07/03/2001 11:00PM

Calder: Ex-claimer pulls upset


MIAMI - Take Charge Megan, a 9-year-old gelding who has spent most of the past two seasons in the claiming ranks, rose up to teach the youngsters a lesson when he rallied to a three-quarter-length victory over Special Coach in the $50,000 Americana Handicap at Calder.

Take Charge Megan ($23.60) was soundly beaten by $25,000 claiming rivals here last fall and was third for a $45,000 claiming price in his previous start. He raced nearly 10 lengths off the dueling leaders, was angled out to the middle of the track by jockey Manuel Aguilar coming into the stretch, then ran down Special Coach in the final strides.

The Americana was the 13th career victory for Take Charge Megan and came in his 84th start. He ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.72 over a good turf course.

Special Coach, who competed under a $50,000 claiming price when he defeated Take Charge Megan less than four weeks earlier, overtook the tiring Mr. Livingston to wrest a short advantage between calls in deep stretch before succumbing to Take Charge Megan in the final strides.

Mr. Livingston, the 5-2 favorite in a field of 10 older colts and geldings, finished third, a length behind Special Coach.