06/20/2017 7:43AM

Choctaw Chuck finally gets his Karl Boyes Memorial victory

Coady Photography
Choctaw Chuck wins the Karl Boyes Memorial at Presque Isle Downs on Monday.

Choctaw Chuck made his fourth start in the $100,000 Karl Boyes Memorial a winning one, taking the 5 1/2-furlong dash by three-quarters of a length Monday night at Presque Isle Downs for one of racing’s most successful families.

Choctaw Chuck was purchased for just $4,000 by the late Clyde Rice as a weanling and is trained for the family by grandson Kevin Rice, one of several from the Rice family who have found success in the Thoroughbred business.

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A multiple stakes winner, Choctaw Chuck has captured 9 of 33 starts, bankrolling $361,434. But the Boyes Memorial had eluded him, as he finished sixth in the 2014 edition, second in 2015, and fifth last year. The 6-year-old son of Bwana Charlie came into this year's edition off a fifth-place finish in an allowance on May 30, his first start in nearly eight months.

Choctaw Chuck ($9), who typically races near the front end, found himself last of 12 early under Mario Pino as defending Boyes Memorial winner Stormofthecentury narrowly led Alpha Slew through the opening three furlongs. But the two longshot leaders beat a hasty retreat as the field approached the stretch, and multiple stakes winner Bucchero assumed the lead. Just heads separated the top five in midstretch, with Bucchero leading over Yeah Rocky, Stevis Man, Copperplate - and Choctaw Chuck, who was just arriving on the scene back in fifth as he unleashed an explosive rally.

Choctaw Chuck strode past the group to edge Bucchero by three-quarters of a length, stopping the clock in 1:02.82 on the Tapeta main track. Bucchero nipped Copperplate by a nose, with Yeah Rocky another neck back in fourth.