Take Charge Indy Heads Home Amidst Outpouring of Support From Fans

by | 08.10.2013 | 2:06pm
Take Charge Indy left New Jersey for WinStar Farm this week after a successful surgery

Two weeks after sustaining a lateral condylar fracture to his left foreleg in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup, Take Charge Indy has left his caretakers at Hogan Equine in New Jersey to take up residence at WinStar Farm in central Kentucky.

The Grade 1 winner and millionaire underwent a successful 30-minute surgery to repair the fracture and has since made an excellent recovery.

“Everything could not have gone better … he is getting a bath today and then heading out to the van for the ride to Kentucky,” said treating veterinarian Dr. Patty Hogan on Friday.

What Hogan found particularly remarkable though, was the role of social media and fan support in the story of Take Charge Indy's injury and recovery. Details of the colt's injuries were first reported by turfwriters on the scene via Twitter, and since then, social media users have reached out to Hogan and WinStar with well wishes.

Take Charge Indy gets a bath before heading to WinStar

Take Charge Indy gets a bath before heading to WinStar

“When his injury initially happened and he shipped over, we were deluged with calls and emails inquiring how he was doing,” said Hogan. “All from casual racing fans.”

WinStar posted updates on the horse's progress to Twitter and Facebook, where Hogan said one update received over 1,200 ‘likes' from his admiring public. Several fans sent get well cards to the horse while he recovered at Fair Winds Farm.

Take Charge Indy, who is out of Grade 1 winner and millionaire Take Charge Lady, was competitive in graded stakes company at ages 2, 3, and 4, wiring the Grade 1 Florida Derby field as a 3-year-old and winning the Grade 2 Alysheba earlier this year, with runner-up performances in the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity, Grade 1 Clark Handicap, and Grade 3 Skip Away. He was conditioned by Patrick Byrne for owners WinStar Farm and Chuck and Maribeth Sandford.

“It was a cool experience and a very positive one – especially the fact that the horse was seen breaking down in front of a large audience and then fortunately was salvageable,” said Hogan.

  • ziggiepop

    Cool!

  • Convene

    Best news we could get about him. Get well, Indy.

  • RuthG

    He is a fighter and a courageous warrior, now time to recuperate and then enjoy retirement. Thank you to all his connections and his medical team that didn’t give up on him. His fans knew he had the heart to overcome.

  • missedgehead

    I am so happy that Indy is going to be fine. Love him so much.

    • Ida Lee

      Yeah, me too…

  • Bo Mitchell

    What a Great Champion he is and has been!! He will be missed by us all! Great horses come around every great once in a while and seem not to stay with us long for one reason or another! He was Just beginning to show how Great he was!! I pray that he lives a long and healthy life and has many children that we get to see race in the future!! Good Luck Ole Boy! In closing I want to note what great connection Take Charge Indy has had and what a Great Medical team he had that saved him!! God Bless..

  • nu-fan

    First, I am so glad that this wonderful horse has a great future ahead of him, even though it will be in another capacity. Second, however, is that I hope that the horseracing industry takes note that fans DO care about the welfare of the horses. Does the industry truly understand the sentiments of the fans? Hope that they take note of the fact that they “were deluged with calls and emails inquiring how he was doing,”

    • Payasito

      This is a rare happy ending! I too wish that the industry as a whole would care as much as the fans do. Kudos to Winstar Farm:-))

      • jetto

        So you think it is rare for a race horse to breakdown and be retired to stud or broodmare life???

        • dcurtis

          jetto,your first comment covers this, no need to add more except I agree with you 100%

    • jetto

      Let’s hope all these “fans” are doing more for racing than just “liking” a status or griping because they don’t agree with a horse owner. How about buying a race horse or betting on a race horse or adopting an ex-race horse??? I see way too many “fans” out on FB that purposefully look for the negatives in racing just so they can vent against the sport. It is a two way street nu-fan…not just the industry “getting it”, but also the fans “getting it”…

      • Roisin

        I’m a fan and I think there is plenty to be critical of in racing. As for your suggestion, I have claimed 2 horses because I knew them and they were in the downward spiral of the claiming ranks. Also, I have 5 others and a former broodmare. They had nowhere else to go.
        All of us can be wrong in our assumptions. Many “fans” work to help the horses.

        • nu-fan

          And, sometimes, it is difficult to even get a hold of the trainer or owner to let them know that you are interested in acquiring that particular horse when/if the need comes. I have found that out, personally. Wouldn’t one think that if someone asks to be considered for this, that these individuals would be happy and relieved to know that the horse has a life after the track? Why do we have to keep hunting down these guys? And, make this information more available to the public.

          • Mimi Hunter

            I would take a guess that many trainer’s got burned by their ‘fans’ the last time horses were high at the auctions. When a horse is worth $600 – $800 just for walking into the ring and not having any open oozing sores, many ‘dealers’ appear on the doorstep to relieve them of any ‘surplus’ horses. These ‘dealers’ then ship the horses to the nearest auction.
            It doesn’t help the feelings of the trainer to be treated that way. And then to have other ‘fans’ hound them for treating their horses that way.

          • Roisin

            A lot of these trainers are difficult to deal with. I experienced that first hand. I have a network that includes a couple of more “sympathetic” trainers who will help if needed and they are the kind that are not looking to get the last $ out of the horse. They are glad to see a horse go to a home rather than the “auction” !

