12/11/2014 12:42PM

Starlet win would push Take Charge Brandi toward title

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Take Charge Brandi, winning the Delta Princess, goes for her third straight stakes win in Saturday's Starlet.

CYPRESS, Calif. – Don’t mess with Take Charge Brandi.

That is what trainer D. Wayne Lukas has learned about her as she enters Saturday’s $350,000 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos.

“She wants to be left alone,” Lukas said this week. “She doesn’t want the rider screwing around.”

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 6 Take Charge Brandi. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is 32-2-4-3 with a $0.40 ROI over the past five years in dirt route graded stakes with last-out winners, including Take Charge Brandi’s last-out win in the Delta Downs Princess. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

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Victor Espinoza will follow those instructions when he rides Take Charge Brandi in the Grade 1 Starlet over 1 1/16 miles. Owned by Willis Horton, Take Charge Brandi will try to win her third consecutive stakes and perhaps lock up the juvenile filly title Saturday. She won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 1 at 61-1 and the Grade 3 Delta Downs Princess Stakes on Nov. 22.

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Take Charge Brandi will be favored in a field of seven. Five starters were supplemented for $15,000 when entries were taken Wednesday – Achiever’s Legacy, Majestic Presence, Danette, Don’t Blame Me, and Feathered.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 3 Danette. Trainer Keith Desormeaux is 36-3-3-10 with a $1.35 ROI over the past five years with juveniles in dirt routes. Click for more details. Mike Hogan


Take Charge Brandi (Last 3 Beyers: 85-83-64)

◗ Take Charge Brandi lost four consecutive graded stakes before she led throughout the BC Juvenile Fillies.

◗ In the Princess Stakes, she was second early, took the lead on the backstretch, and won by 1 1/2 lengths.

“She’ll rate,” Lukas said. “You saw that in the Delta Downs race. She developed beautifully from summer through the fall.”

◗ By Giant’s Causeway, Take Charge Brandi has won 3 of 7 starts and earned $1,410,126.

“The Giant’s Causeways get better when they get older, which is a great thought,” Lukas said.

Feathered (Last 3 Beyers: 81-72-86)

◗ Feathered was fourth, beaten a length by Take Charge Brandi, in the BC Juvenile Fillies. Following that race, she was sent back to trainer Todd Pletcher’s base in New York. Pletcher thought Feathered might win the BC Juvenile Fillies when the field turned into the stretch.

“She got bounced around a bit at the start and had a good trip after that,” he said. “I thought when she tipped out she might run them down. It seems like the trend of the day was speed was holding.”

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 4 Feathered. Trainer Todd Pletcher is 17-6-6-0 with a $8.04 ROI over the past five years in dirt routes with Mike Smith aboard. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

◗ A quick pace in the Starlet set by Don’t Blame Me, Maybellene, or Take Charge Brandi would help Feathered.

“I think she’s a versatile type,” Pletcher said. “I’m not opposed to stalking other horses. She could get a good trip.”

Majestic Presence (Last 3 Beyers: 80-60-74)

◗ Majestic Presence was a troubled third in the Princess Stakes, racing wide on the first turn before finishing 2 1/2 lengths behind Take Charge Brandi.

◗ The Princess Stakes was Majestic Presence’s first start with blinkers, which she will wear Saturday.

“She ran a good race,” said Dan Ward, assistant to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “She should improve with blinkers.”

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Achiever’s Legacy (Last 3 Beyers: 83-73-68)

◗ Trained by Hollendorfer, Achiever’s Legacy won the four-runner Desi Arnaz Stakes over seven furlongs at Del Mar on Nov. 16 for her first stakes win. She closed from last in that field to finish 1 1/2 lengths in front of Maybellene, who runs in the Starlet.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 1 Achiever’s Legacy. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer is 18-7-5-1 with a $3.52 ROI over the past five years on dirt with juveniles going from sprint to route. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

◗ Achiever’s Legacy may need a quick pace to win.

“It could be a good setup for her with some speed in there,” Ward said.

Maybellene (Last 3 Beyers: 80-74-23)

◗ Maybellene was eased after a poor start in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 27 but rebounded to win an optional claimer over a mile there Oct. 23.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 7 Maybellene. Trainer Bob Baffert is 18-8-3-1 with a $3.23 ROI over the past five years going synthetic to dirt and sprint to route in graded stakes. Click for more details. Dan Illman

◗ She was near the front in the Arnaz Stakes before being passed by Achiever’s Legacy.

“She’s better going long,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “She’s improving.”