‘Brandi takes charge of Eclipse debate

Profile Picture: Jen Caldwell

Jen Caldwell

November 23rd, 2014

Delta Downs/Coady Photography“Her class carried her.”

That’s what Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas had to say in the post-race interview after Take Charge Brandi took the lucrative Delta Downs Princess.

Many doubted that class following the well-bred filly’s half-length wire job in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies just three weeks earlier.

But after pressing speedy fractions for the opening half-mile in the Princess, taking over rounding the turn and then pulling off in the lane, Take Charge Brandi put all Eclipse Award voters on notice that her Breeders’ Cup score was no fluke.

The 2014 Juvenile Fillies just might live up to its status as a predictor for year-end championship honors after all.

Prior to Saturday’s race, unbeaten Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Lady Eli was a front runner for the Eclipse Award as 2014’s top two-year-old filly.

However, championship voters have historically preferred  main track runners over turf specialists and Take Charge Brandi gave them a viable candidate.

She didn’t do it the easy way either.

The daughter of Giant’s Causeway pressed the pacesetter early in the Princess through sizzling splits of :22.34 and :46.44.

The leader tired and backed up nearing the turn, leaving the way clear for Take Charge Brandi to take command. She found herself being challenged by Skipalute entering the stretch and quickly put that filly in her place, shaking loose and opening up to be 1 1/2 lengths clear on the wire in a final time of 1:39.60 for the mile.

Take Charge Brandi made her case for an Eclipse Award, and could solidify her credentials if Lukas makes good on his comments after the race about running her back in the Starlet at Los Alamitos on December 13.

Should Take Charge Brandi win that Grade 1 event, the debate would be over.

Photo: Take Charge Brandi (Delta Downs/Coady Photography)