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Govenor Charlie Breaks Track Record in Sunland Derby
RSS Feeds Sunday, March 24, 2013

Govenor Charlie, a homebred colt by Midnight Lute racing for Mike Pegram, earned his first stakes victory in Sunday's 1 1/8-mile, $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3) at Sunland Park.

Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Garcia, Govenor Charlie covered his 9-furlong trip in 1:47.54, breaking the previous track record of 1:48.20 set by Winsham Lad in 1961 and equaled by Prenupcial the following season. The colt's margin of victory was five lengths from runner-up Show Some Magic, and he earned 50 points under the system put in place this year by Churchill Downs to determine eligibility for the May 4, $2-million Kentucky Derby (G1), the first leg of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.

Govenor Charlie became the fourth stakes winner from 64 starters sired by Midnight Lute, a 10-year-old stallion by Real Quiet who won the Breeders' Cup Sprint Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park in 2007 and Santa Anita Park in '08. Midnight Lute's starters have earned more than $1.7 million, and he stands for a $15,000 fee at Hill n' Dale Farms in Lexington, Kentucky.

“I feel like I had a lot of horse the whole way,” said Garcia, who has ridden Govenor Charlie in all three of his outs. “He's a horse who feels like he waits on company but when I asked him, he took off.”

Govenor Charlie's dam, Silverbulletway, is an unraced 10-year-old daughter of Storm Cat. The colt's second dam, the Silver Deputy mare Silverbulletday, won four Grade 1 stakes in 1999, including the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga and Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

The $400,000 winner's share of the Sunland Derby – New Mexico's only graded Thoroughbred stakes – pushed Govenor Charlie's bankroll to $444,800. The colt was coming off of a neck victory in a 1-mile, $57,000 maiden special weight route at Santa Anita on February 17.

Abraham ran third, 8 ¼ lengths behind the winner, and was followed by Shakin It Up, Stormdriver, Mudflats, Saint Prado, Dry Summer, and Just Win Baby.

The Sunland Derby was one of seven stakes on Sunland Park's 12-race program. Purses for the day, including the overnight races, totaled $1,519,100.

Also, a state- and track-record $3,820,986 was wagered on the card, of which $3,450,282 was bet at off-track sites.

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Baffert also won the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks for 3-year-old fillies with Midnight Lucky, a gray or roan daughter of Midnight Lute who was making her first start against stakes company. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano for owners Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman, Midnight Lucky went 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.06 while breaking the previous track mark of 1:41.91 set by Song Of Navarone four years ago.

Midnight Lucky was sent to post as the 3-10 favorite in the field of eight, and her margin of victory was eight lengths from Unusual Way. The filly has won both of her races and has earned $153,600.

Countess Curlin, Infinitely, Fraudulentfootnote, Canticle, Majestic River, and Shesatopattraction completed the order of finish.

One of the world's leading Thoroughbred trainers, Baffert has won the Sunland Park Oaks five times, most recently with Princess Arabella in 2012 and eventual Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Plum Pretty the year before.

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The following is a recap of the other five stakes on Sunland Park's Sunday program, which drew a season-high crowd of 18,184. Complete coverage of the races restricted to New Mexico-breds will be included in the June issue of the New Mexico Horse Breeder magazine.

HARRY HENSON HANDICAP
Fillies & mares, 3-year-old & older
Purse, $75,000 – 1 mile
Winner
– African Rose (4F, Bwana Charlie-Darby Rose by Red Bullet)
Owner – Judge Lanier Racing
Breeder – Heiligbrodt Racing Stable (FL)
Trainer – Justin Evans
Jockey – Miguel Hernandez
Winning Time – 1:36.97
Winning Margin – Two lengths
Odds – 2-1
Also Ran (in order of finish) – Pyrite On My Mind, Tapit Dancer (11-10 favorite), Paloma Mesa, Not Kidding Around, Angry Bird, and Joyful Tap.

