Cinco Charlie wins gate-to-wire


Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt's Cinco Charlie dug in late to fight off his competition in his stakes debut in Saturday's Grade 3, $108,100 Bashford Manor Stakes for two-year-olds at Churchill Downs.

"I found a good horse. That's why I'm back. I had Bwana Charlie who was probably one of the best racehorses I had and this horse is a three-quarter brother. And he's a very pretty horse," said Bill Heiligbrodt, who named the juvenile after his boat. "I have just a couple of horses in training (five) but I'm looking for some more good horses. I'm just being careful and trying to buy a little better horse and not have as many.

"It was pretty much unbelievable to go all the way today coming off of one race seven weeks ago. It's pretty impressive to win back like that and get a horse to go from 4 1/2 furlongs to six furlongs over a period of time, so he's got to be a nice horse."

"This was very fun and exciting. There's a lot of nostalgia here," Corinne Heiligbrodt added.

The Steve Asmussen pupil took charge of the six-horse field from the break and posted a swift opening quarter in :21 4/5. Cinco Charlie was comfortable on the lead toward the inside as he put up a half-mile in :45 3/5 with Silverhill challenging him on the outside.

Those two slowly pulled away from the rest of the field turning for home and were in a battle down the stretch. Cinco Charlie shook off that rival late to edge away for a 1 3/4-length victory and remain undefeated from two starts.

Cinco Charlie took the field gate-to-wire in 1:10 1/5 for the six-furlong test over the fast main track with Shaun Bridgmohan up. Sent off as the 6-5 favorite, the bay colt returned $4.60 for the win.

"He's pretty precocious, a nice two-year-old and he makes my job easy," Bridgmohan said. "It was pretty straightforward. He broke smartly and was comfortable the whole way. When I asked him to pick it up he accelerated and did everything profession."

Silverhill took second and was four-lengths clear of third-place finisher Skyway. Lucky Player was another 8 1/4 lengths back in fourth, while Governmentshutdown was last. Draw Nigh had to be pulled up and walked off.

"My horse ran great. He came out of the gate nice and was in a perfect position. I might have rode with too much confidence -- I thought I had him any time I wanted him. But hat's off to Asmussen's team. They had the horse read to run," remarked Corey Lanerie, Silverhill's jockey.

"He ran great. I was very happy with him. I'm disappointed to lose, but I was very happy with his performance," said Bret Calhoun, trainer of runner-up Silverhill. "The colt that beat him is a very nice colt, I think, and I thought we ran our race. When he loomed up to him on the turn I thought we had him, but the winner just had plenty left for us.

"I really haven't thought past today," he added about what's next for his runner. "We've got the colt races up at Saratoga and we could go in that direction, or take the lower road. I don't know what we're going to do yet. This was kind of a last-second decision to come up here. We were pointing toward a futurity down there (in Texas) and we decided to send him here -- he didn't get here until Wednesday morning. It was just kind of a spur-of-the-moment deal. We thought he was a nice horse and he belonged up here, but it wasn't the original plan. So I don't know where he'll go from here, but obviously there's a lot of two-year-old racing coming up in the next few months."

Cinco Charlie wired his racing bow here last month by 2 3/4 lengths and now has $93,422 in his bank account.

Bred in Kentucky by Candyland Farm, the son of Indian Charlie is out of the multiple stakes-placed Marquetry mare Ten Halos, who is a half-sister to Grade 2 scorers My Pal Charlie and Bwana Charlie as well as Grade 3 victor Bwana Bull. His third dam is Grade 3 winner White Mischief.

Cinco Charlie RNA'd for $95,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Selected Yearlings Sale before being sold for $75,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearlings Sale. He brought $190,000 as a two-year-old in training at the 2014 OBS March sale.