Updated on 09/18/2011 12:53AM

Charmo flies in San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile

Vassar Photography
Charmo wins the San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

ALBANY, Calif. - Charmo ($6.80) unleashed a spectacular kick in the stretch, catching perfect-tripper Aragorn to win the Grade 2 $330,000 on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields.

Winless in his first 16 career starts in France although he was group-placed as a maiden, Charmo won his fourth race since moving to the United Stakes and recorded his first stakes victory. The win was trainer Julio Canani's fifth in the 57th running of the Mile.

Charmo sat well off the pace in the one-mile race over the Lakeside Turf Course. He saved ground on the first turn, swung outside for a clear path on the second turn and proved best in the lane.

Aragorn was able to cut the corner into the stretch and took the lead as pacesetting Sweet Return drifted out. But Charmo, who was rallying four wide, had plenty of momentum.

He was a head in front at the eighth pole and began to open up in the final 100 yards, winning by a length in 1:34.28. Only Don Alberto's course record 1:33 2/5 in the 1980 running was faster, although 1966 winner Lush Life ran a 1:34 1/5 on the dirt.

Charmo's final quarter was 22.78 seconds.

"I watched him when Garrett Gomez rode him and always said he was a helluva horse," said winning jockey Martin Pedroza, who said he "begged" Canani to ride the horse.

In his last start in the Grade 1 Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita, Charmo was very wide the entire way.

"I just wanted to save ground, and that's what I did," said Pedroza, who broke from the No. 1 post. "There's no way you can win when you're wide on each turn.

"He's got a helluva turn of foot. When I put him in the clear, he was like Silky Sullivan.

"For $400,000, I'm aggressive with the whip, but I never uncocked my stick. I wasn't panicking when Patrick (Valenzuela aboard Aragorn) got through inside."

Valenzuela said, "I had plenty of horse when the rail opened up. I had the best trip, and I still couldn't come up a winner."

Canani was pleased with Charmo's effort.

"He's got an unbelievable turn of foot, and that wasn't a fast pace today," he said. "He was moving too soon, but I wasn't worried because he was doing it on his own, and the jockey never hit him.

"He explodes every time. He's as good as (Canani's Breeders' Cup Mile winner) Val Royale."

Place Cowboy was third, one length behind favored Aragorn with Adreamisborn winning a four-way photo for fourth.

The victory was worth $165,000 for Charmo, who has now earned $358,727.