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Champion Take Charge Brandi on the mend after surgery

Take Charge Brandi, the champion 2-year-old filly of 2014, is on the mend and slated to ship back to trainer D. Wayne Lukas’s Oaklawn Park barn Saturday after undergoing surgery at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital Thursday to insert a pin into her right knee.

Owned by Willis Horton, Take Charge Brandi was slated to face juvenile male champion American Pharoah in the Grade II Rebel Stakes Saturday but was declared out of the race earlier this week when she was found to have a non-displaced chip in her right knee.

Lukas said Friday that Dr. Larry Bramlage said Thursday’s surgery was “textbook” and that the prognosis is 100 percent for the daughter of Giant’s Causeway to return to training after 60 days off.

“Dr. Bramlage was very positive,” Lukas said. “If you’re going to have a setback it turned out about as good as you could hope. They’re going to keep her (at Rood & Riddle) today (Friday) and they’ll release her tomorrow.”

Take Charge Brandi won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, the Delta Princess and Grade I Starlet Stakes at the end of 2014 to cement divisional honors. The chestnut filly won the Martha Washington Stakes in her seasonal bow at Oaklawn on January 31.

Constitution to miss Dubai World Cup

Edited release:

Multiple Grade I winner Constitution will not travel to the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse on  March 28 after heat and soreness was discovered in his left shin this past Sunday, his connections have announced.

 

Owned by WinStar Farm and  Twin Creeks Racing, the 4-year-old son of Tapit captured the Grade I Donn Handicap in his seasonal debut on February 7 and most recently worked five furlongs in 1:01.21 at Palm Beach Downs on March 7.

 

“After breezing him on Saturday, we detected some heat and slight soreness in his left shin on Sunday morning,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “With the Breeders’ Cup as our main goal, we decided to take the conservative approach for now and not ship him to Dubai.”

 

WinStar President and CEO Elliott Walden added: “Constitution is a tremendous stallion prospect, and we want to be very careful with him. It doesn’t make sense to push him and send him overseas now.”

 

Constitution recorded a 113 Beyer Speed Figure with his win in the Donn, marking the fastest Beyer recorded to date in 2015 at any distance or track in the world. Out of the multiple graded stakes-producing Distorted Humor mare Baffled, Constitution holds career earnings of $1,004,096 to date.

 

Owned by WinStar Farm & Twin Creeks Racing, the 4-year-old son of Tapit was discovered to have a little heat and soreness in his left shin following a breeze last Sunday at Palm Beach Downs.

 

“After breezing him on Saturday, we detected some heat and slight soreness in his left shin on Sunday morning,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “With the Breeders’ Cup as our main goal, we decided to take the conservative approach for now and not ship him to Dubai.”

 

 

Constitution won the Grade I Florida Derby in his third career start last March before being sidelined with a hairline fracture in his front right cannon bone.  He has four wins from six career starts with $1,004,096 in earnings.

 

“Constitution is a tremendous stallion prospect, and we want to be very careful with him,” said WinStar president Elliott Walden. “It doesn’t make sense to push him and send him overseas now.”

Champion Take Charge Brandi out of Rebel Stakes with knee chip

Champion filly Take Charge Brandi will miss her expected showdown with juvenile male champion American Pharoah in Saturday’s Grade II, $750,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park and be sidelined for 60 days after being diagnosed with a non-displaced chip in her right knee Tuesday, her connections confirmed.

Owner Willis Horton said D. Wayne Lukas contacted him Tuesday morning after the Hall of Fame trainer noticed Take Charge Brandi was “a little tender”  after training Monday.   X-Rays were taken and transmitted to Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington.

Horton said the daughter of Giant’s Causeway was slated to ship to Rood & Riddle Wednesday where Dr. Bramlage will likely insert a pin into the injured knee. While the injury knocks Take Charge Brandi out for the spring, a return to racing by this summer is expected barring any further setbacks.

“Dr. Bramlage said she should come back 100 percent,” Horton said when reached by phone from his home in Arkansas Tuesday. “He said she’ll need stall rest for 30 days, walk for 30 days and then she could go back into training.

“It’s kind of like losing a member of the family, or getting a member of the family hurt,” Horton added. “It’s pretty devastating but that’s the name of the game and we have to live with it and go on.”

Take Charge Brandi was coming into the Rebel Stakes having won her seasonal bow in the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn on January 31 by a head. Had she run in the Rebel Stakes, it would have marked the first meeting between the reigning champion 2-year-old male and 2-year-old female since the infamous, ill-fated match race between Foolish Pleasure and Ruffian in 1975.

