(Reuters) - Take Charge Indy booked his place in this year's Kentucky Derby with an upset victory in Saturday's $1 million Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park.
Under the guidance of three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel, the son of AP Indy jumped straight to the lead then held off his seven rivals in the stretch to win the 61st edition of the one and an eighth mile Grade 1 event.
"He showed up today and I just think he'll gradually get better," Borel said in an on-track TV interview.
"He has the breeding behind him. And he's just getting better and better as he matures."
The three-year-old colt, who paid $17.40 for a $2 win bet, finished a length clear of runner-up Reveron, with the odds-on favorite Union Rags a fast-finishing third.
"Our horse ran a super race," said Take Charge Indy's trainer Pat Byrne. "It was a big effort from the horse and Calvin rode him super."
Union Rags, the early favourite for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5, was trapped on the rail for most of the race and only got in the clear when it was too late.
"It's just one of those things," said his trainer Michael Matz. "If he pulls up well, we'll still be going to the (Kentucky) Derby next."
The build-up to the first leg of U.S. racing's Triple Crown continues Sunday with the running of the Louisiana Derby.
(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Larry Fine)