Long before racing fans became acquainted with the brilliance of likely Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite American Pharoah, J.B. and Kevin McKathan recognized his vast potential.
The top three finishers from the April 11 Arkansas Derby (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park, including runaway winner American Pharoah, emerged from the 1 1/8-mile race in good order, their connections said April 12.
Ranked second on the leaderboard for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and winner of two local preps, International Star will attempt to ace the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds on March 28.
Zayat Stables' Mr. Z will lose his blinkers for the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 28 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Zayat Stables' Mr. Z, pointing for the March 28 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), after training March 15 at Oaklawn Park.
A minor operation to place a pin in the right knee of champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi March 12 was a "textbook procedure," Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas reported March 13 at Oaklawn Park.
Take Charge Brandi will miss the March 14 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) with a non-displaced bone chip in her right knee. The injury will also prevent her from a run in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) or Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
The would-be spoiler will get a chance at victory sans 'Brandi' March 7, as her more accomplished rival will start against boys March 14. Sarah Sis heads a group of nine sophomore fillies in the $150,000 Honeybee.
Oaklawn officials said Take Charge Brandi appears headed for a showdown against top 3-year-old males in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 14, as last year's champion 2-year-old filly will not race in the Honeybee (gr. III).
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he hopes to breeze champion filly Take Charge Brandi March 2 at Oaklawn Park in preparation for her next start, possibly against males in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 14.
Owner Willis Horton confirmed Feb. 25 that the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) at Oaklawn Park March 14 is under consideration as a target for champion Take Charge Brandi, although a decision has not yet been made.
Zayat Stables will continue its chess game of 3-year-old prep racing by shipping Mr. Z to the March 28 Louisiana Derby (gr. II), while American Pharoah runs in the Rebel (gr. II) and El Kabeir starts in the Gotham (gr. II).
Willis Horton's champion Take Charge Brandi posted a five-furlong bullet work in 1:00 2/5 Feb. 21 at Oaklawn Park, a major move in preparation for her upcoming outing in the $150,000 Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) March 7.
As a companion to the feature in the February 21, 2015 issue of The Blood-Horse, 'The Thunder Rolled,' we present a visual look at Thunder Gulch's 1995 championship season. View Slideshow
Three months after taking the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash, Zee Bros returns to Laurel Park as the 117-pound starting highweight in the $250,000 General George Handicap (gr. III) Feb. 16.
Five projected starters for the $300,000 Southwest Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 16 at Oaklawn Park, completed their final major preparations at the Arkansas oval the morning of Feb. 11.
Willis Horton's champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi breezed a half mile at Oaklawn Park Feb. 9.
Despite comments made by the owner of Take Charge Brandi after her win in the Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31, trainer D. Wayne Lukas says the champion filly will remain pointed toward the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
Champion Take Charge Brandi got her 3-year-old campaign off to a winning start with a surprisingly tight head victory in the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31 at Oaklawn Park, her fourth consecutive win.
American Pharoah and Take Charge Brandi, last year's respective champion 2-year-old male and female, head the list of 429 Thoroughbreds made eligible to compete in the 2015 Triple Crown during the early nomination phase.
Thunder Gulch, champion 3-year-old male of 1995 and leading sire of 2001, has been retired from stallion duty at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. The 23-year-old is the sire of 96 stakes winners.
Few connections wanted to face Take Charge Brandi, but in the end a field of seven was drawn with the champion 2-year-old filly making her sophomore debut from post 6 under a highweight assignment of 122 pounds.
Champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi will get a new rider when she makes her sophomore debut Jan. 31 at Oaklawn Park, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.
Smarty Jones Stakes winner Far Right is expected to resume his Triple Crown preparations at Oaklawn Park, but the son of Notional may skip next month's Southwest Stakes (gr. III) in favor of the Rebel (gr. II) March 14.
Newly minted champion Take Charge Brandi breezed five furlongs Jan. 18 at Oaklawn Park in preparation for her 3-year-old debut in the $100,000 Martha Washington Stakes Jan. 31.
