On balance, the revised qualification format for the Kentucky Derby has been a positive–unless you’re a female horse. It’s had the effect of making it more difficult for the distaff qualify for the Kentucky Derby. That might not deter super filly Take Charge Brandi–her connections are considering pointing her to the Kentucky Derby, not the Kentucky Oaks.
On Saturday, Take Charge Brandi won her third graded stakes race of the season and her second Grade 1 contest as she was victorious in the Starlet at Los Alamitos Race Course. It was her third straight victory–she took the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies as a 62-1 underdog and gave notice that she was no fluke as she quickly came back to win the Grade 3 Princess at Delta Downs. She’s a lock for an Eclipse Award but in reality she might not just be the most dominant juvenile filly in the game but the most dominant two year old horse, male or female. It sure seems that her trainer, D. Wayne Lukas feels that way–rumor has it that he’s considering putting her on the Derby prep trail in 2015 in hopes she can qualify for ‘The Run for the Roses’.
In reality, there’s no downside risk for Lukas. Take Charge Brandi already has enough points to guarantee her a spot in the Kentucky Oaks. Worth noting that Lukas trained the last filly to win the Kentucky Derby, Winning Colors in 1988. So far, Lukas hasn’t made any public indication if he’ll try to get her in the Derby. He did, however, admit that she’s been a different horse since he quit trying to ‘micromanage’ her: “It’s completely changed her since we decided just to leave her alone and let her run her race. We tried to get too cute with her during the summer and finally, I woke up and said ‘I’ll just leave her alone.’ We made that decision and it’s worked.”
Lukas has already shown that he thinks Take Charge Brandi is further along in her development at this stage than the typical filly. She’s started eight times in her juvenile season which is a very ambitious schedule for a two year old.