The 3-year old filly Charming, the first foal out of Take Charge Lady (shown), won her debut at Keeneland on April 10.

The 3-year old filly Charming, the first foal out of Take Charge Lady (shown), won her debut at Keeneland on April 10.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Take Charge Lady Filly Wins in Debut

Charming, a $3.2 million purchase, breaks her maiden at Keeneland April 10.

During her racing days, Take Charge Lady was known as the “Queen of Keeneland.” That moniker was branded as a result of the Dehere filly winning the Alcibiades (gr. II), Ashland (gr. I), as well as the Spinster Stakes (gr. I) on two occasions.

So it was only fitting that the first foal out of the remarkable Take Charge Lady made her debut at the Lexington racetrack. And, it was also fitting that the regally-bred filly won.

On April 10, in a maiden special weight for 3-year-old fillies, Charming outdueled Spring Elusion down the stretch to earn a hard-fought victory. Ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Todd Pletcher, the daughter of Seeking the Goldwon as the 3-2 favorite on Polytrack.

Owned by James Scatuorchio, Charming was a $3.2 million purchase at the Keeneland September 2006 yearling sale, the top-priced filly at the session. Her racing career was put on hold due to some minor problems, but Pletcher said they are now expecting big things from her.

“We had her at Arlington for a little while this summer and she trained well there,” Pletcher said from the winner’s circle. “We ended up having to give her a little time off because of her shin, but we knew she handed the Polytrack well. She had a nice breeze over it (April 8), so we were confident coming in.

“This is a different surface than the one Take Charge Lady won on, obviously, but it was a good omen that she was here.”

Charming broke from the rail under Velazquez and held a narrow advantage over Spring Elusion for the entire 6 ½ furlongs. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Spring Elusion was on the outside of her rival as they hit the top of the lane, and was only a neck back.

But Charming never was willing to relinquish her short lead and hit the wire in front by a neck. The final time was 1:15.78 on a fast track.

“John rode a good race,” Pletcher said. “We were a little concerned about having the rail, but John made a point to get out in the middle of the track on the backside. But she ran a very professional race for her first time starting.

“We’ll take a natural progression and probably find an allowance race for her, but bred the way she is, she’ll eventually stretch out.”

Take Charge Lady was the second highest-priced mare at the Keeneland November 2006 breeding stock sale, going for $4.2 million. She won 11 races and earned more than $2.4 million in her racing career. Her Keeneland victories came in 2002 and 2003.