05/03/2008 12:00AM

John Charles holds off Brother Bean


Longshot John Charles ($26.40) battled for the lead throughout in Friday night's $60,000 Need for Speed Stakes at Evangeline Downs before holding off a late charge from favored Brother Bean to earn bragging rights as the quickest horse on the grounds. Toolengthsoflite saw his four-race winning streak come to an end as he reported home third, followed by Unbridled Trust. Defending Need for Speed champ Jimmy's Boy was a late scratch.

"Going five furlongs, there isn't a whole lot of strategy," said winning jockey Gerard Melancon. "You pretty much have to run the whole way. I knew there was plenty of speed and that I was going to have to gun him from the inside to avoid getting pinched back. He broke sharp, and even though we were going very fast, I still had plenty of horse underneath me when I asked him at the top of the stretch."

Trained by Samuel Breaux, John Charles helped set an early fraction of 21.02 seconds for the opening quarter en route to a final clocking of 57.32 for the five furlongs over a track made muddy by rain earlier in the day. The win was the 4-year-old Belek gelding's fifth from just seven starts for L&R Racing.