Charming Socialite Upsets Bwana Charlie in $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup Stakes at Lone Star Park

(October 2, 2004)- Longshot Charming Socialite rallied from last under jockey Larry Taylor to win Saturday’s $100,000 Alysheba Breeders’ Cup Stakes at Lone Star Park, leaving runner-up Bwana Charlie’s status for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in question.

Charming Socialite, a 3-year-old Texas-bred gelding, out-kicked Bwana Charlie to the wire by three-quarters of a length. The final time for the six-furlong sprint, exclusively for 3-year-olds, was 1:09.73.

Steve Asmussen, the nation’s leading trainer in races won with 400 through Friday, hoped to use the Alysheba as a springboard for Bwana Charlie to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Lone Star Park four weeks from now. With a win in Saratoga’s Grade II Amsterdam Stakes, Bwana Charlie was sent to the post as the odds-on 3-5 betting choice in the field of six. He settled off the pace in the early stages and rallied well in upper stretch, but could not match the closing strides of Charming Socialite to his outside.

Charming Socialite paid $47.60 to win. Two weeks ago, the son of Sunny’s Halo won the $40,000 Tejas Stakes, a five-furlong turf dash at Retama Park in San Antonio.

Trainer Bill Pettit, who co-owns and bred Charming Socialite with Paul Sutton, nearly didn’t enter the race.

“Larry’s agent, Travis [Church] had so much confidence in him he said, ‘Let’s nominate,’ and I said, ‘Well, you can if you want to,’” Pettit explained. “It looked like we could possibly get a check for third to fifth so I said, ‘Well, let’s go for it.’ But when you have a jockey that’s got that much confidence, it helps.”

Charming Socialite won for the fifth time in 16 career starts. He only earned $30,000 for the win because he is not Breeders’ Cup eligible – a must to garner an additional $30,000 that was made available by Breeders’ Cup Limited.

“It’s hard to believe that horse outran the horse I was on,” said Bwana Charlie’s jockey Donnie Meche. “There was no excuse. My horse was running down the lane. They went fast. He had every opportunity in the world to win; he just got outrun today. The other horse came with his running shoes on.”

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