11/13/2011 8:30PM

Hollywood Park: Wide trip no problem for Charm the Maker in Sharp Cat

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BENOIT PHOTO
Charm the Maker, ridden by Garrett Gomez, preps for a probable start in next month's Hollywood Starlet by taking the Sharp Cat.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- On a beautiful afternoon at Hollywood Park, Charm the Maker took the scenic tour, racing wide throughout yet still going on to capture the $100,000 Sharp Cat Stakes in an ideal prep for the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet for 2-year-old fillies next month.

With jockey Garrett Gomez aboard, Charm the Maker was at least three paths wide on both turns of the 1 1/16-mile race, but she was able to run down Killer Graces and Willa B Awesome, who vied for the early lead, and prevail by 1 1/4 lengths.

Killer Graces finished second, 1 3/4 lengths in front of Willa B Awesome. Lady Pecan, Regal Betty, and Oblivion completed the order of finish.

Charm the Maker ($2.80) was heavily favored following a strong third-place finish in last month’s Oak Leaf Stakes, her only start after an easy debut win at Del Mar. She completed 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track in 1:45.14, a slow time that McAnally believed was impacted by the pedestrian early pace of 1:12.88 for six furlongs set by Willa B. Awesome.

“I thought it would be a faster pace,” McAnally said. “That’s why Garrett said he had to move earlier.”

Charm the Maker, a daughter of Empire Maker, was bred by McAnally and his wife, Debbie, and races in Debbie’s name. She was offered for sale at the 2-year-old-in-training sale at Keeneland in April, but was bought back for $400,000, short of the $500,000 reserve the McAnallys had placed on her.

“She’s a nice-looking filly. A nice, long-striding filly,” McAnally said.

Charm the Maker is the first foal out of Charm the Giant, a daughter of Giant's Causeway who was McAnally’s last stakes winner at the fall meeting at Hollywood Park, in the Intercontinental on Nov. 28, 2007.