08/03/2016 6:21PM

Carmalley Chrome, R Luckey Charlie capture stakes for Indiana-breds

Linscott Photography
R Luckey Charlie, under Richard Bracho, beats Badabing Badaboom by a nose in the Governor's Stakes.

Carmalley Chrome led through a modest pace and won the $154,700 First Lady Stakes for Indiana-bred 3-year-old fillies on Wednesday at Indiana Grand. One race later, a fast early and middle pace cooked the front-runners and set up the $155,800 Governor’s Stakes for a pair of closers, with R Luckey Charlie nipping Badabing Badaboom in the race for Indiana-bred 3-year-olds.

Twice R Luckey Charlie had tried stakes competition and twice he had been soundly beaten, and after seven career starts, his two tries around two turns suggested R Luckey Charlie was better suited making one run in sprint races. But those two trains of thought ran off the tracks Wednesday, as R Luckey Charlie, racing in mid-pack under Richard Bracho, made a sustained run from the three-furlong pole to beat Badabing Badaboom by a nose. The top two were much the best on the day, with pacesetting Easy Doer 7 1/2 lengths farther back in third. Derby Express, the 3-2 favorite, came under heavy pressure before the quarter pole and couldn’t keep up with the top two, missing third by a neck.

Easy Doer, hounded by El Jake O – stablemate to Badabing Badaboom – set demanding splits of 22.87 and 46.22 seconds as Bracho waited on the rail with the eventual winner.

“My horse has been working really good,” Bracho said. “I had a good position today. At the half-mile, I knew I had a lot of horse.”

R Luckey Charlie ran one mile and 70 yards in 1:42.41 and paid $21.80. Bred and owned by Richard Batz and trained by Marvin Johnson, R Luckey Charlie is a son of Adios Charlie and the Lion Heart mare Thats Whatshesaid. He ran his career record to 8-3-0-2 and earned nearly $90,000, about $25,000 more than his bankroll before the race.

Carmalley Chrome, meanwhile, had run far below form due to a confluence of factors when she was eased June 22 in a division of the Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes. Trainer Mike Nance said Carmalley Chrome had come into season before that race, and that a demanding schedule, five starts in less than two months, had caught up to the filly. To make matters worse, Carmalley Chrome, a dedicated front-runner, got caught up in a heated pace battle, and she was done by the far turn.

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But Nance freshened her for the First Lady, and this race unfolded much more favorably for Carmalley Chrome, who broke smoothly under Rodney Prescott from post 1 and seized command over chasing Tequila and Salt through moderate splits of 24.38 and 48.29. Sassy Miss Officer launched a bid around the far turn, but Prescott sat stock still until Carmalley Chrome had straightened away for the finish, and despite a belated lead change, she held her pursuer at bay and won by 1 1/2 lengths.

“I was pleasantly surprised at the pace,” said Nance, who trains Carmalley Chrome for owner-breeder Tom Roche. “Worst case scenario I saw us and Tequila and Salt going 21 and 44.”

Sassy Miss Officer was one length better than Tequila and Salt, as Carmalley Chrome ($5.20) ran one mile and 70 yards in 1:42.64. Carmalley Cat, by Cat Dreams and out of Glisten, didn’t debut until this past spring, and has won 4 of 6 starts while earning nearly $200,000.