LEXINGTON, KY – Peter Brant’s Sistercharlie soared beautifully down the stretch to score her first career Grade 1 triumph and give trainer Chad Brown the trifecta in Saturday’s $350,000 Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland.
Breaking from post 7 under John Velazquez, Sistercharlie angled in towards the rail and settled in mid-pack while Dona Bruja posted relatively quick splits of :23.48, :47.76, and 1:12.14. Shifting off the rail as she hit the top of the stretch, Sistercharlie fought through and between foes to find the an opening, then cleared away in the final 1/16 of a mile to convincingly win by 2 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:41.41 for the 1 1/16-mile turf event.
“I got good position going to the first turn, a position where I wanted to be,” Velazquez said. “She sat really well. By the 3/8 pole, I knew I was in a good position – just looking for where I was going to shoot through. I got through the rail; had the best horse.”
Sistercharlie’s two stablemates, Fourstarcrook and Off Limits, took second and third, respectively, with only a neck separating them. La Coronel faded to fourth after pressing the early pace, crossing a head in front of Dona Bruja. Cambodia took sixth, with Kitten’s Roar necking out seventh over Proctor’s Ledge. Bletchley, Ultra Brat, and Lovely Bernadette completed the order of finish.
Sistercharlie’s win was her first over American grass in her second start, the first a near-miss in last July’s Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes. Having missed nine months due to illness, the Irish-bred 4-year-old daughter of Myboycharlie now sports a record of 7-4-2-0 with career earnings of $731,403.
“She’s really matured and this was really a team effort,” Brown said. “After her race last year, she got really sick on us. We have a great team of veterinarians that worked on her. She had a lung infection that turned real bad. We rested her and Peter Brant was very, very patient to give her all that time. My staff did a tremendous job bringing her back after such a lengthy layoff.”
Winner returned $ to win, $ to place, and $ to show. Place brought back $ to place and $ to show, while Show paid $ to show.