Winning the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes by an emphatic 23 lengths put Charge It (by Tapit) back in the picture as one of the leading 3-year-old colts of the season and shined the spotlight on his pedigree, especially his second dam Take Charge Lady (Dehere).

Twenty years ago, Take Charge Lady was one of the leading 3-year-old fillies of her crop, having won the G1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland in April. Later in the year, the filly would win the G1 Spinster; the previous year, Take Charge Lady had won the Alcibiades, and she won a second Spinster at Keeneland as a 4-year-old.

A striking bay, Take Charge Lady clearly loved Keeneland, and she was an athletic prospect who proved a strong sales yearling, bringing $175,000 at the 2000 Fasig-Tipton July sale for breeder William Schettine and selling to trainer Kenny McPeek, agent.

Take Charge Lady raced for Select Stable, winning 11 of her 22 starts and earning $2.4 million. She was second seven times, including in the 2002 Kentucky Oaks, and oddly enough, of the filly’s four unplaced races, three were sixth-place finishes in the Breeders’ Cup: in the Juvenile Fillies, then the next two runnings of the Distaff.

Retired at the end of her 4-year-old season, Take Charge Lady was bred to leading sire Seeking the Gold (Mr. Prospector) and sold in 2004 at the Keeneland November sale. She brought $4.2 million from Eaton Sales, which has bred her foals. A top-class race filly, Take Charge Lady has proven, if anything, an even better broodmare.

Like her dam Felicita (Rubiano), Take Charge Lady has produced three stakes winner, but those from Take Charge Lady all won G1 stakes. Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) was the victor in the Travers and Clark Handicap, was second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and was named champion 3-year-old colt; Take Charge Indy (A.P. Indy) won the Florida Derby; and As Time Goes By (American Pharoah) won the Beholder Mile.

In addition to the three G1 winners, other descendants from Take Charge Lady have earned high rank. Charming, the Seeking the Gold foal the mare was carrying at the 2004 November sale, brought $3.2 million at the 2006 Keeneland September sale, and she has produced a pair of Grade 1 winners: Take Charge Brandi (Giant’s Causeway) and Omaha Beach (War Front). Take Charge Brandi won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and the Starlet and was named champion juvenile filly. Omaha Beach won a trio of Grade 1s: the Malibu, Santa Anita Sprint Championship, and Arkansas Derby.

Seven years after producing Charming in 2005, Take Charge Lady foaled a filly by Indian Charlie, and she sold for $2.2 million as a Keeneland September yearling to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm. Named I’ll Take Charge, this filly didn’t race until she was three, when she won a maiden special at Belmont Park in her second start, then was third in her three subsequent starts at three and four, earning $82,400.

Todd Quast, general manager of Whisper Hill, said that “I’ll Take Charge was a really good filly, better than the race record would indicate, and we were happy to keep her for the broodmare band. She’s matured into a broodmare upwards of 16.3 hands and gets a big, upstanding foal.

“The mare’s second foal was Charge It. He was a really nice colt from day one, and he was the colt that we decided not to sell that year. Due to a couple of small things, Charge It didn’t ship to Todd Pletcher’s barn until October of his 2-year-old year. He had an eye infection that we had to clear up so that it didn’t pose a long-term problem, and it delayed him. Then, Todd had high praise for Charge It from the start because he started outworking some very nice horses.”

Charge It made his debut on Jan. 8 at Gulfstream, finishing second, then returned to win a maiden on Feb. 12. His next start was the G1 Florida Derby on April 2, and the colt finished second. Charge It’s fourth start was the Kentucky Derby, in which he apparently displaced his soft palate and finished 17th. The Dwyer was the gray colt’s fifth start, and he earned a Beyer speed figure of 111 in the race, which is the highest fig of the year for any 3-year-old.

Charge It is the second foal from I’ll Take Charge, and her first foal, the Medaglia d’Oro filly Charging Lady, was third in a maiden special earlier on Saturday. Charge It is the second prominent racer of 2022 by Tapit from an Indian Charlie mare; Metropolitan Handicap winner Flightline is the other.

I’ll Take Charge foaled a colt by Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday) earlier this year, and the mare is back in foal to Tapit.

Charge It is the 154th stakes winner for three-time leading national sire Tapit and the 96th graded stakes winner by the gray marvel. A year ago, Tapit had the leading juvenile colt of 2020 return and win the Belmont Stakes; Essential Quality went on to win the Jim Dandy and Travers, then was elected champion of his division.

In an even more open division this year, a similar result would cause some hootin’ and hollerin’ at Whisper Hill.