By Mike Kane
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas blames himself for the way champion Take Charge Brandi (Giant’s Causeway) ran in the GI Longines Test S. Aug. 8 at Saratoga. Making her first start since undergoing surgery on her right knee in March, the Willis Horton colorbearer set the early pace before fading to finish last of 10, beaten 24 lengths.
“To be perfectly frank and honest, it was a bad training job,” Lukas said. “I really misread her. I had a couple of really big works on her here and I thought, ‘Boy, I’m going too fast.’ I backed up on her, got a little bit soft with her and it really jumped up and bit me. It was not a good training job at all.”
The conditioner added, “I really felt like she was tighter, but she was dog-tired when she finished. She blew out of there and ran as far as I conditioned her.”
Lukas said his upset winner of last year’s GI Breeders‘ Cup Juvenile Fillies came out of the seven-furlong Test in good condition and is expected to breeze this weekend. The ‘TDN Rising Star’ will regroup and point towards the $1-million GI Cotillion S. Sept. 19 at Parx.
“I wish had pushed her a little bit more and had her more ready,” Lukas said. “But the good news is that it’s fixable.”