Take Charge Lady, sidelined by injury.

Take Charge Lady, sidelined by injury.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Take Charge Lady, White Cat Scratched From Churchill Stakes

By Deirdre B. Biles and Ron Mitchell

Friday morning was not a good time at the barn of Kenny McPeek. He has been forced to scratch two horses from stakes races at Churchill Downs today--Take Charge Lady and White Cat.

Take Charge Lady was scheduled to run in the grade II Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap, and White Cat was running in the grade III Crown Royal American Turf.

Take Charge Lady bruised her left front foot, probably while galloping on Thursday, McPeek said. The injury is on the outside of her left front foot and was worse Friday morning, forcing the scratch.

"It was tender yesterday morning and we thought she was better yesterday afternoon," McPeek said. "But she was much lamer this morning and we decided to take her out. It is something that will more than likely resolve itself within the week. It's just one of those things. This is poor timing but we can't run her."

McPeek said the filly will be pointed toward the Shuvee Handicap or Milady Handicap. The latter race at Hollywood Park would set up a race with Horse of the Year Azeri. "I think she will like the track at Hollywood," McPeek said. "We have more speed than her. We will see. I have got to get her right."

Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia had installed Take Charge Lady the 4-5 favorite in the Louisville Breeders' Cup. The 4-year-old daughter of Dehere is owned by Jerry and Faye Bach's Select Stable and is a grade I winner of $1.8 million.

The injury to White Cat's left front ligament is more serious. McPeek described it as "potentially career ending." At best, White Cat will miss three to four months of training.

"Don't worry about us. We'll bounce back," McPeek said.

A 4-1 choice in the Crown Royal, White Cat is a 3-year-old Mountain Cat colt owned by Raymond Cottrell. He won the grade III Transylvania in his last start.