Victory in the Grade 2 Santa Margarita at Santa Anita on April 24, made As Time Goes By (by American Pharoah) the third graded stakes winner from her dam, Take Charge Lady. On May 22, As Time Goes By picked up the baton again and won the G2 Santa Maria.

In the Santa Margarita, the 4-year-old filly had been making only her sixth start, and in her previous race and stakes debut, As Time Goes By had finished second in the G1 Beholder Mile to 2020 champion 3-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil).

A May 22 foal, As Time Goes By was not raced at 2, then was brought along patiently by trainer Bob Baffert. The filly made her debut at Del Mar on Aug. 22 last year, and she won her first race in her third start, a maiden special on Dec. 13 at Los Alamitos over six furlongs. Leading from the half-mile (in :45.39), As Time Goes By drew off by 4 lengths to win in 1:09.01.

As Time Goes By is the 13th stakes winner from the first crop of foals by 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who stands at Ashford Stud in Kentucky and shuttles to Coolmore in Australia. (Coolmore photo)

From four subsequent starts, all in 2021, As Time Goes By has won an allowance by 9 lengths, was second by 2 3/4 lengths to Swiss Skydiver in the Beholder, and now has won the Santa Margarita and Santa Maria.

The last of 10 foals out of the dam, Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady, As Time Goes By is her dam’s eighth winner and joined her older siblings Take Charge Indy (A.P. Indy) and Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) as graded stakes winners. Take Charge Lady had won at the premier level three times (Ashland and two runnings of the Spinster), and her first stakes winner was Take Charge Indy, who won the 2012 G1 Florida Derby. The mare’s second stakes winner came the following year with Will Take Charge, who won the G1 Travers and Clark, and also was second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to cinch the 2013 Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old colt.

Bred in Kentucky by Orpendale and Chelston, As Time Goes By is by 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) and is the 15th stakes winner for her sire. From American Pharoah’s first crop, As Time Goes By is the 13th stakes winner from the stallion’s first crop.

Although several stakes winners by American Pharoah won stakes during their juvenile season, including Four Wheel Drive, winner of the G2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, the improvement seen from such as Harvey’s Lil Goil (G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes) and Pista (G2 Park Hill Stakes) seems to have inclined owners and trainers to wait with more of them.

In addition to As Time Goes By, some who are continuing to improve at four include Merneith, winner of the G2 Santa Monica on Feb. 13, and Café Pharoah, winner of the G1 February Stakes at Tokyo eight days later.

The latter is generally regarded as the best dirt horse in Japan, and it is notable that all three of these recent stakes winners have shown their best form on dirt. The early stakes winners by the Triple Crown winner had shown an unexpected affinity for turf, but the overall record for the sire is now trending strongly toward versatility, rather than a surprising specialization.

A big, scopey filly who has clearly made significant progress and strengthened, As Time Goes By adds a further layer of quality to a filly and mare division that is remarkable for depth with champions Swiss Skydiver, Monomoy Girl (Tapizar), Gamine (Into Mischief), and Letruska (Super Saver), as well as last season’s Kentucky Oaks winner Shedaresthedevil (Daredevil).

In the event that As Time Goes By should add a victory in a G1 to her stakes successes, that would make her dam one of the few to produce three G1 winners.

There will not be more, however.

As Time Goes By is the last foal and sixth daughter out of 2013 Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady. A $175,000 select yearling at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky’s July sale, Take Charge Lady earned more than $2.4 million at the races, winning a trio of Grade 1s and the Alcibiades Stakes, which now also shares that premium designation. The mare was sold at the 2004 Keeneland November sale for $4.2 million while carrying her first foal, Charming (Seeking the Gold), and Charming went through the ring two years later for $3.2 million at the Keeneland September yearling auction.

Like her famous dam, Charming has produced two Grade 1 winners. She is the dam of the 2014 Eclipse Award champion 2-year-old filly Take Charge Brandi (Giant’s Causeway), winner of the BC Juvenile Fillies and the Hollywood Starlet, and of three-time Grade 1 stakes winner (Arkansas Derby, Malibu, Santa Anita Sprint Championship) Omaha Beach (War Front), now a stallion at Spendthrift Farm.

In 2021, Charming has been bred to American Pharoah.