Select Stable's Take Charge Lady came out of her impressive 10 ½ -length tally in Monday's Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) well and will leave Arlington Park Wednesday evening on her return trip to Churchill Downs, trainer Ken McPeek said.
"She came out (of the Matron) very good," said McPeek by phone Wednesday morning. "I'm back in Louisville, and she's still up there, but she'll come back home tonight." McPeek said he plans to run Take Charge Lady in the $500,000 Overbrook Spinster (gr. I) Oct. 5 at Keeneland."That's still the plan," said McPeek. "As long as she stays as good as she is right now, that's where we'll be going. Assuming everything goes well there (in Lexington) we'll go on to the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. at Santa Anita Oct. 25). Take Charge Lady captured the 2002 Spinster by 2 1/2 lengths, taking command in upper stretch and gradually increasing the margin the rest of the way. Meanwhile, archrival Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year who soundly defeated Take Charge Lady in last fall's Breeders' Cup Distaff, but only beat her by a head this spring's Apple Blossom (gr. I) at Oaklawn, is scheduled to make her next start in Santa Anita's Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) Sept. 28. Laura de Seroux, who conditions that champion mare for the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust, will use that race as Azeri's final prep for the Breeders' Cup. "It's going to be fun," said McPeek, when asked about the prospect of a rematch with Azeri on the West Coast in this year's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. "I think it's just nice to be a part of a rivalry like that."
In the latest World Thoroughbred Rankings, Azeri remains on top in the Nextel Distaff Division while Take Charge Lady remains in a tie for fourth.