10/11/2008 11:00PM

Myboycharlie makes U.S. debut


STICKNEY, Ill. - First of all, it's weird even racing on a Monday during the fall meet at Hawthorne, but Columbus Day will bring out Thoroughbreds in Chicago. What's even stranger is that a European Group 1 winner has shown up on the program.

Myboycharlie, victorious in the Group 1 Prix Morny over the high-class Natagora in August 2007 at Deauville in France, was one of 13 horses (12 in the field's main body, one on the also-eligible list) entered in the $50,000 Don Ciccio, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint. A 3-year-old son of the Irish stud Danetime, Myboycharlie won 3 of his 4 starts last year at 2, earning nearly $400,000.

But his 3-year-old campaign has produced only two fifth-place finishes in Group 3 races, and Myboycharlie was culled from the Coolmore team and purchased by American interests this summer. Trainer Cody Autrey is listed as the colt's owner in Monday's race, but that is only because of a licensing delay involving one of the partners on the colt.

Autrey said that two men, Tom Ryan and Neil Bowden, engineered Myboycharlie's purchase.

"They thought him being a sprinter, going from five furlongs to a mile, there would be a lot of opportunities for him over here," Autrey said.

Myboycharlie injured a hock on a trailer before he could begin training for Autrey, but he has been going now since the beginning of August, posting four recent breezes, the last two on the Keeneland grass course.

"He's worked very well on the turf," Autrey said.

Jamie Theriot was aboard for both recent turf breezes, Autrey said, and will come to Hawthorne to ride him in the Don Ciccio.

"Jamie likes him," Autrey said. "He was trying to get me to run him in the stakes at Keeneland."

But rather than jump into deep water first time out in North America, Autrey sought and found a softer spot.

"We were just trying to find a race to see where we fit with him," Autrey said.

The rare Coolmore cull, like Archipenko, turns into something better than they were before being sold. Most, however, do not, and the question Hawthorne handicappers must ask is whether midpack Group 3 form from Ireland will be good enough to win an overnight stakes at Hawthorne. The answer is a resounding, "maybe."

Rock Gold looks like a major player here. He finished seventh at Euro-style Kentucky Downs in the Kentucky Cup Turf Dash on Sept. 13, but a month before that had won an Arlington third-level turf-sprint allowance by more than three lengths.

Mighty Rule drew poorly in post 11, but finished a close second in this race last year and always is around the money.