11/20/2014 12:25PM

Take Charge Brandi looks to strengthen Eclipse Award credentials in Delta Princess

Debra A. Roma
Take Charge Brandi, who upset the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at 61-1, can help her chances of becoming champion 2-year-old filly by winning the Delta Princess.

Take Charge Brandi has more at stake in the Grade 3, $400,000 Delta Downs Princess on Saturday than just attempting to secure a first-place check as the race’s probable favorite. The Princess is a stage for Take Charge Brandi, upset winner of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, to cater to some unfinished business before the close of the year.

“We still have ambitions to put her in the mix for champion 2-year-old filly, so we think if we come back with another nice effort that would enhance that possibility,” said D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Take Charge Brandi for Willis Horton.

Take Charge Brandi will face nine others in the Princess, a one-mile race to be run around two turns on the six-furlong track at Delta. The Princess is the third leg of a pick four that has a guaranteed pool of $200,000. The sequence runs on races 4-7, ending with the afternoon’s centerpiece, the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot.

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Delta Downs Princess (Race 6)


Take Charge Brandi (Last 3 Beyers: 83-64-58)

◗ She is invading for the Princess off a front-running win in the Breeders’ Cup in a championship bid, as well as for a host of other reasons, said Lukas.

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“It is graded, it’s $400,000, which you can’t take lightly, and I think that it’s a situation that probably on tight turns you have to have tactical speed, and she certainly has that,” he said. “I think it’s a decent fit. There’s also points for the [Kentucky] Oaks.”

◗ Take Charge Brandi got Breeders’ Cup Saturday card off to a rousing start when she pulled a 61-1 upset in the Juvenile Fillies. The race came one start after she finished eighth in the Alcibiades.

“We felt that she would run a super-good race,” Lukas said. “She had such a good month going into it. The real Take Charge Brandi showed up. I think I’ve got a good line on her now, what we can do with her, and we’re headed in the right direction. The best is yet to come.”

◗ Paco Lopez has the mount from post 6.

Skipalute (Last 3 Beyers: 77-78-58)

◗She is a maiden, but enters off a big runner-up finish in the Grade 2 Matron at Belmont Park on Oct. 5.

“She’s a filly maturing and developing and improving from one race to the next and hopefully she’ll continue on that trend,” said trainer Eddie Kenneally. “I think she can.”

◗Skipalute, who will be making her two-turn debut, will break from post 5 under Corey Lanerie.

“She’s got tactical speed,” Kenneally said.

Vivian Da Bling (Last 3 Beyers: 74-73-81)

◗She dominated the local prep, the $100,000 My Trusty Cat on Oct. 24. She was an eight-length winner of the seven-furlong race, run around two turns.

“I think having a race over the track is so beneficial because that track can be a little bit tricky,” said trainer Bret Calhoun.

◗Vivian Da Bling will break from post 7 under Chris Rosier.

“She’s been a pretty nice filly from Day 1,” Calhoun said. “The main improvement I’ve seen in her is her ability to rate and relax.”