INGLEWOOD, Calif. (November 13, 2011)—Even though it was not easy, heavily-favored Charm the Maker became a stakes winner Sunday, capturing the $100,000 Sharp Cat at Hollywood Park.
Six weeks after finishing a close third in the Grade I Oak Leaf at Santa Anita, the 2-year-old Empire Maker filly wore down Killer Graces in the closing yards to prevail by 1 ¼ lengths at odds of 2-5.
Wide throughout after breaking from the outside in the field of six, Charm the Maker was able to win for the second time in three starts. The $60,000 payday increased her earnings to $127,800.
Trained by Hall of Famer Ron McAnally for his wife Debbie, Charm the Maker, who was ridden by Garrett Gomez, completed the 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track in 1:45.14. The McAnallys bred the winner in Kentucky.
The victory enabled Gomez to become the first jockey to win the Sharp Cat twice. His first win had come aboard Runway Rosie in 2006.
Charm the Maker, who defeated maidens by 4 ¼ lengths Aug. 31 at Del Mar prior to her one length defeat in the Oak Leaf, returned $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10.
Seeking her third stakes victory at Hollywood Park, Killer Graces, who disputed the slow pace (24.03, 48.27 and 1 12:88) inside eventual third place finisher Willa B Awesome, paid $4.20 and $3. The show price on Willa B Awesome was $3.20. Lady Pecan, Regal Betty and Oblivious completed the order of finish.
The win was the first in a stakes at the Autumn meet for McAnally since he won the Intercontinental Handicap Nov. 28, 2007 with Charm the Giant, who is the dam of Charm the Maker.
“We thought she was a good filly when we bought her back,’’ said McAnally. “We bred her and bought her back for $400,000 at the Keeneland sale.
“I thought there would be a faster pace. That’s why the rider had to get after her more than he thought he would. We’ll savor this one, but the (Grade I, $250,000-guaranteed Hollywood) Starlet (Dec. 10) is the most logical place to run next. We’re looking forward to running her on the turf. Her dam won the (2007) Wilshire on the turf here.’’
In Sunday’s fourth race, Empire Way, a 2-year-old full brother to Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner Royal Delta, was a half-length winner of his debut.
Owned by Heinz Steinmann and trained by Mike Harrington, the son of Empire Maker and the A.P. Indy mare Delta Princess, won easier than the margin would indicate. He completed the 6 ½ furlongs over Cushion Track in 1:17.93 under jockey Joel Rosario.
Racing will resume Thursday. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
The Hollywood Park Casino will be open for dark day simulcasts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission is free.
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