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Take Charge Brandi; Which Kentucky Classic Will She Choose?

Take Charge Brandi; Which Kentucky Classic Will She Choose?: The Starlet was yet another challenge for the Horton/Lukas brigade that successful campaigned Will Take Charge to a championship in 2013. For 2014, it looks like the team will receive another Eclipse Award, but this time, with a juvenile filly. Take Charge Brandi followed up her 62-1 shot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies win with a G3 win in the Delta Downs Princess and now a win in the G1 Starlet at Los Alamitos on Saturday, December 13, 2014. With two grade ones and a grade three, Take Charge Brandi looks to have clinched the Eclipse Award for Champion Two-Year-Old Filly.

Take Charge Brandi

Willis D. Horton’s Take Charge Brandi and jockey Victor Espinoza win the Grade I $350,000 Starlet Stakes Saturday, December 13, 2014 at Los Alamitos Race Course, Cypress, California. Photo: Benoit

Take Charge Brandi used her early speed to secure her usual spot at the front of the pack and took the six other fillies through the 8.5F race in a honest 1:42.18. Take Charge Brandi showed more than just speed in the G1 Starlet, but she also showed that she is not a quitter and has a real thirst for competition. Throughout the homestretch, Take Charge Brandi fought off a strong rally from Feathered (2nd) on the rail and a closing Maybellene on the outside, who wound up a close third.

In the pervious article about Take Charge Brandi and the Starlet, the fact was brought to the surface that 1) the Starlet had served as a nice prep race for the Kentucky Oaks, and 2) that no filly since Outstandingly in 1984 had clinched the Juvenile Fillies title after winning the Starlet. It appears that the Take Charge Brandi is the next Eclipse winner and future Kentucky Oaks contender.

In other news, there is word that D. Wayne Lukas is thinking of putting Take Charge Brandi on the Kentucky Derby tail, as, in theory, she already has enough points to guarantee her a spot in the Kentucky Oaks. D. Wayne Lukas does know a few things about getting a filly ready for the Kentucky Derby. The last filly to win the Kentucky Derby was Winning Colors in 1988, trained by D. Wayne Lukas. The last filly to get close to winning was Eight Belles in 2008, which finished second to Big Brown.

Take Charge Brandi has a better pedigree than most any other thoroughbred on the market. Being a daughter of Giant’s Causeway, Take Charge Brandi should have no problem to continue to stretch out in distance. She showed that 8.5F is well within her scope and she doesn’t ever give up when a fight comes her way. On her distaff side, she is out of the Seeking The Gold mare Charming, who is a half sister to Will Take Charge and Take Charge Indy. All three of them are out of the multiple graded stakes winner Take Charge Lady. Charming was only a maiden winner before she did not finish in the listed Serena’s Song Stakes in her third start. Her sire, Seeking The Gold, was a multiple graded stakes winning son of Mr. Prospector, who was only out of first or second place one time, which was a 7th place finish in the 1988 Kentucky Derby. Surprisingly, this was the year that D. Wayne Lukas won the Kentucky Derby with Winning Colors.

Take Charge Brandi’s second dam is the multiple graded stakes winner and Broodmare of the Year (2013), Take Charge Lady, who has already produced one Classic winning horse in Will Take Charge. Both of her famous sons, the other being Take Charge Indy, have not faired will in the Kentucky Derby. Take Charge Indy finished 19th and Will Take Charge finished 8th. In her racing days, Take Charge Lady won races such as the G1 Spinster, G3 Arlington Matron Handicap, and G1 Ashland Stakes. She was also second in 2002 Kentucky Oaks as the favorite. However, in 2002, she finished 6th in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff behind Azeri.

Take Charge Brandi has more than enough pedigree to carry her far throughout her career, but without the heart and grit she has shown, she would not be considered a threat in the future. D. Wayne Lukas knows how to get a filly ready for the Kentucky Derby, but is Take Charge Brandi the next filly he starts in the prestigious race? Lukas has certainly campaigned Take Charge Brandi twice as hard as he did Winning Colors, as Brandi has started eight times in six months compared to the two starts of Winning Colors in her juvenile season. Winning Colors won the Derby on four preps. How many prep races will Brandi be up for? So far, Take Charge Brandi has show that she is finally coming into her own and she is a durable horse. Lukas campaigns his good horses, as he believes that if a horse can run, run them. No sense keeping a fit horse in the barn. How much can Brandi handle? Will she be the 2015 Kentucky Oaks or Kentucky Derby winner?

Related Links:
Kentucky Oaks 2015 Prep Schedule

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