10/06/2002 12:00AM

Take Charge Lady wins Overbrook Spinster


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Take Charge Lady ran into the record books and capped a spectacular weekend for jockey Edgar Prado by winning the 47th running of the $546,000 at Keeneland Sunday.

With a 2 1/2-length triumph over You in the Grade 1 Spinster, Take Charge Lady became just the third filly in Keeneland history to win the track's three major events for female horses. Take Charge Lady, owned by the Select Stable of Jerry and Feye Bach and trained by Ken McPeek, won the Alcibiades here last fall and the Ashland last spring, allowing her to join Doubledogdare (1955-56) and Optimistic Gal (1975-76) in similar sweeps.

For Prado, the Spinster was his fourth victory among the six graded stakes run during the three-day "Fall Stars Weekend" that opened the Keeneland fall meet. Prado also won the Galaxy on Owsley, the Breeders' Futurity on Sky Mesa, and the Shadwell Mile on Landseer.

Before an ontrack crowd of 13,153, Take Charge Lady was always close to the pace set by You in the 1 1/8-mile Spinster. While appearing to be trapped behind a wall of horses, Prado waited patiently before finding a rail opening at the top of the stretch. Take Charge Lady responded eagerly and proceeded to dominate the rest of the way, finishing in 1:49.90 over a fast track and returning $4.20 as favorite in a field of seven fillies and mares.

You held second, 1 3/4 lengths before Printemps, who loomed boldly at the top of the stretch after trailing early. Then came Dancethruthedawn, Atelier, Victory Ride, and Lakenheath.

McPeek, who grew up in Lexington, said he was thrilled with the victory but that he had some anxious moments.

"When they turned for home, I was like, 'Find a hole, find a hole,'" he said. "I saw a crack in there, and I said, 'Go!' And there she went."

Prado said Take Charge Lady "gave me everything she had. When she came up the rail, I was counting my money."

Take Charge Lady, a 3-year-old Dehere filly who has won eight of 12 career starts, now will head to the Breeders' Cup Distaff as no worse than third or fourth choice behind Azeri. The Spinster was worth $338,520 and lifted her career earnings to $1,586,351.

The Spinster was just the second start since May for Take Charge Lady, who was second in the Sept. 7 Gazelle after a layoff of 3 1/2 months.

"I think the time off we gave her over the summer was a big deal," said McPeek. "I resisted races like the Mother Goose and some other ones, and now it's paid off."

You, a 5-1 shot, ended an $18.40 exacta. The trifecta returned $67.80.