In our new Big Move of the Week, we feature one horse each week who impressed and might warrant a spot on your watch list. For the week ending December 20, that horse is a juvenile ridgling named Charmed Victory.
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- Last race: Charmed Victory showed only moderate interest in racing for most of Saturday’s fifth race at Laurel Park, a six-furlong test for two-year-old maidens that marked his career debut. After a half-mile, he was 12 lengths behind the leader, 3-5 favorite Hennessy Fire and had just been stalled waiting for room. That room arrived at the quarter pole when horses in front of him drifted out, leaving space for a rail run. And then, at the eighth pole, Charmed Victory, with Victor Carrasco up, really kicked in, erasing a seven-length deficit in the final 1/8 of a mile and rolling to win by a length over Hennessy Fire; it was another four back to Silver Starship in third.
- Time only matters when…: The time of the race was moderate: 1:12.41. That was considerably faster than earlier juvenile maiden claimers, but slower than later older nickel claiming horses. But it was Charmed Victory’s sharp finish that impressed; he made up a dozen lengths in the last quarter-mile, getting that quarter in around 24 seconds while it took the favorite about 26 to navigate it.
- Working well: Among Charmed Victory’s works in preparation for his debut were a couple of sharp moves: four furlongs in 48 flat on November 14, second fastest of 67 at Laurel that day, and five in 1:01 3/5 from the gate, tenth fastest of 37 on December 12.
- Connections: Charmed Victory is trained at Laurel Park by Rodney Jenkins for Hillwood Stable LLC and Richard Golden. Ellen Charles’s Hillwood operation bought Charmed Victory for $260,000 from last year’s Fasig-Tipton Eastern Fall Yearling Sale at Timonium out of the consignment of Golden’s Northview Stallion Station. It was the most expensive horse sold at the auction.
- Breeding: Charmed Victory was bred in Maryland by Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds, LLC. He is a son of Flatter out of the stakes-winning Victory Gallop mare American Victory.
- Video notes: In the video, Charmed Victory is well back at the beginning. He is number 2, running along the rail, and Carrasco is in Hillwood’s brown silks with a white sash. “What a rally!” calls track announcer Dave Rodman late.
(Music used in this video: First Call, by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)