12/17/2011 4:09PM

Gulfstream: Sunshine Millions Classic may be next for Adios Charlie

Bob Coglianese
Adios Charlie, shown winning on Friday, will be pointed to either the Sunshine Millions Classic or the Donn Handicap.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer Stanley Hough feared Adios Charlie might have been a work away from his best race when he returned from more than a five-month layoff in Friday’s second-level optional $62,500 claiming feature at Gulfstream Park. And in light of his performance, just imagine what Adios Charlie might have done if he had been totally fit.

Despite being less than 100 percent tight for his return, Adios Charlie cruised to an easy 3 1/4-length victory over seven overmatched rivals under regular rider Javier Castellano, earning a 96 Beyer Speed Figure. The performance earned him a berth in either the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic or possibly the Grade 1 Donn Handicap in his 2012 debut.

Adios Charlie, whose ascent through the 3-year-old ranks was curtailed by a bone bruise discovered this past summer at Saratoga, ended his 2011 campaign with 3 victories in 5 starts. The abbreviated season included a victory in the Grade 2 Jerome and runner-up finishes in both the Grade 2 Peter Pan and Dwyer stakes.

“He’s a nice horse who’s matured a bit since we stopped on him this summer,” said Hough, who owns Adios Charlie in partnership with Robert Sahn. “We’re really excited about next year. Distance doesn’t seem to be a problem for him, he rates well, and Javier really likes him a lot. Right now it’s just a matter of getting lucky and staying sound.”

Hough said the Sunshine Classic for Florida-breds on Jan. 28 is his primary goal at the moment for Adios Charlie although he will also consider the Donn, which, like the Classic, will be decided at 1 1/8 miles, the following weekend.

Hough also reported Friday that his multiple graded stakes winner Tar Heel Mom, who was retired after finishing 12th in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, will be bred to Distorted Humor. Tar Heel Mom, a daughter of Flatter, won eight stakes during her career, including the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl here earlier this year.