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.
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(Music used in this video: First Call, by Kevin MacLeod (, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0