“We’re going to take a positive approach to this,” Lukas said. “She’s only going to be out 60 days.”

Take Charge Brandi captured the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, the Grade III Delta Jackpot Princess and the Grade I Starlet Stakes in her final three starts of 2014 to cement year-end honors. She has won five of nine career starts with $1,680,126 in earnings and is out of the Seeking the Gold mare, Charming, who is a half sister to champion Will Take Charge.

“I thought she had a big chance (in the Rebel),” Horton said. “This broke my heart that I won’t get to see what I set out to do. She’s been sound all the way through, never had any problem. But always some little something can happen in this business.”

 

 

 

Demand for Keeneland Breeders’ Cup tickets endures despite glitches

The demand to be part of the first ever Breeders’ Cup World Championships held at Keeneland was tested on Wednesday as public sales for this year’s two-day event went on sale at noon E.T.

Since sales opened at midday, approximately 25,000 tickets were sold through 5,500 unique transactions, according to a statement from Breeders’ Cup spokesman Jim Gluckson. The statement added that while most of the reserved seating available for both October 30 and 31 sold out within hours, there remains some inventory including General Admission for both days, and limited availability in the trackside Bourbon Lounge located at the top of the stretch featuring expansive views of the racetrack.

Total ticketing for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup is projected at 77,000 for the two days. Tickets for The Hill and The Meadow are per car, and allow access of all occupants of the car, so the estimated attendance is 42,000-45,000 each day.  After Wednesday’s public sales, Breeders’ Cup said it has sold 60,000 of those tickets, and have approximately 17,000 available.

 Seats in both the Entertainment Center and Keene Barn, which do not offer access to the track, are also still available.

“We are extremely pleased with the incredibly high demand for tickets to the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland,” Gluckson said in the statement.

The ticketing process was not without glitches. As many across the country logged on at noon to begin the purchasing process, the Breeders’ Cup website became overloaded causing many to get an error message.

Though some fans reported on social media they were able to get through and purchase tickets with no issue, several more lamented being kicked out of the ticketing queue multiple times causing them to have to start the process all over. Others encountered lengthy estimated wait times while in the ticketing queue with the wait time often increasing, not decreasing, the longer they remained in the queue.

” We greatly appreciate fans being patient with our ticketing system while we processed the unprecedented volume of inquiries during the first hour of ticket sales and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience,” Gluckson said.

Fans can visit Breederscup.com or call 1-877-TIX-4CUP (call center hours are M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET) to purchase tickets.

 

Horton on Take Charge Brandi’s Rebel hopes: ‘I want to find out how good she is’

Edited release:

Take Charge Brandi wasn’t entered Wednesday morning for Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn, paving the way for the champion 2-year-old filly to meet males in the Grade II, $750,000 Rebel Stakes  March 14.

 

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas had said last week that Take Charge Brandi would be entered in the Honeybee, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies. But, it became apparent Monday morning that Take Charge Brandi wouldn’t be entered in the Honeybee and instead point for the 1 1/16-mile Rebel where she is slated to face reigning juvenile male champion, American Pharoah.

 

About four hours after Take Charge Brandi worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 Monday morning, Horton said it had been “pretty much” decided that the filly would run in the Rebel and Lukas was shopping for a rider. Horton’s preference throughout the process was to run in the Rebel. Jon Court rode the filly in the Martha Washington.

 

“I really want to find out how good she is,” Horton said. “If she can beat the boys, I think her better chance of doing that is early than later in the year, because the boys will start really gaining. I’m just wanting to take a chance on beating the boys. I’m just trying to build her resume up.”

 

Lukas called Monday’s work, the third for Take Charge Brandi since winning the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31, a “maintenance” move.

 

Lukas has maintained since December that Take Charge Brandi is being pointed for the Kentucky Oaks, not the Kentucky Derby. Take Charge Brandi, who has never faced males, has won 5 of 9 career starts and earned $1,680,126. She has won four consecutive races.

 

The presence of Take Charge Brandi and American Pharoah further enhances a blockbuster March 14 program.

 

The Grade II, $300,000 Azeri Stakes for older fillies and mares is expected to attract 2014 champion 3-year-old filly Untapable. Multiple stakes winner Tapiture is also expected to make his 4-year-old debut in the Grade III, $250,000 Razorback Handicap for older horses. Tapiture hasn’t started since finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Oct. 31 at Santa Anita.

