Take Charge Paula joined the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard on Saturday with an easy victory in the $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
The dark bay daughter of Take Charge Indy pressed the early pace set by Heavenhasmynikki through the opening half-mile, took command while wide around the turn and pulled away in the center of the track to be 3 1/2 lengths clear on the wire under jockey Paco Lopez.
Take Charge Paula was making her first start for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin here, as Peter Deutsch privately purchased the Kentucky-bred lass following her last trace and transferred her to the McLaughlin shedrow.
The sophomore filly takes up residence in sixth on the Leaderboard with 10 total points toward a starting berth in the May 4 Kentucky Oaks (G1). As part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series of points races, the Forward Gal also awarded four points to Sultry, who rallied for second in the contest. My Miss Lilly took home two points and Heavenhasmynikki rounded out the top four with one point.
Morning Destiny, Miss Mo Mentum, Foxtrot Sally and Violent Times completed the order of finish under the Forward Gal wire.
Take Charge Paula stopped the clock in 1:23.47 for seven furlongs over the fast dirt on Saturday while making her first repeat appearance at a track since she began her career under the tutelage of trainer Kelly Breen last July at Monmouth Park. Following that 4 1/4-length maiden score, the dark bay filly captured the White Clay Creek Stakes at Delaware Park by three lengths and then suffered her first loss when 10th in Churchill Downs’ Pocahontas Stakes (G2).
Take Charge Paula returned in the Matron Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park and filled the second spot before wrapping up her juvenile campaign with wins in the Smart Halo Stakes at Laurel Park and Gulfstream’s House Party Stakes.
Bred in Kentucky by Extern Developments LTD., Take Charge Paula improved her career record to read 7-5-1-0, $308,520 with Saturday’s score. She is out of the listed-placed Songandaprayer mare Perfect Paula, making her a half-sister to dual stakes-placed Senna.