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Stakes Recaps: Sugar Bowl & Letellier Memorial

CINCO CHARLIE AND PROMISE ME SILVER TAKESANTA SUPER SATURDAY STAKES

 The betting public had its Christmas wishes fulfilled on Santa Super Saturday when both favorites obliged their supporters in the two featured stakes events for juveniles. Cinco Charlie took the $50,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes and Promise Me Silver annexed the $50,000 Letellier Memorial Stakes for fillies in front of a grateful Coca-Cola Holiday Family Day crowd at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.

William and Corinne's Heiligbrodt’s Cinco Charlie took on the speedand held off a capitalizing late charger to live up to his name and score for the fifth time in his career in the Sugar Bowl.  After breaking mid-pack from the four-hole in the four-horse field, the son of Indian Charlie battled with swift pacesetter and 8-5 second choice Control Stake before forging ahead at the top of the stretch and holding off a game challenge from 7-1 Bourbon Cowboy to win by a half-length for defending meet champion trainer Steve Asmussen.

Ridden by Robby Albarado, Cinco Charlie has now won five of eight career starts, including four stakes races. The Kentucky-bred traveled the six-furlong distance in 1:10.06 over fast ground after earlier fractions of :21.32, :44.64 and :56.92.  Sent off at 2-5, Cinco Charlie returned $2.80 and $2.10 and earned $33,500 to boost his career bankroll to $272,922.  The Sugar Bowl victory followed stakes wins in the $100,000 James F. Lewis III Stakes at Laurel, the $75,000 First State Dash at Delaware Park and the $100,000 Grade III Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs.

"He’s a very nice 2-year-old,” Asmussen said.  “I’m obviously glad to have a very nice horse again for Mr. and Mrs. Heiligbrodt and have them back in the winner’s circle here at the Fair Grounds.  He’s a three-quarter brother to Bwana Charlie.  Off this race, I think we’ll most likely make his next start two turns.”

Holmark Stables IV’s Bourbon Cowboy finished a driving second under Miguel Mena for trainer Richie Scherer, returning $4.60. Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Control Stake, ridden by James Graham for trainer Tom Amoss, retreated to third.  There were no show payouts.  Sarah Delany’s Plaska completed the field. 

            Robert and Myrna Luttrell’s Promise Me Silver found a narrow seam and ran away from her competition in the Letellier Memorial by 5½ easy lengths.  The Bret Calhoun-trained daughter of Silver City survived both a slow start and a stewards’ inquiry to post her third stakes win and stay undefeated in four starts as the 7-5 betting choice.

            Ridden by Albarado – who was winning his fifth race on the day – the Texas-bred traveled the six-furlong distance in 1:10.90 after tracking fractions of :22.16, :45.76 and :58.19.  Promise Me Silver returned $4.80, $3 and $2.10 and earned $31,000 to boost her career total to $154,335.  The win came after stakes wins in the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes at Retama Park and the $100,000 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs. 

            “Up to this point, we thought she was maybe a sprinter and we treated her that way, but we have been working on her to settle a little bit,” Calhoun said.  “This race proved she can relax and settle and opens up a few more doors.”

            James Miller’s Carolina Jasmine finished a game second under Florent Geroux for trainer Andrew McKeever, returning $4.60 and $2.20.  Midwest Thoroughbreds’ True to You finished third after a wide trip under James Graham for trainer Tom Amoss, returning $2.40.  I’m a Looker, Jugni and Guessed Right completed the order of finish. 

            The Sugar Bowl and Letellier Memorial traditionally serve as preps for the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes and Listed $125,000 Silverbullet Day Stakes, respectively.  Both of those races are on Jan. 17 and are run at a mile and 70 yards on Road to Louisiana Derby Kickoff Day presented by Hotel Montelone.