Stud farms pledge to support Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance

Edited release:

Twenty commercial breeding farms from across the country have signed on to support the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) by donating a portion of their stud fees to support Thoroughbred aftercare in 2015.

 

They are: Adena Springs, Airdrie Stud, Castleton Lyons, Claiborne, Darby Dan, Darley America, Gainesway Farm, Hill ‘n’ Dale, Lane’s End, Millennium Farms, Ocala Stud, Pin Oak Stud, Ramsey Farm, Sequel Stallions, Shadwell Farm, Taylor Made Stallions, Three Chimneys Farm, Unusual Heat Syndicate, Walmac Farm and WinStar.

 

Participating farms agreed to donate 25 percent or more of the advertised stud fee for each stallion on their roster.

 

“Caring for our horses following the end of their racing careers should be a priority to all participants in the Thoroughbred industry,” said Antony Beck of Gainesway Farm. “The TAA helps to join everyone together in this endeavor to support a common cause.”

 

As the TAA continues to gain prominence and support, more farms and individual stallion syndicates are expected to participate.

 

“As the president of the TAA, I want to thank my colleagues for showing their support for and commitment to aftercare through these stallion pledges,” said Jimmy Bell, president of both Darley America and the TAA. “While still in our early days, these stud farms have been instrumental in establishing a financial vehicle to further the TAA’s mission.”

 

“The TAA wouldn’t be where we are without them,” added Jack Wolf, president of Starlight Stables and founder of the TAA.

 

If you would like to support the TAA with your farm and/or a stallion please contact Ashton Moynihan at (859) 224- 2772 or amoynihan@thoroughbredaftercare.org to obtain additional information.

Ocean Knight to bypass Gotham, run in Tampa Bay Derby

Sam F. Davis Stakes winner Ocean Knight is going to skip Saturday’s Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct and remain in Florida to run in the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby on the same day, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Tuesday morning.

Owned by Stonestreet Stables, Ocean Knight was originally being pointed to the 1 1/16-miles Tampa Bay Derby after his victory in the Grade III Sam F. Davis on January 31. That plan was initially altered due to the fact that Grade I winner Carpe Diem, who is partially owned by Stonestreet, is also slated to run in the Tampa Bay Derby. However, McLaughlin said Tuesday that after talking with Stonestreet owner Barbara Banke, they have decided to go back to plan ‘A’ with Ocean Knight.

“She called this morning and we talked between her team and she said after talking about, it she preferred to stay in Florida and run in Tampa,” McLaughlin said. “We’re happy. We were happy to go to New York, we were happy to run in either place. But Tampa is a little different track and he did win there. And it’s a little easier going on a 3 1/2 hour van ride than to New York. So Barbara made the decision.”

McLaughlin added that he was under the impression that Carpe Diem, who is trained by Todd Pletcher, was still slated for the Tampa Bay Derby as well. Elliott Walden, president of WinStar Farm which co-owns Carpe Diem in partnership with Stonestreet, confirmed via text message on Tuesday that Carpe Diem was indeed still on course for that start.

The Tampa Bay Derby will mark the third career start for Ocean Knight. The bay son of Curlin broke his maiden at first asking going six furlong at Aqueduct on December 13 and overcame a wide trip to win the 1 1/16-miles Sam F. Davis Stakes by a neck on January 31.

“He did like the track (at Tampa) and he won there so we are happy to go back there,” McLaughlin said. “The competition is going to be a little stiffer with Carpe Diem and one or two others. So there are a few nice horses in there, it’s going to be a tougher race. But it is nice to go back to a track we know we handle well.”

Take Charge Brandi to work Monday; decision on Rebel still pending

Edited release:

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he hopes to breeze champion Take Charge Brandi Monday morning at Oaklawn in preparation for her next start, possibly against males in the Grade II, $750,000 Rebel Stakes March 14.

 

“At this point,” Lukas said late Sunday morning, he still plans to enter Take Charge Brandi in Saturday’s Grade III, $150,000 Honeybee Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, a move that will allow he and owner Willis Horton more time to analyze the prospective Rebel field. Post positions for the 1 1/16-mile Honeybee will be drawn Wednesday morning. Horton has said his preference is to test his Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly against males in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel.

 

Take Charge Brandi galloped Thursday morning, but the track was closed for training Friday and Saturday. Lukas had mentioned working Take Charge Brandi this weekend, but decided not take any of his horses to the track Sunday morning when Oaklawn reopened for training. The surface was rated muddy Sunday by clockers.

