12/20/2014 6:29PM

Cinco Charlie impresses in Sugar Bowl victory


Cinco Charlie is a blast from the past, a stout 2-year-old who races and races and comes back for more. In the eighth start of his juvenile campaign, Cinco Charlie scored his fifth win of the season, defeating Bourbon Cowboy by a half-length Saturday in the Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds. 

Favored Cinco Charlie’s bare margin of victory doesn’t do his performance justice. Breaking from the outside in a four-horse field, he dueled with second choice Control Stake through torrid splits of 21.32 seconds and 44.64, and as the pace took its toll on Control Stake and Cinco Charlie hit the front, he faced a fresh challenge from Bourbon Cowboy, who had sat a perfect trip in third. Cinco Charlie fended him off and was edging clear again at the wire, galloping out well in front of Bourbon Cowboy. He ran six furlongs in a fast 1:10.06 and paid $2.80 to win.

By Indian Charlie, Cinco Charlie is owned by Corrine and Bill Heiligbrodt, trained by Steve Asmussen, and was ridden by Robby Albarado. With one race left on the Fair Grounds card, Albarado had ridden five winners, four of them trained by Asmussen. Cinco Charlie’s dam, Ten Halos, is a sister to Bwana Charlie, a graded stakes-winning sprinter for Asmussen and the Heiligbrodts. Cinco Charlie won his 4 1/2-furlong career debut in May and captured the Bashford Manor at Churchill in June and may not have been entirely comfortable at Saratoga, where he was third and fifth in graded stakes. He won a restricted race at Delaware, finished a good third to Blofeld in the Futurity at Belmont and won the John Lewis at Laurel before his Fair Grounds score Saturday.

Asmussen talked earlier this week about potentially stretching Cinco Charlie out for a short route race early in 2015.

Promise Me Silver survives inquiry, now 4 for 4

Promise Me Silver, always racing comfortable on the bridle, pulled between horses before the eighth pole and went on to a 5 1/2-length victory in the $50,000 Letellier Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

Promise Me Silver crossed briefly into the path of rail-running, pace-setting Jugni at about the three-sixteenths pole, causing the eventual fifth-place finisher to take up badly, but after a long stewards’ inquiry, the winner’s number stayed up.

A Texas-bred by Silver City bred and owned by Robert Luttrell, Promise Me Silver is trained by Bret Calhoun and was ridden by Robby Albarado. She easily won her debut at Lone Star in May and won the Debutante at Churchill in June, but Promise Me Silver displayed signs of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage, and Calhoun decided to stop on her over the summer. She returned to action with a facile score at Retama last month and was impressive again Saturday, running six furlongs in 1:10.90 and paying $4.80 to win. Carolina Jasmine finished second, almost three lengths in front of third-place True to You, bet nearly to favoritism at odds of 3-2. She’s a Looker finished fourth after a very poor start.

Afterward, Calhoun praised Promise Me Silver for her ability to settle and finish but said there are no plans to try the filly at two turns. Her next start could come in the $100,000 Dixie Belle Stakes on Jan. 9 at Oaklawn Park.