          • betterthannothing

            Those sympathetic trainers and their owners should be recognized and praised by the industry and even more so if they offer some financial help toward the care, rehabilitation or retraining of their horses. In fact, the best of those sympathetic horsemen should be formally honored by the industry each year.

          • Roisin

            I wish that were the case. Many good people go unrecognized because winning and ego are front and center in the business as it stands now

        • nu-fan

          Roisin: One more thing—Why is it that there are some who keep throwing back to the fans the responsibilities for taking over the care of these horses? What I hear is “We will run them and when we are done, you fans can take care of our discards.”

          • Roisin

            Exactly ! I would say that is a little lopsided. Actually, others shouldering the responsibility is a form of enabling ! But I do it for the sake of the horses not to help others shirk responsibility. However, it is a side effect, unfortunately.

          • betterthannothing

            Bingo!

        • monica horn

          Yes, we do! In ways often unseen but every little bit makes a difference. I donate as much as I can to OTTB rescue/re-homing organizations.

          • Roisin

            Monica, a big thank you to you and all the others who help with donations and however possible. As is often said,” alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” !

      • nu-fan

        But, Jetto, what is the industry doing to promote that these horses can be acquired when they are done racing? Most fans do not understand what happens to these horses after their racing careers are over. Sure, there are some who just plain don’t care but there may be others who do.

        • jocko

          Perhaps you two aren’t aware that there are hundreds of facilities that seek out these horses and care for them at small and large farms around the US. The largest and oldest is the TRF, and they have been doing it for 30 years and have 25 farms and even 10 prison farms where prisoners learn to be better guys by caring for the old racehorses. TRF has 950 horses. Some programs only want horses that are “sound” and can be trained to fox hunt, etc. TRF keeps them forever and it may be the only “no kill” operation doing this. Look thm up – they NEED help.

          • nu-fan

            Jocko: Thank you for your reply. Most of us are aware of the many rescues that are out there but with not enough able to adopt out these horses out or enough people contributing much needed money. If there were more of these facilities that would take in and care for these horses, why would some of these “retired” racehorses end up at a livestock auction with kill buyers more than willing to plunk down a couple of hundred dollars to buy them and take there across the borders to be slaughtered. I have seen a little about the programs that you mentioned and think that this is a wonderful opportunity to not only save the horses but to help those individuals who need help with therapy or, even, a new set of career skills. But, all of these rescues need help and I, again, ask: Why is it that if often appears that the horseracing industry expects others (the fans and general public) to save these horses? What are the former owners, trainers, breeders, etc., doing in a big, not just an occasional public relations, way?

          • jocko

            Dear Nu-fan-
            I’m sorry to say that you are absolutely correct: the industry has long cobbled together “committees” with important sounding names, often Chaired by so-called “big names”, and those committees are mostly ineffective, as they are often structurally designed to fail. In reality, they are just a smoke-screen to put off the day of reckoning. Government will have to mandate industry retirement contibutions by deep-pocketed breeders and owners, and what about the trainers who most often contibute nothing, while dishing themselves 10% of the winnings? Finally, it’s high time that even the last claiming owner should be paying at least a $100 per start fee for his $4,000 claimer! Aftercare of racehorses remains the ugly step-child of the thoropughbred breeding industry. Thanks to you for keeping this issue on the table!

          • Roisin

            Very well said ! And you are right re. the Government mandate for industry retirement contributions being necessary. The load is not being shared. Also, some trainers get 12% of winnings !

          • betterthannothing

            Roisin, don’t forget that some trainers are loaded with free stallion breedings they can sell each year.

            A % of all profits horses generate should be collected and financial help made available for those horses that need help upon retirement from racing so accredited retirement facilities could afford to offer a safe place to land to more horses at risk of slaughter.

          • Roisin

            Absolutely. There are so many ways of funding those in need. Some in the industry with the most means do the least. There is very little will to do what is right. So it will have to be mandated. One of the well known and successful trainers thinks it is OK that horses go to slaughter. I heard him voice that opinion.

      • Sherlock

        I’m a betting fan at my local small track, and I bought a retiring racehorse from a different low-end track. I hope more fans can support racing in substantial ways.

    • Roisin

      You said it for me. Thanks !
      Also, there are fans of the lesser known horses out there which may come as a surprise to many in the industry

      • nu-fan

        Yup! Fully agree. I am the fan of a claiming horse that few people have ever heard of. “Even claiming horses have fans” as I pointed out to one of the management team at the racetrack that I go to. Think that we need to make that clear to the industry as often as possible.

        • Ida Lee

          nu-fan and Roisin: Very well said…

    • monica horn

      Well said! Totally agree!

  • Pat Diers

    The folks at Winstar are the best, he will be a happy horse–and is a lucky one-

  • Nicola

    Here’s hoping Winstar puts one of those cams in our TCI’s stall so we can see him like we are able to see Bodemeister, Tiznow, Colonel John and Super Saver. Winstar is the best..

  • azeri1

    I hope that this story of Take Charge Indy and his decent and caring connections will serve as an allegory to other connections that fans do care and are watching. As aficionados we have to also be the conscience and eyes and ears for horses who do not have connections that provide the best care. Linkage and monitoring will afford better endings for many more equine athletes.

  • monica horn

    I sent an email just to say thanks to the Dr and staff for taking good care of him and Dr Hogan replied! I never expected a reply and thought that was very nice of her.

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