Next month’s Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds is the ‘next logical step’ for Charlie’s Penny, according to trainer Chris Block in light of her latest success.
Taking on two turns for the first time in her career, Charlie’s Penny tracked the sedate pace of Littlestitious before rallying on the home turn to make the front and then clearing away to win the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes at Fair Grounds by more than three lengths.
She earned herself ten qualifying points for the Kentucky Oaks in the process.
Souper Sensational closed from last to be second, with outsider Moon Swag taking third spot ahead of disappointing favourite Sun Path.
Brian Hernandez Jr. felt his mount was always at ease going the pace in the Silverbulletday and trainer Block suggested the race set up nicely for her.
“What has pushed her forward is her mind and her determination,” he said. “She’s not a very big filly, kind of average in size and a little bit on the narrow side, but all that is relative to what she can do herself. She was helped by the [slow] pace, but so was everybody else, or so I would have thought.”
The Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra back at Fair Grounds on February 13th is now an attractive option as Block wants to find out if there’s more to come from Charlie’s Penny with potential Classic targets further down the line.
“She ate up last night and [Sunday] morning, walked real well and she seems bright and not too knocked out. The next logical plan would be to point towards the Rachel Alexandra,” added the trainer.
“She rose to the occasion, now it’s time to see if she can take the next step forward.”
Meanwhile Brad Cox was left perplexed after Sun Path failed to fire in the Grade 3 contest. He’s not considering the Rachel Alexandra as a target, instead preferring to give his filly some time to come out of her disappointing Fair Grounds run.
Cox admits there was nothing in her homework leading into the race that suggested she’d fail to sparkle.
“I was super disappointed with the outcome of the Silverbulletday,” Cox admitted. “We don’t see any physical issue with Sun Path. She appears to have come out of it well. Obviously, we will back up a little bit. We won’t run back in four weeks.
“We’ll just try to train up to either the Honeybee at Oaklawn Park [on March 6th] or the Fair Grounds Oaks [on March 20th].
“They would really be our only options moving forward. We need a little more time between races. She’s going to be a little bit of a question mark until we run her again. She was doing so well leading up to this race.”