Champion sire Giant’s Causeway was in the spotlight at Santa Anita when his brilliant daughter Take Charge Brandi (2f Giant’s Causeway x Charming, by Seeking the Gold) won the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (pictured).
Trained by D Wayne Lukas, Take Charge Brandi was explosive when winning on debut earlier in the year, but has been a touch disappointing since before rebounding to win this 1 and 1/16th mile contest by half a length as a long shot.
“I thought she had a great week and today I thought we could be a factor–not that we would win it, but that we would do very well,” said Lukas.
A $435,000 Keeneland September purchase for Willis Horton, Take Charge Brandi is the second winner from Charming, a half-sister by Seeking the Gold to Grade I winners Will Take Charge and Take Charge Indy from triple Grade I winner Take Charge Lady.
She has won two of six starts earning $1.1 million and becomes the 144th stakes-winner for Giant’s Causeway, who nearly had the juvenile double with Carpe Diem (2c Giant’s Causeway x Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song) finishing second in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Adding further lustre to a great day for Giant’s Causeway was progressive colt Protonico (3c Giant’s Causeway x Alpha Spirit by AP Indy), who landed the $200,000 Grade III Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct.
Prepared by Todd Pletcher, Protonico raced away to win the 1 1/8th mile contest by two and three-quarter lengths, his overall record now four wins from seven starts with prizemoney just shy of $390,000.
A homebred for International Equities Holding, Protonico is the first winner for Alpha Spirit, a sister to stakes-winner Diva Spirit and daughter of Chilean Champion 3YO Filly Wild Spirit.