HRN Original Blog:
Pedigree Power

Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile - Govenor Charlie

Govenor Charlie 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire - Alex Evers
On Sunday, March 25, Govenor Charlie added his name to the Kentucky Derby roster with an authoritative five length victory in the Sunland Derby (G-3). Guided by Martin Garcia, Govenor Charlie attended the swift early pace on the far outside in third place. Around the quarter pole, pace setters SAINT PRADO and ABRAHAM were being pushed along while Govenor Charlie was just being given his head. The Bob Baffert trainee rolled around the turn in front and widened his lead with aggressive urging by Garcia, zipping under the wire in 1:47.54 while setting a new track record for 1 1/8 miles. SHOW SOME MAGIC gained the place spot while Abraham held on for third in a game effort.

GOVENOR CHARLIE (Midnight 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.

Midnight 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 Sprint (1:07.08).

Midnight 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.

MIDNIGHT LUTE (Real Quiet - Candytuft, by Dehere)
Race record: 13-6-3-1 ($2,690,600)

Career highlights:
1st – Breeders' Cup Sprint (G-1) (2007 - '08) 6F
1st – Forego Stakes (G-1) 7F
1st - Perryville Stakes (G-3) 7F
2nd – Cigar Mile (G-1)
2nd - San Fernando Stakes (G-2) 1 1/16 miles
3rd – Malibu Stakes (G-1) 7F

Female Family:
Govenor 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.

Silverbulletway 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.

As 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.

Govenor 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).

Govenor 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).
Govenor Charlie Pedigree Chart

The 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.

Storm 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.

Govenor Charlie Sunland DerbyGovenor 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 line.

What's 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.


comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile - Govenor Charlie...

I like his pedigree. would like to have seen more racing. baffert always plays his cards close to his chest. billie
i am watching this horse since sunland derby win?
i like his chances in the ky derby lack of two turn experience doesn't scare me . I looking for big things for this colt in upcoming months.

Related Pages

     Connect With Laurie

Me On Facebook
Follow Me On Twitter


Meet Laurie Ross


I've been around horses for most of my life, working in racing stables as a hot walker and exercise rider in my teenage years, and later as a volunteer with rescued and retired racehorses. I became interested in pedigree when the sons and daughters of my favorite horses started their racing careers.   


For more than a decade, I've passionately studied pedigree, how it applies to handicapping and breeding theories. In 2010, I joined Horse Racing Nation as their Pedigree Analyst, focusing on juvenile stakes winners, Triple Crown contenders and first crop sires from a handicapping perspective.   


In 2011, I accepted the role of South Florida Coordinator and Advisory Board Member for the national non-profit Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association (ThoroFan). Working closely with Gulfstream Park management and other race fans, we created a ThoroFan Chapter at Gulfstream Race Track. Our main project is assisting Thoroughbred rescue and re-training groups.


I continue to maintain my website Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds and blog of the same name. As a pedigree consultant, I specialize in assisting small to mid-size breeding/training operations with broodmare breeding reports, sales catalog analysis and recommendations on claims and private sales. 10 - 20% of all proceeds are donated to Thoroughbred rescue and retraining groups.
I welcome your questions regarding pedigree, handicapping and breeding. If you would like me to cover a specific topic please contact me at

Related Stories

Top Stories