LA CONEJA STAKES (R)
Fillies & mares, 3-year-old & older, New Mexico-bred
Purse, $85,000 – 5 ½ furlongs
Winner
– Rose's Desert (5M, Desert God-Miss Glen Rose by Peaks And Valleys)
Owner and Breeder – Joe Peacock (NM)
Trainer – Todd Fincher
Jockey – Casey Lambert
Winning Time – 1:01.97
Winning Margin – 2 ¾ lengths
Odds – 3-5 (favorite)
Also Ran (in order of finish) – Funnyoushouldask, Gossip Dome, Iplaytricks, Comicsperfectstorm, Our Flying Angel, Vinton Row, and Dashkova.

NEW MEXICO BREEDERS' OAKS (R)
Fillies, 3-year-olds, New Mexico-bred
Purse, $85,000 – 1 1/16 miles

Winner – Back Seat Roll (F, Roll Hennessy Roll-Back Seat Charm by Silver Charm)
Owners and Breeders – J. Kirk & Judy Robison (NM)
Trainer – Henry Dominguez
Jockey – Luis Contreras
Winning Time – 1:43.78
Winning Margin – 1 ¼ lengths
Odds – 17-10 (favorite)
Also Ran (in order of finish) – Tyger Teras, Desertsmagic, Kasha Roo, Sedienta, Way To Go Gerda, Lakehouse Fun, Red Satin Boot, C L Phone Home, and Cat Meditation.

BILL THOMAS MEMORIAL STAKES
3-year-olds & older
Purse, $75,000 – 6 ½ furlongs

Winner – Isn't He Clever (4G, Smarty Jones-Sharp Minister by Deputy Minister)
Owners – J. Kirk & Judy Robison
Breeder – Monticule (KY)
Trainer – Henry Dominguez
Jockey – Luis Contreras
Winning Time – 1:13.45
Winning Margin – 5 ¾ lengths
Odds – 17-10
Also Ran (in order of finish) – Warren's Knockout, Dollarwaitnonadime, Gregor, Safe Trip (8-5 favorite), Happy Toes, Watch Me Go, and Behold De Buy.

NEW MEXICO BREEDERS' DERBY (R)
3-year-olds, New Mexico-bred
Purse, $85,000 – 1 1/16 miles
Winner
– Hush's Storm (G, Attila's Storm-Hush's Gold by Untold Gold)
Owners – Dale Taylor, Joe Dee Brooks, Carey Taylor, and Jon Hogg
Breeder – JEH Stallion Station New Mexico (NM)
Trainer – Todd Fincher
Jockey – Alfredo Juarez Jr.
Winning Time – 1:44.18
Winning Margin – 1 ¼ lengths
Odds – 4-1
Also Ran (in order of finish) – Storms Surprise, Keagan's Way, Jacks Party, Senor Pondo, Dawson Who, Devons Ca Ching (8-5 favorite), Dance Derby, Carmen's Rocket, Bay Velvet, and Desert Explorer.


In The News

Sunday, July 27, 2014
Trainer Henry Dominguez and jockey Ry Eikleberry teamed to win three of the seven Thoroughbred stakes during this year’s Zia Festival races, held Saturday and Sunday at Ruidoso Downs Racetrack. All three of the races won by the jockey-trainer combination were homebreds owned by J. Kirk and Judy Robison of El Paso, Texas.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Many of the best New Mexico-bred Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses will be showcased at Ruidoso Downs this weekend, as the track presents its annual Zia Festival races on Saturday and Sunday.
Monday, July 21, 2014
The New Mexico Racing Commission has set 2014-15 race dates for the state’s five tracks.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Missing Reba, a stakes-winning daughter of the Artax stallion Diabolical, sprinted to a 1 1/4-length victory in the last of four Rio Grande Senorita Thoroughbred Futurity (R) trials at Ruidoso Downs on Saturday.




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