-trained Will Take Charge, Eclipse Award winner as outstanding 3-year-old of 2013, was second in the Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park in his 2014 debut on Feb. 9.
With two-time Santa Anita Handicap winner and defending champion Game On Dude waiting in the wings for the mile and a quarter Big ‘Cap, story lines abound for the 77th edition of the historic race, which has been won by turf legends such as Seabiscuit, Noor, Round Table, Ack Ack, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, John Henry, Best Pal and Lava Man, among many others.
Mucho Macho Man, 14-length winner of the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 18, committed to Santa Anita’s signature race on Saturday when trainer Kathy Ritvo and Finn Green, Racing Manager for owners Dean and Patti Reeves, announced they would be coming to Santa Anita for the Big ‘Cap.
Pending flight arrangements, Lukas said he hoped to ship Will Take Charge to California on “March 3 or 4.” Mucho Macho Man is scheduled to work Saturday in Florida and ship to California the following day, Sunday, Feb. 23.
Meanwhile, the countdown is on to March 8.