Lady Tak Romps in Thelma, Will Try Better

Unbeaten Lady Tak , a 3-year-old daughter of Mutakddim cruised to an easy five-length win in the $75,000 Thelma Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Fair Grounds.

"She's never really been challenged, either in the morning or on the track," said trainer Steve Asmussen, who won the Thelma for the third time. "Next time we'll go a mile in the Tiffany Lass (Jan. 26) and see what happens."

Ridden by Donnie Meche, Lady Tak opened up three lengths in the stretch after fractions of 21.99 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 45.23 for the half. Lady Tak's winning time was 1:10.16.

"I know she opened big in the lane and I don't have eyes behind my head, so I rode her through the lane pretty good because I don't want to get caught on the outside at the wire," said Meche. "She just has such excellent acceleration. I think she can go long because I believe she will be patient and slow down."

Lady Tak absorbed the majority of the handle, paying $2.40 and $2.10. There was no show wagering in the four-horse field. As expected, Asmussen scratched his other two entries in the race, Valid Pulpit and Souris.

Allspice crossed the line second, but was disqualified and placed third for interference in the stretch with Buffalo Jump, who was placed second following a steward's inquiry.

In three starts, all victories, Lady Tak has earned $85,920 for Heiligbrodt Racing Stable.

(Chart, Equibase)