12/15/2011 11:24AM

Indian Charlie, sire of Uncle Mo, dies at 16

Barbara D. Livingston
Indian Charlie, the sire of Uncle Mo, was euthanized Thursday at the age of 16.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Indian Charlie, sire of four North American champions includingIndian Blessing and  Uncle Mo, died Thursday morning at age 16.

An In Excess horse who went from California Grade 1 winner to fashionable Kentucky sire, Indian Charlie had hemangiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, and was euthanized at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, according to a statement from Brereton C. Jones’s Airdrie Stud in Midway, Ky., where Indian Charlie stood. He was to have a $75,000 fee (stands and nurses) in 2012.

Bob Baffert, who trained Indian Charlie, tweeted this morning about the sire’s death, saying: “Very sad to hear that we lost Indian Charlie. Gave us all great memories. Great horse and sire.”

“Losing Indian Charlie after a challenging battle with hemangiosarcoma and its complications has been a shock to us all,” a farm statement said. “He was dearly loved by everyone that cared for him on a daily basis. ‘Charlie’ has been a shining star at Airdrie for many years now. his personality, toughness, and utter determination remained with him throughout treatment. he won many hearts at Hagyard and received an endless supply of much deserved carrots and peppermints while there.”

Cancer was not the first medical issue the stallion had fought. In 2000, the stallion underwent surgery for wobbler’s syndrome, in which swelling or impingement of the spinal cord causes poor coordination. But that setback didn’t stop him from siring winners and stakes winners.

From 10 crops to race, Indian Charlie’s North American champions are Uncle Mo, who won last year’s 2-year-old title; Indian Blessing, the 2007 champion juvenile filly and 2008 champion female sprinter; Fleet Indian, the 2006 champion older mare; and Indian Apple Is, a Canadian champion female sprinter. He also is the sire of the 2010 Panamanian champion juvenile Indiano, who won the Grade 2 Carry Back earlier this season at Calder.

His graded winners include Pampered Princess, Indian Firewater, My Pal Charlie, Two Trail Sioux, Mr. Nightlinger, Conveyance, Indyanne, and Bwana Charlie.

At his death, his lifetime progeny earnings stood at $43,067,807, and he ranked 17th on the 2011 North American general sire list with $5,584,817 in earnings.

Bred in California by Patti and Hal Earnhardt, Indian Charlie launched his career in remarkable fashion, winning his first four starts, including the 1998 Santa Anita Derby. His career spanned only five races. After he took his debut at 2 by 12 lengths, Indian Charlie went to the sidelines with a chipped ankle and did not appear again until his 3-year-old season. He reeled off two allowance wins by a combined 11 1/2 lengths, then beat Real Quiet by 2 1/4 in the Santa Anita Derby. But that rival turned the tables on him in the Kentucky Derby, winning by a half-length as Indian Charlie ran third. That was his last race. In August of 1998, he sustained a sesamoid injury in training and was retired.

Indian Charlie was out of the Leo Castelli mare Soviet Sojourn, a two-time graded winner.