As odds-on favorite Sun Path sputtered in the stretch of Saturday’s $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, Charlie’s Penny kicked on best of all to post a 9-1 upset at Fair Grounds. The Minnesota-bred passed her first two-turn test and earned 10 points toward the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Trained by Chris Block for owner/breeder Lothenbach Stables, Charlie’s Penny had been beaten in her prior stakes attempts. The gray was fourth to Silverbulletday rival Souper Sensational in the Oct. 8 Glorious Song on Woodbine’s Tapeta course, and last time out, she placed third in the Dec. 19 Letellier Memorial at this track.
But Charlie’s Penny was a different proposition on the stretch-out. Well handled by Brian Hernandez, she kept close tabs on pacesetting Littlestitious and the tracking Sun Path in the early going. Sun Path still appeared to be full of run when heading Littlestitious on the far turn, only to stall upon straightening.
In contrast, Charlie’s Penny was looming dangerously. Overpowering Sun Path down the lane, she put the race away by 3 1/4 lengths and negotiated the mile and 70 yards in 1:43.80.
Souper Sensational closed from last for second, taking home 4 points. Although she sustained her first career loss, Souper Sensational ran well in her two-turn, and dirt, debut off a layoff. Moon Swag received 2 points for third, and Sun Path got 1 point in fourth.
Littlestitious retreated to fifth, and Barista trailed. Three entrants – Princess Theorem, Minute Waltz, and Divine Comedy – were scratched in favor of a Monday allowance race.
Charlie’s Penny improved her record to 5-3-0-1, $173,890. By the Tapit stallion Race Day, she romped in her premiere on Arlington’s Polytrack. Her other win came in a Churchill Downs allowance on the Nov. 28 “Stars of Tomorrow II” card.
A full sister to 2019 Arlington-Washington Lassie winner Mom’s Red Lipstick, Charlie’s Penny is out of the Warrior’s Reward mare Sweet Lorraine.
Block admitted that the distance was a question for Charlie’s Penny, but she’s now put herself on the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) path.
"That's kind of what we thought too, that she might just strictly be a sprinter, but this (race) was here and we thought we'd give the two turns a shot,” her trainer told Fair Grounds publicity.
“Brian did a fantastic job around the first turn getting her out and settled in there behind what was a slow pace, which I think benefitted us to a degree. In the middle of the turn I could see that he had a ton of horse and when she ranged up there on the outside turning for home, I've seen her level off really well going short, and I thought if she could do that going long, we're going to be OK.
“We will see how she comes out of this and I would guess that (the Feb. 13 Rachel Alexandra [G2]) would be what we would think next. We are here (stabled at Fair Grounds) and she's run well over this surface and around two turns, which was the test today, and that seems like the most logical next spot."