 

“We’ll work tomorrow if the track’s good,” Lukas said. “If it isn’t, then we won’t work at all.”

 

Despite not going to the track the last three days, Lukas said the interruption won’t impact Take Charge Brandi’s next start, whether it’s the Honeybee or Rebel.

 

“You’re always concerned about setbacks this time of the year, but a day or two doesn’t make any difference,” Lukas said. “But you’d like to run on the day you train for.”

 

Take Charge Brandi won the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31 in her 3-year-old debut.

 

Horton mulling start in Rebel for champion filly Take Charge Brandi

Owner Willis Horton confirmed Wednesday afternoon he is mulling starting his champion filly Take Charge Brandi against males in the Grade II, $750,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park March 14.

 

Horton told Oaklawn Park’s publicity staff that Take Charge Brandi, the reigning champion 2-year-old filly, is “50-50″ to stay against her own sex and run in the Grade III Honeybee Stakes on March 7 but that he personally was leaning toward an outing in the Rebel.

 

The 1 1/16-miles Rebel Stakes is expected to mark the seasonal debut for Zayat Stables’  American Pharoah, the champion 2-year-old male of 2014. The Rebel would be Take Charge Brandi’s first race against males.

 

“I guess we’re going to have to look at it and see,” Horton told Oaklawn Park. “I haven’t completely made up my mind yet, but I would like to run in the Rebel. That’s exactly where I’d like to.”

 

Horton said he will confer with the filly’s Hall of Fame trainer, D. Wayne Lukas, before a decision is made, which the owner believes will come by the middle of next week. Post positions for the 1 1/16-mile Honeybee will be drawn March 4.

 

Lukas also trains Mr. Z who,  like American Pharoah, is owned by Zayat Stables. Mr. Z finished third in the Grade III Southwest Stakes this past Sunday. While Lukas  indicated he wanted to run the colt back in the Rebel, owner Ahmed Zayat and his son Justin Zayat announced on Twitter this week that Mr. Z would instead be pointed to a start in the Grade II Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on March 28 in order to keep him and American Pharoah apart.

 

Take Charge Brandi, in her 3-year-old debut, won the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31 by a head. The daughter of Giant’s Causeway earned divisional honors after winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, the Grade III Delta Princess, and the Grade I Starlet Stakes to close out her nine-race campaign in 2014.

 

Take Charge Brandi is out of the mare Charming, who is a half sister to champion Will Take Charge. Will Take Charge was conditioned by Lukas and campaigned by Horton throughout his career before retiring to stud at Three Chimneys Farm for the 2015 season.

 

China Horse Club buys into Grade I winner Daredevil

Edited release:

China Horse Club has acquired a minority interest in Grade I winner Daredevil, who is set to make his 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

 

A son of More Than Ready, Daredevil captured the Grade I Champagne Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths at Belmont last October before finishing last in a field of 11 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The chestnut colt is trained by Todd Pletcher and owned by Let’s Go Racing and WinStar Farm.

 

“Let’s Go Racing and WinStar are thrilled to have such an exciting new partner as China Horse Club, who recently approached us with an interest in buying into Daredevil,” said Let’s Go Racing’s Bryan Sullivan. “China Horse Club’s racing accomplishments at the highest level around the globe are nothing short of impressive.”

 

China Horse Club is an emerging international Thoroughbred racing club that has bought into such recent world-class horses as three-time Group I winner Australia, last year’s winner of the Epsom and Irish Derbies, and Parranda, last Sunday’s winner of the $3.05 million Singapore Cup.

 

China Horse Club has also bought into Australian star Dissident, who captured his fourth Group I win earlier this month in the CF Orr Stakes Feb. 14 at Caulfield. Dissident, who’s retiring to stud this spring at Newgate Farm, is by More Than Ready’s son Sebring, a rising young sire in Australia.

 

“China Horse Club has already enjoyed tremendous success with a top colt from the More Than Ready sire line with Australian superstar Dissident,” said WinStar Farm president Elliott Walden. “So it’s a great fit to have such a top international outfit associated with an exciting young Grade 1 winner in Daredevil, who possesses such a great international pedigree.”

 

Daredevil earned $345,000 last year as a 2-year-old. Prior to his Champagne effort, he scored an impressive 6 ¼-length debut win at Belmont. The colt hails from the multiple Grade I-producing Forty Niner mare Chasethewildwind, who is also the dam of Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and Grade I Donn Handicap winner Albertus Maximus.

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