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Eisaman grad Gov' Charlie sets track record in G3 Sunland Derby
RSS Feeds Monday, March 25, 2013
Rolling to a five-length victory on Sunday in the $800,000 Sunland Derby (G3), Govenor Charlie capped a huge day at the New Mexico track for Eisaman Equine, trainer Bob Baffert, owner Mike Pegram, and the sire Midnight Lute, the two-time Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) winner who Baffert trained for Pegram.

Govenor Charlie's track record-setting performance came a little more than a half-hour after another Eisaman training grad, Midnight Lucky, by Midnight Lute, set her own track record in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks

With assistant trainer Jim Barnes on hand for the saddling duties for Baffert, Govenor Charlie was sent away the 6-5 favorite in the field of nine 3-year-olds. After a bit of a scramble into the first turn, Governor Charlie was three wide around the bend. The pace was pretty quick, a half-mile in :46.22, but Martin Garcia urged Govenor Charlie to the front after three-quarters in 1:09.96.

Straightening for home Govenor Charlie asserted himself with authority, drawing away with every stride to stop the timer in 1:47.54 for the nine furlongs, besting a track record of 1:48.51 that was set in 1961.

Govenor Charlie earned 50 points under the system put in place this year by Churchill Downs to determine eligibility to the May 4 Kentucky Derby (G1).

Pegram bred and owns Govenor Charlie, who is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Silverbulletway, a daughter of Silverbulletday, a Kentucky Oaks (G1) and two-time Eclipse Award winner for Pegram.

“The Derby’s the hardest race in the world to win,” Pegram said. “We all get Derby fever, and I’ve got it right now.

“But losing the Derby’s no fun,” said Pegram, who owned 1998 Derby and Preakness winner Real Quiet. “If he’s good enough, he’ll be there. It’ll be up to Bobby.”
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