Campaigned Eclipse Award winners Will Take Charge & Take Charge Brandi
Retired homebuilder Willis Horton has reached the pinnacle as an owner, campaigning two Eclipse Award winners solely and capturing the country’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies in partnership.
Has gotten 2021 off to a great start with three stakes victories in 2021 through March 7. Homebred Will's Secret won both the Martha Washington and Honeybee (G3) Stakes to put herself clearly at top of the leader board for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Silver State, owned in partnership with Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC, won the Fifth Season.
Had six victories and two more in partnership at the 2019 Oaklawn meeting – all trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. Highlight was homebred Long Range Toddy’s victory in the first division of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds. Won two more races with Awe Emma, a $2 million Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale purchase in 2015. Horton also owns horses in partnership with Winchell Thoroughbreds (Ron and Joan Winchell) and Three Chimneys Farm.
After reuniting with Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas in the summer of 2012, Horton watched his Will Take Charge become the country’s champion 3-year-old male of 2013 after winning Oaklawn’s $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) and the Travers Stakes (G1), Pennsylvania Derby (G2) and Clark Handicap (G1). Will Take Charge also won the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in 2014.
Horton’s Take Charge Brandi was named the country’s champion 2-year-old filly of 2014 after winning three stakes races, including the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at odds of 61-1.
Take Charge Brandi’s final career victory came in the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes in 2015 at Oaklawn. Horton sold Take Charge Brandi for $6 million at the 2015 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
Horton’s Laurie’s Rocket won the $75,000 Hot Springs Stakes in 2013 at Oaklawn.
Horton’s family also campaigned multiple stakes winner Partner’s Hero and Lemons Forever, winner of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) for 3-year-old fillies in 2006 at Churchill Downs.