The sloppy mess that was closing day at Aqueduct deterred the connections of none of the eight starters in the Jerome Stakes (G2). Good thing for the connections of Adios Charlie, who took the one mile heat by a solid 2½ lengths. Adios Charlie
was ridden to victory by Rajiv Maragh, who was able to sit a perfect stalking trip from the outside post.
“My horse is very easy to ride,” Maragh said after the race. “Going into the race we wanted a forward position. It didn’t have to be on the lead from the post that I was in, and I just kind of let him find his own rhythm and his own pace. That’s where he put himself, right up close to the lead.”
Just past the half mile pole, Adios Charlie collared the favored Cal Nation, who eventually tired to finish last. As the field made their way around the turn, though, a fresh challenger emerged as Justin Phillip loomed large on the outside. Maragh decided he was better served waiting to make his move.
“Going into the turn (Justin Phillip) started ranging up pretty strong and I felt like the best thing was to not go all out at that point of the race. I felt like if I went with him and we both started slowing up at the end, someone might beat us both. I just tried to ride my horse and I didn’t feel like it was the right time to go when Justin Phillip moved.
Maragh was wise not to make (what would’ve turned out to be) a premature move. Even though Justin Phillip assumed command for a good bit in the stretch, Adios Charlie would eventually re-rally along the inside. He splashed his way to the finish, posting a final time of 1:36.81, and earning a Beyer speed figure of 98 for the effort.
Maragh was one of the many who was impressed with Adios Charlie‘s performance.
“He was running well within himself all the way down the backstretch, so I felt like he was going to give me a lot in the stretch.”
Indian Charlie is a sire who has figured quite prominently during the 2011 Triple Crown season. One of his offspring, Uncle Mo, remains a prime Kentucky Derby contender despite his third place finish in the Wood Memorial (G1) over the Aqueduct course two weeks ago.
Now, Indian Charlie is also being represented in this year’s three year old crop by Adios Charlie. While Adios Charlie doesn’t have the graded earnings to qualify for the Derby, his performance in the Jerome was good enough to justify his presence in the Preakness Stakes, should his connections be so inclined.
“As for what’s next, we’ll have to talk about it,“ Adios Charlie’s trainer Stanley Hough said after the race.
”I didn’t nominate him to the Triple Crown, but obviously the Preakness
is a thought.”
If Hough decides to send Adios Charlie to Baltimore, he’ll certainly be praying for rain.