Take Charge Paula Proves Deserved Favorite In Forward Gal

by | 02.03.2018 | 5:14pm
Take Charge Paula, shown winning the Forward Gal with ease

Making it a good 15-minute run for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, Peter Deutsch's Take Charge Paula got her first graded stakes win in the G3 Forward Gal at Gulfstream Park just minutes after Avery Island took down the Withers at Aqueduct. A 3-year-old daughter of Take Charge Indy, the filly was off at odds of 5-2 under Paco Lopez. After dueling with Heavenhasmynikki early on, Take Charge Paula did just that and stole away for a nearly four-length win. She completed seven furlongs over the fast main track in 1:23.47.

“[Trainer] Kelly [Breen] had won three stakes with her and someone mentioned that she was for sale,” explained McLaughlin. “Peter [Deutsch] is new in our barn and he's been looking for fillies that might later be broodmare prospects. It was a perfect case scenario. He said, 'Sure, let's try to get it done,' and we bought her and here we are now, a graded-stakes winner.”

Take Charge Paula broke on top of the field, but Heavenhasmynikki came up the inside to take the lead by about a half-length in the first quarter. The two stayed within three-quarters of a length for fractions of :23.35 and :46.67, but Take Charge Paula resumed her lead with a convincing move around the far turn. She floated very wide into the stretch, sacrificing a bit of her lead, but held on and straightened out to find her rhythm once again.

Down the lane, Take Charge Paula moved away from her rivals with ease to cross the wire nearly four lengths in front. Sultry closed from the rear of the field to get second, while My Miss Lily bested Heavenhasmynikki for third.

“I had a great trip and a great position,” said Lopez. “I know this filly really well and Kiaran told me she was a little nervous today, so just work with her. The track is a little fast, so I went outside and waited for the other horses. She's a nice filly and ran great for Kiaran.”

Bred in Kentucky by Extern Developments LTD., Take Charge Paula was a $40,000 weanling at Keeneland November, then a $50,000 2-year-old at OBS March. She has now won five of her seven starts, including three listed stakes, for earnings of over $300,000.

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