July 4, 2022

Will Take Charge sires first winner in highly regarded Tijori

Tijori's cross of Will Take Charge over Tapit offers potentially key duplications (Photo courtesy of Benoit Photo)

Kaleem Shah’s Tijori broke sharply and ran her rivals off their feet in her debut in Friday’s 2ND race at Santa Anita, becoming a high-profile first winner for champion Will Take Charge.

The Simon Callaghan juvenile was dispatched as the slight 2-1 second choice, but performed more like an odds-on favorite should. Under Flavien Prat, Tijori outsprinted 39-1 longshot Factor of Two through an opening quarter in :22.33, then opened up at will. The flashy chestnut clocked :46.14 for a half-mile and finished 4 1/2 furlongs in :52.69 while crossing the wire 3 1/4 lengths clear of Factor of Two. The 2-1 favorite, Over Emphasize, was not a factor and wound up sixth in the eight-filly field.

“This daughter of Will Take Charge is a ready-made racehorse,” track announcer Michael Wrona exclaimed.

Tijori was just purchased for $525,000 from the de Meric Sales consignment at OBS in March. She has been a moneymaker throughout her young life, first bringing $130,000 for breeder Rosilyn Polan’s Sunday Morning Thoroughbreds as a Keeneland November weanling. The buyer, Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, turned a profit on resale at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga when Gary Contessa, agent, went to $260,000 to secure her as a yearling. That was a pinhook homerun for she doubled in value again as a two-year-old in training.

Out of the multiple stakes-placed Tapit mare Anchorage, Tijori is a half-sister to Chip Leader, a Giant’s Causeway gelding in the form of his life at present with seconds in the Ben Ali (G3) and Kentucky Cup Classic. This is the family of Grade 2 hero and noted sire Broken Vow, and further back, champion turf mare Forever Together.

Tijori was mentioned as a possible candidate for Royal Ascot, but Daily Racing Form’s Steve Andersen reported that she may pursue U.S. stakes next, with the June 7 Astoria S. during the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival a potential target.

Will Take Charge, a son of Unbridled’s Song and Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady, clinched the champion three-year-old male title in 2013 with victories in the Travers (G1), Pennsylvania Derby (G2), and Clark H. (G1). His strong second half of the season also featured a hard-charging second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). The D. Wayne Lukas trainee had displayed talent earlier when placing in the Remington Springboard Mile as a juvenile and capturing two preps over the winter at Oaklawn, the Smarty Jones and Rebel (G2). But he lost his way through the classics, finishing unplaced in all three jewels of the Triple Crown, before finding himself again with a runner-up effort in the Jim Dandy (G2).

At four, Will Take Charge garnered the Oaklawn H. (G2) and compiled placings in the Donn H. (G1), Santa Anita H. (G1), Stephen Foster H. (G1), and the Whitney (G1) in his finale. He retired with $3,924,648 in earnings from a 21-7-6-1 line.

Will Take Charge’s half-brother, Take Charge Indy, is off to a fast start at stud despite being exported to Korea in 2016. His first crop includes Louisiana Derby (G2) hero Noble Indy and Forward Gal (G3) winner Take Charge Paula. Another half-sibling to Will Take Charge and Take Charge Indy, Charming, produced 2014 champion juvenile filly Take Charge Brandi.

Influential matron Take Charge Lady was a multiple Grade 1 star on the track herself. The daughter of Dehere bankrolled more than $2.4 million on the way to her stellar broodmare career.

The eight-year-old Will Take Charge stands at Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Kentucky, for $30,000, stands and nurses.