Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Charge It

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

April 20th, 2022

One of the most beautifully bred horses qualified to compete in the 2022 Kentucky Derby (G1) is Charge It. From top to bottom, the pedigree of the Florida Derby (G1) runner-up is stacked with some of the most productive bloodlines in modern pedigrees.

Charge It’s sire, Tapit, needs no introduction. He’s stood atop the North American sire rankings on three occasions while siring a vast multitude of Grade 1 winners, including Belmont S. (G1) heroes Tonalist (2014), Creator (2016), Tapwrit (2017), and Essential Quality (2021).

The name of Charge It’s dam, I’ll Take Charge, isn’t as readily recognizable; the daughter of Grade 1 winner and successful sire Indian Charlie won a single race from five starts. But I’ll Take Charge is a daughter of Take Charge Lady, a three-time Grade 1 winner who placed in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), and Take Charge Lady has compiled a simply extraordinary record as a broodmare. Her foals to date include:

  • Will Take Charge, winner of the Travers S. (G1) and the champion three-year-old male of 2013.
  • Take Charge Indy, winner of the Florida Derby (G1) and a competitor in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
  • As Time Goes By, winner of the Beholder Mile (G1) and four other graded stakes.
  • Charming, the dam of 2014 champion two-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi and three-time Grade 1 winner Omaha Beach. Take Charge Brandi, in turn, is the dam of Jerome S. winner Courvoisier.

Obviously, there’s a ton of class in Charge It’s pedigree. Now consider this: Tapit, Take Charge Lady, Indian Charlie, Will Take Charge, Take Charge Indy, As Time Goes By, Take Charge Brandi, and Omaha Beach all won Grade 1 races running one mile or farther. Sprinting is not the forte of these bloodlines; instead, two-turn stamina is what they consistently produce.

If there’s one potential hole in Charge It’s pedigree, it’s the fact Tapit has yet to sire a Kentucky Derby winner despite having many opportunities to do so. He’s sired at least one Derby starter every year since 2012, but his progeny have combined to go 0-for-12 in the Run for the Roses. For whatever reason, Tapit’s progeny have found the Belmont to be a much more favorable race. Perhaps Tapit’s best sophomores tend to peak later in the spring. Perhaps the 1 1/2-mile distance of the Belmont is more suitable than the 1 1/4-mile trip of the Kentucky Derby.

But descendants of Take Charge Lady frequently enjoy success from an early age while recording plenty of major wins over distances from one mile to 1 1/4 miles, and Indian Charlie is the grandsire of Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. Perhaps I’ll Take Charge can counterbalance some of Tapit’s late-maturing stamina and carry Charge It to the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle.

Check out these other Kentucky Derby pedigree profiles
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