Breeders’ Cup Photo ©
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.
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