Zayat Stables' five-time stakes-placed Mr. Z will bid to add an elusive stakes win to his record Jan. 19 in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, Oaklawn Park's first major local prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I).
On Nov. 1 Take Charge Brandi won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). It was her first score for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas since breaking her maiden in June, but launched her championship season.
The road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park will begin Jan. 19 with the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes, a one-mile test for 3-year-olds which drew a group of nine.
- By Karen Johnson
- Thoroughbred Racing, Breeders' Cup, Triple Crown, Kentucky Oaks, Northeast Region, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region, Kentucky
Rivals and racing fans may view top trainer Todd Pletcher as reserved and unemotional, but there is more to the dedicated horseman than meets the eye. Read Feature
Rivals and racing fans may view top trainer Todd Pletcher as reserved and unemotional, but there is more to the dedicated horseman than meets the eye. A competitive nature, sly wit, and drive to succeed have carried him to the top of the game.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas had planned to take his time with Take Charge Brandi, but the finalist for champion 2-year-old filly of 2014 has other ideas.
The Lewis family and Denali Stud have announced the retirement of champion Serena's Song from breeding at age 22.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said the game plan at this time for Take Charge Brandi, leading contender for champion 2-year-old filly honors, includes the Longines Kentucky Oaks and none of the Triple Crown preps.
Fresh off a grade I victory at Los Alamitos with Take Charge Brandi in the $350,500 Starlet, trainer Wayne Lukas will return to his former Quarter Horse base with Mr. Z in the $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) Dec. 20.
Favored Take Charge Brandi registered her second grade I win of the year and third graded victory in a row when she narrowly captured the $350,000 Starlet Stakes for 2-year-old fillies Dec. 13 at Los Alamitos Race Course.
She's in the driver's seat already, but a win in the $350,000 Starlet Stakes (gr. I) Dec. 13 would mean the checkered flag in the juvenile filly Eclipse Award race for Take Charge Brandi.
Take Charge Brandi, the surprising winner of last month's 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), will return to California for the $350,000 Starlet (gr. I) Dec. 13 at Los Alamitos Racecourse.
Willis Horton's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and Delta Princess (gr. III) winner Take Charge Brandi and Zayat Stables LLC's Delta Jackpot (gr. III) runner-up Mr. Z both to have one more start in 2014.
Proving her Nov. 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) victory was no fluke, Willis Horton's Take Charge Brandi returned Nov. 22 to claim the $400,000 Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III) as the favorite at Delta Downs.
Grade I winner Take Charge Brandi will try to secure another lucrative purse when she faces a full field of 2-year-old fillies in the $400,000 Delta Downs Princess Stakes (gr. III) Saturday, Nov. 22.
Zayat Stables' Mr. Z, coming off a fifth-place finish in the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), heads a group of 10 plus two also-eligibles for the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) Nov. 22.
Zayat Stables' Zee Bros pulled a 29-1 upset in the $350,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash Stakes Nov. 15 at Laurel Park after taking charge off the far turn and sprinting clear in the stretch.
Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino said Nov. 11 it received 13 pre-entries for the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III), the richest 2-year-old stakes in North America outside of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.
Comments from the connections of Take Charge Brandi, winner of the 2014 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
Longshot Take Charge Brandi took the field gate to wire to score a 62-1 stunner in the 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
Ahmed Zayat still has Mr. Z and Prayer for Relief in the Breeders' Cup World Championships, but the injury that knocked American Pharoah out of the Juvenile was devastating to the owner.
Will Take Charge, last year's champion 3-year-old male, has been retired and will take up stud duty at Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky. The colt has a mild strain to a branch of his suspensory apparatus.
Growth in the median is the Keeneland sale's best news. read blog
Will Take Charge breezed five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 Sept. 10 under the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs, fastest of 21 other workers at the distance.
Eric Mitchell recaps Day 2 of the Keeneland September yearling sale, including the numbers and the top sellers, as well as comments from Mandy Pope, who purchased the session-topper. Brought to you by Taylor Made Sales. Watch Video
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