Take Charge Brandi: A Very Game Filly

Take Charge Brandi: A Very Game Filly

Breeders’ Cup Photo ©

Take Charge Brandi winning the 2014 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies - Breeders' Cup Photo (c)
Take Charge Brandi winning the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies – Breeders’ Cup Photo (c)

Just hours after it was announced that 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Bayern had been retired from racing, the career of another Breeders’ Cup champion was brought to a close. According to a press release from Hill ‘n Dale Farm, 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Take Charge Brandi has been retired from racing.

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas and owned by Willis Horton, the daughter of Giant’s Causeway pulled off one of the most astonishing upsets in Breeders’ Cup history when she won the Juvenile Fillies in gate-to-wire fashion, scoring at the improbable odds of 61.70-1. But Take Charge Brandi proved her victory wasn’t a fluke by winning the Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III) and Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) to earn the title of Eclipse champion 2yo filly of 2014.

Take Charge Brandi started off 2015 with a win in the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn, but was sidelined a few weeks later with a knee chip. She returned to the races in August, but failed to reproduce her best form, finishing last in both the Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga and the Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) at Parx Racing. Following these disappointing efforts, the decision was made to retire Take Charge Brandi.

But while some may remember Take Charge Brandi as a champion filly that failed to live up to expectations as a three-year-old, I will remember her as a filly that was extremely game and gritty when at her best. Perhaps the race that best exemplifies Take Charge Brandi’s determination is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, in which she held off a multitude of late-running challengers to win by just under a length.

Another game performance came in the Martha Washington Stakes, in which Take Charge Brandi seemed to ease herself up after entering the homestretch with a clear lead. Sarah Sis, a future graded stakes winner, put in a big rally up the rail to take a brief lead, but Take Charge Brandi refused to be beaten, and battled back gamely to win by a head.

Future plans have not yet been determined for Take Charge Brandi–according to reports, she could be sold at the Keeneland November auction, or she could be kept by Willis Horton and bred to Tapit or War Front. But whatever the future holds for Take Charge Brandi, I wish her the best!

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Follow J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman"):

J. Keeler Johnson is a writer, blogger, videographer, and all-around horse racing enthusiast who was drawn to the sport by Curlin's quest to become North America's richest racehorse. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He lives in Wisconsin and also writes for the Bloodhorse.com blog Unlocking Winners.

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