Updated on 09/17/2011 11:19AM

Take Charge Lady waltzes home

Benoit & Associates
Select Stable's multiple Grade I stakes winning filly Take Charge Lady easily disposes of five overmatched rivals in the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Matron Handicap on Labor Day.

The trainer Ken McPeek sauntered down through the Arlington grandstand late Monday afternoon, on his way to the winner's circle. He was working about as hard as Take Charge Lady did winning the Arlington Matron Handicap moments earlier.

"Well, she needed a confidence builder," McPeek said, smiling broadly.

After three tough losses in an abbreviated 2003 campaign, Take Charge Lady thumped five overmatched rivals in the Grade 3, $150,000 Matron, her first win since the Great State Challenge Distaff last December. Take Charge Lady won by 10 1/2 lengths, and strides from the finish, jockey Shane Sellers already was patting her on the neck.

Take Charge Lady's work basically was done at the quarter pole. She stalked moderate fractions - 24.14 seconds for a quarter-mile, 48.02 for a half - set by Fly Borboleta, inhaled the early leader on the far turn, and quickly opened up. Take Charge Lady paid $2.60 to win, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.19 over a muddy track. Of $379,260 in Arlington's show pool, $361,288 was bet on Take Charge Lady, creating a minus show pool of $75,230. Lakenheath finished second, with To the Queen third.

Take Charge Lady had run into Azeri, Sightseek, and Wild Spirit in her only three races this season, finishing second each time. Monday's race was more like a workout, as Take Charge Lady prepped for a late-season campaign with stops in the Spinster at Keeneland and the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita.

"I really think she's better now than at this time last year," McPeek said.