During the late 1990s, trainer Pat Byrne was at the height of his career as he guided the campaigns of Breeders' Cup Classic (GI) winner Awesome Again, multiple Grade I winner Favorite Trick and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) star Countess Diana. Now, more than 20 years later, Byrne is hoping Indy Takes Charge can add her name to his list of star horses as he points the precocious filly to the $150,000 Debutante Stakes (Listed) at Churchill Downs on June 29, closing day of the 38-day Spring Meet.
Indy Takes Charge cruised to a 3 ¼-length maiden score on May 31 at Churchill Downs at odds of 21-1. Owned by Chuck and Marybeth Sanford LLC, Indy Takes Charge worked a bullet three furlongs in :35.40 Friday with assistant trainer and exercise rider Loren Diego in the saddle.
“She popped right out in her debut to really win impressively,” Byrne said. “She really came back good and looked great breezing Friday. We're just in the building blocks of her career right now but if she can show this kind of spark as a 2-year-old it will always get you excited.”
Byrne, a native of London, England, has a special connection to Indy Takes Charge after he trained her sire, multiple graded stakes-winner Take Charge Indy.
“It's always special to have (Take Charge Indy) progeny in the barn,” Byrne said. “He was a very special horse to Marybeth and her late husband Chuck. (Indy Takes Charge) has that precociousness as her sire did.”
The six-furlong Debutante is part of a stakes triple header on closing day. Also on the card will be the $150,000 Bashford Manor (Grade III) for 2-year-olds at six furlongs and the $120,000-added Kelly's Landing Overnight Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs. Nominations for the Debutante and Bashford Manor close Saturday at midnight. For more information, visit www.churchilldowns.com.
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