Take Charge Lady zipped five furlongs in 1:00.20 over a fast main track in preparation for the $300,000-added Falls City Handicap (gr. II) on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27. She ran second to Allamerican Bertie in that race a year ago. Trainer Neil Howard was looking for an easy half-mile from 5-year-old Quick Tip, but got a sharp move over the firm but damp ground that earned a thumbs- up from exercise rider Annie Finney."She looked good," Howard said of the daughter of Unaccounted For. "It looked like she finished good and that was the main thing."Quick Tip had breezed five furlongs in 1:02.40 over the main track on Nov. 13 and Tuesday's work came a day ahead of what would have been Howard's normal schedule for the mare.
"I worked her back a day early because I wanted to work her on the turf rather than work her tomorrow in the slop, so we didn't do much with her," he said. "She's fit and she's had a prep over the track earlier in the meet."Quick Tip won a 1 1/16-mile allowance race on the Matt Winn Turf Course Oct. 31 to improve her record to 9-7-3 in 33 races. She has earned $685,969.In other Cardinal news, likely favorite Bien Nicole, owned by Kristine and John Richter, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60 over a good track Monday at Churchill Downs' Trackside Louisville Training Center.The 5-year-old daughter of Bien Bien won the WinStar Galaxy (gr. II) at Keeneland and finished ninth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita in her most recent start.Expected to join Quick Tip and Bien Nicole in the field for the 30th running of the Cardinal are 2002 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IIT) winner Riskaverse, Janeian, Diadella, Dyna Da Wyna, San Dare, Delmonico Cat, Dick's Chick, Golden Rhythm, and Ilha Grande.Meanwhile, Take Charge Lady's five-furlong move was the second fastest of 28 at the distance and it left jockey Tony D'Amico beaming.
"She was very relaxed the first part of it and we wanted her to finish up pretty good and she did," D'Amico said. "We were very pleased with the work."The two-time winner of Keeneland's Spinster Stakes (gr. I), who is trained by Ken McPeek, worked in the company of a stablemate. She broke off several lengths behind her workmate and easily blew past the other horse in the run through the stretch."We just wanted a target for her to run at a little bit," said D'Amico. "She ran him down real easy, so that was kind of what we wanted."D'Amico will ride Take Charge Lady in the 1 1/8-mile Falls City. The daughter of Dehere finished sixth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Oak Tree at Santa Anita in her most recent star, but has a career record of 11-7-0 in 21 races. Others expected to compete in the Falls City include multiple Grade I winner Sightseek, Churchill Downs Distaff (gr. II) winner Lead Story, and Churchill Downs Distaff runner-up Awesome Humor.