Photo: Eclipse Spotswire - Alex Evers
Lute - Silverbulletway, by Storm Cat) was bred and owned by Mike
Pegram. The dark bay colt was second in his six furlong debut in
January. A month later he got into a fight on the front end and
prevailed by a head at a mile. His dynamic victory in the Sunland
Derby earned him 50 points towards a start in the Kentucky Derby.
Govenor Charlie has compiled a 3-2-1-0 ($444,800) race record.
Lute is a huge 17 hands high dark brown (almost black) stallion.
Despite his huge size, the son of “almost” triple crown winner
Real Quiet won his debut in July as a two year old. Due to throat
issues, Midnight Lute was away from the races for a year. The same
issues kept him from running longer distances, yet there was no
denying Midnight Lute's talent. He racked up wins in the Forego
Stakes (G-1) and is the only two-time winner of the Breeders' Cup
Sprint. Additionally, he owns the stakes record for the prestigious
Lute is the leading second crop sire in terms of earnings and is tied
for first with number of stakes winners (3). Despite making his name
as a sprinter, Midnight Lute doesn't have the typical precocious
speed pedigree or conformation associated with shorter distances.
Had the huge stallion not been plagued with throat issues which
affected his wind, he may have well won at classic distances.
Midnight Lute's progeny have won over all surfaces, although the
majority are having success over dirt. For the most part, they are
large, leggy horses who greatly resemble their sire. Expect them to
develop their talent with age. Govenor Charlie is Midnight Lute's
first winner at 1 1/8 miles. The stallion has also sired Govenor
Charlie's stablemates Midnight Lucky (who set a new track record in
the Sunland Oaks) and San Vicente(G-2) winner Shaken' It Up. He's
also produced multiple stakes placed My Lute.
record: 13-6-3-1 ($2,690,600)
– Breeders' Cup Sprint (G-1) (2007 - '08) 6F
– Forego Stakes (G-1) 7F
- Perryville Stakes (G-3) 7F
– Cigar Mile (G-1)
- San Fernando Stakes (G-2) 1 1/16 miles
– Malibu Stakes (G-1) 7F
Charlie's dam Silverbulletway
was unraced, however the young mare's first foal Crisis of Spirit (by
Vindication) won a the Anoakia Stakes at six furlongs as a juvenile
and placed in the 1 mile turf Le Cle Stakes at three.
Silverbulletway's four year old Roman Ruler colt Caveman Keno is
currently in training with Bob Baffert. Govenor Charlie has a two
year old full sister named Pachangera, a Lookin' At Lucky yearling
half brother and Silverbulletway is in foal to Lookin' At Lucky.
is an unraced daughter of Hall of Fame entrant Silverbulletday (by
Silver Deputy). The fabulous mare was the best of her generation,
earning Eclipse Awards at ages two and three. Among her
accomplishments, Silverbulletday captured the Breeders' Cup Juvenile
Fillies (G-1), Kentucky Oaks (G-1), Ashland and Alabama Stakes, both
Grade 1 contests. The mare won from 5 ½ furlongs to 1 ¼ miles.
a broodmare, Silverbulletday bore many daughters, none of whom have
earned blacktype. However, her only son Tice (by A.P. Indy) is stakes
placed. Silverbulletday's talent is clearly skipping a generation.
Her three daughters to produce foals, Silverbulletway (by Storm
Cat), Silver Bullet Moon and Silverbulletfolly (both by Vindication)
have bore stakes winners. The later is the dam of Shaken' It Up, a
son of Midnight Lute.
Charlie's second dam Rokeby Rose (by Tom Rolfe) was the product of of
the famed Rokeby Stables owned by Paul Mellon. The stable produced
Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero and three European Champions. Mr.
Mellon is the only owner whose horses have won the Epsom Derby,
Kentucky Derby and Arc de Triomphe. Rokeby Rose won the 1 ¼ mile
Flower Bowl Handicap (G-1) and placed in the 1 3/8 mile Sheepshead
Bay Handicap (G-2).
Charlie is a descendant of the Lowe Female Family 1-c. This is the
family of Kentucky Derby hero Grindstone (1996), Preakness winner
High Quest (1934) as well as Belmont Stakes victors Arts and Letters
(1969) and Pass Catcher (1971).
internationally recognized stallion Storm
Cat is Govenor Charlie's broodmare sire. Storm Cat is a chameleon
of sorts. Bred to mares with stamina oriented pedigrees, he would
get two turn runners, and those mares who were sprint oriented would
produce sprinter/miler types. This was the key to his remarkable
success in the breeding shed.
Cat is excelling as a broodmare sire as well. For the last two years,
Storm Cat has been the leading broodmare sire by both earnings,
winners and graded stakes winners. He was second in the 2011
standings by number of winners. In 2010, he was third by earnings and
winners. His daughters' offspring win at all distances over all
surfaces. Their notable offspring include Last year's Kentucky
Derby/Preakness runner-up Bodemeister, Florida Derby winner Dialed
In, and dual Grade 1 turf routing mare Harmonious.
Charlie appears to be average in height. He has the powerful two-turn
body of his sire. He has an efficient, ground-covering stride with
slightly high knee action. Govenor Charlie bore out slightly around
both turns in the Sunland Derby, however, the turns are likely
tighter than he is used to. He also bore out slightly in the
stretch, possibly a reaction to the whip. He showed a high cruising
speed in the Sunland Derby and galloped out strongly past the finish
to like: Govenor Charlie has the pedigree to handle 1 ¼ miles.
There's no denying that he's fast, he set a new record after all,
although I suspect the track was groomed to be lightning fast,
considering three new track records were set on the same day. Bob
Baffert is highly successful with taking lightly raced horses to the
Classics who finish in the money. Bodemiester, Paynter and Indian
Charlie are all prime examples. Note that none of them won a Classic
race, although Bodemiester and Paynter had heartbreaking second place
finishes last year in the Kentucky Derby/Preakness (Bodemiester) and
Belmont (Paynter). Govenor Charlie fits this pattern. Also on the
plus side is that Baffert trained Real Quiet, Midnight Lute and
Govenor Charlie's second dam Silverbulletday. All three were among
the best racehorses of their generations.
So what's not to like? Govenor Charlie's first foray into the stakes arena was an amazing race although his competition was suspect. Other than his Grade 2 winning stablemate, there was little quality in the field. Govenor Charlie doesn't have much foundation under him. He didn't race at age two and he will enter the Kentucky Derby with only three prep races. Baffert has been successful in the past with this tactic with Indian Charlie and Bodemeister, but both of those colts had four starts under their girths before talking the toughest races of their carers. Paynter also had four starts before his heartbreaking defeat in the Belmont Stakes. Note also that Indian Charlie and Bodemeister were injured and retired after the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and the courageous Paynter came down with a life-threatening illness right after the Haskell.
Govenor Charlie is undoubtedly a talented quickly maturing colt and could have a very promising future. I'd keep him on my Derby list for exotics, but he'll have to be extremely special to win the roses with no races at age two and only three lifetime races. The sensational Curlin entered the Kentucky Derby with three lifetimes starts and finished a good third in the Kentucky Derby so there's hope that Govenor Charlie will follow in the hoofprints of these outstanding horses.