On Saturday, trainer Michael Campbell and owner George Mellon will send out their fourth starter in the $75,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity as the duo look to finally land a victory in the juvenile stakes race with Mellon Patch, Inc.’s Take Charge Dude. The 2-year-old son of Take Charge Indy won his debut at Arlington International Racecourse on Aug. 12 when going 5½ furlongs on the main track. Facing five others, Take Charge Dude sat just off the pacesetter in second, went two wide around the turn and pulled alongside the leader at the top of the stretch. Under urging from jockey Santo Sanjur, the colt headed the front runner but was reluctant to pass. The photo finish showed Take Charge Dude the winner by a nose. He will stretch out on Sept. 9 to seven furlongs while sticking with the Polytrack surface.
“For us it was a ‘win and you’re in’ or a ‘lose and you’re out,” said Campbell. “I don’t like to run maidens against winners, even in a 2-year-old stakes.”
Though his workout pattern may appear sporadic, the colt has shown quite a bit of speed in his morning works at the Chicagoland oval. He came back to post a five furlong work on Aug. 30 in 1:00.60, the best of 15 works at that distance that day. Take Charge Dude posted a similar work from the gate eight days prior to his debut.
“I’ve been working him very quick from the gate because I know in these sprints you need early speed, so I’ve been trying to put as much speed on him as possible,” said Campbell. “He’s not really a sprinter – as he evolves he’ll be a two-turn horse. His dam raced at Woodbine and was a competent Polytrack horse. I think that’s where he gets his knack for it.”
Take Charge Dude was bred in Florida by Rustlewood Farm. He is out Gospel Girl, a daughter of Holy Bull who earned one third and four second-place finishes in her seven starts on the Polytrack at Woodbine. Take Charge Dude is from the first crop of Grade I-winner Take Charge Indy, who was recently sold to South Korea for stud duties. Take Charge Indy broke his maiden on debut at Arlington in 2011 before finishing second in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity that year.
Cambell and Mellon sent out their first Futurity starter in 2009 with Beware the Tiger, who finished fifth. In 2014 they were runners-up with Private Prospect before finishing 12th in 2015 with Congrats Given.
PRINCESS ERINDELLE TRIES POLY AGAIN IN OVERNIGHT STAKES
Owner and trainer Hugh Robertson will saddle stakes winner Princess Erindelle in the sixth race Sept. 9 at Arlington International Racetrack as the daughter of Divine Park will try for her first victory on a synthetic surface in the $65,000 Avers Wexler Memorial Overnight Stakes. Victorious in the 2016 Allen Black Cat LaCombe Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots last March, Princess Erindelle is winless since January when she captured an allowance optional-claiming event on an off track at Fair Grounds.
The 4-year-old filly finished second a neck from victory in her synthetic debut on May 20 at Arlington. She finished off the board in her next two starts at Canterbury Park, once on the turf and once on the dirt. She trained at Arlington throughout, working most recently on Sept. 4 when she covered four furlongs in 52.80 seconds.
“I usually work her four or five days before she races,” said Robertson. “I was a little surprised at the time – she goes out when it’s still dark out, and it’s a lot cooler so the track is usually a little faster. But my rider said she galloped well, she felt good. He would know – he always works her.”
The Avers Wexler is restricted to fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward, to be contested on the main track at 1 1/16 miles. It drew a field of nine before scratches.
Source: Arlington International Racecourse