Brereton Jones' homebred Believe You Can, winner of the 2012 Kentucky Oaks, has been retired to Airdrie Stud to begin her career as a broodmare, her connections confirmed Friday.
Believe You Can was being pointed toward a start in the Grade II Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day. However, trainer Larry Jones was not happy with the way the daughter of Proud Citizen bounced out of her 5-furlong work in 1:00.80 last Saturday and said Thursday she would not be entered.
The 4-year-old filly was sent to Airdrie Stud for an evaluation on Thursday and, after some discussion, the decision was made that the dark bay had done enough in her 14-race career.
"She has just been so wonderful to us and quite frankly I think she's going to make a great broodmare," said Brereton Jones, owner of Airdrie. "I started thinking that if I get her wound up and go back and try for another big year, I would feel awful if she got hurt in the process. She's done so much for us."
Brereton Jones also confirmed that Airdrie had recently sold champion Proud Spell, its homebred 2008 Kentucky Oaks winner, to an undisclosed buyer overseas.
Proud Spell is also a daughter of Airdrie stallion Proud Citizen.
"I have Proud Spell's first foal ... and then I've got her second and third foal so we're not without the family," Brereton Jones said. "It is a business but sometimes you make decisions your pocketbook tells you to make but your heart flutters a few times in the process. "
Believe You Can's three-quarter-length win over Broadway's Alibi in the 2012 Kentucky Oaks was historic as it made jockey Rosie Napravnik the first female rider to capture the filly classic.
"To win two Kentucky Oaks, both of them being Proud Citizen fillies and both for the same owner, people don't realize how special that was," Larry Jones said. "She (Believe You Can) is going out 100 percent physically sound. She has done enough. And they will start getting her ready for her next job."
Out of the El Prado mare, El Fasto, Believe You Can retires with eight wins from 14 career starts and $1,280,324 in earnings.
Will Take Charge set for Clark Handicap
Grade I winner Will Take Charge was put through his final serious paces in preparation for next week's Grade I Clark Handicap, breezing 5 furlongs in 1:01 flat beneath the drizzle at Churchill Downs on Friday morning.
Will Take Charge clocked splits of :12.40, :24 and :35.40 with a 6-furlong gallop-out in 1:16.40. The move was the second for Will Take Charge since his runner-up finish by a nose to Mucho Macho Man in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
"He's responded very, very well," trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. "I'm totally comfortable where he is at. He's not only holding his form, I think he's moving forward."
Owned by Willis Horton, Will Take Charge would be making his 11th start of the year in the 11⁄8-mile Clark.
Among the challengers Will Take Charge is slated to face in the Clark are multiple Grade I winner Game On Dude, fellow Grade I winner Golden Ticket and graded stakes winner Bourbon Courage.
Game On Dude, who had his six-race winning streak snapped when he ran ninth in the Breeders' Cup Classic, was assigned the highweight of 126 pounds for the $500,000-added Clark Handicap, 3 more pounds than Will Take Charge.
Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676. Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com. Twitter: @horseracinghl.