ARCADIA, Calif. (June 26, 2014) – With Martin Garcia at the controls, Charlie Em overtook favored Customer Base and Mike Smith in deep stretch to take Thursday’s $75,000 Possibly Perfect Handicap, by a head at 1 ½ miles on turf in 2:29.23.
Trained by Paddy Gallagher, Charlie Em broke from post two in a field of six 3-year-old fillies and up and settled into a comfortable fourth at the rail the first time under the wire and sat behind front runner Phoneybooksnrecords through fractions of 23.22, 46.58, 1:11.47, 1:36.97 and 2:03.47.
“Paddy has always been telling me that she wants distance and finally this race came up,” said Garcia. “I was able to save ground on every turn. When the favorite moved going into the far turn, I followed and when I asked my filly to go, she responded.”
Third last time out in an optional claiming race going a mile on the turf May 1, Charlie Em was the third choice in the wagering at 4-1 and paid $11.40, $4.60, $3.20.
“We didn’t know if she would like the added distance, but sometimes you have to try new things and she kept acting like she wanted to go longer. I took my chances and it sure looks like she got the mile and-a-half.”
A 4-year-old by Kheleyf, Charlie Em, owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, picked up her fifth win from 19 starts. With the winner’s share of $46,980, she increased her earnings to $174, 978.
Although the favorite broke sharply from the outside, Glen Hill Farm’s Customer Base, ridden by Smith for the fifth consecutive time, rated kindly and was next to last under the wire for the first time and didn’t change positions until turning for home. The 5-year-old mare by Lemon Drop Kid gained the lead at the quarter-pole and looked clear until caught on the wire by a late charging Charlie Em.
Off at 3-5, Customer Base paid $2.40 and $2.20.
Early trailer Perfecta, who broke from the rail with Tiago Pereira and is trained by Martine Bellocq, was content to sit off the pace, moved outside a tiring Phonybooksnrecords at the 3/8ths pole but couldn’t get on terms with the top two down the lane and finished third by 4 ½ lengths.
Off at 26-1, Perfecta paid $6.60 to show.
Sunday is closing day of the 2014 Spring Meet. Live Racing returns Friday for Twilight Racing here at Santa Anita. First post is at 3 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.