Peter Brant’s Sistercharlie crossed the line first in the $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park on Sunday. She became the first horse in North America since Zenyatta to take six straight Grade 1 races.
She now joins the company of Grade 1 legends such as Gun Runner, American Pharoah, Skip Away, Easy Goer, Seattle Slew, and Zenyatta.
Sistercharlie was awarded an automatic spot in the Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park in November with her victory. The Flower Bowl is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event.
Heavy Favorite at 1/5 Odds
Sistercharlie broke from post 2 with jockey John Velazquez, and they came in as the heavy favorite with 1/5 odds. She started out the race in fourth, while her stablemate, Thais, trained by Chad Brown, took the lead early by 12 lengths. The opening fractions were :24.21, :49.27, and 1:15.13.
Thais continued to lead, but that started to fade as the field made its way into the far turn. Sistercharlie challenged the leader and tried to take over as they straightened out for home, but Thais continued to hold on.
Sistercharlie was able to keep pushing forward as Mrs. Sippy tried to take a shot. Sistercharlie finished 3/4 length ahead with a final time of 2:02.21 in the 1 1/4-mile event over the firm inner turf course.
Velazquez’s Fifth Flower Bowl
Jockey John Velazquez spoke about Sistercharlie after the running. Velazquez has now won the Flower Bowl five times.
“She’s been very good,” said Velazquez. “She’s done everything we’ve asked of her, and I’m proud to be a part of it with Chad and Peter. She’s incredible. She was on the bridle, and she’s never on the bridle. I tried to leave her where she was comfortable and let her go from there.”
Mrs. Sippy failed at passing up the leader and finished in second by 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Thais. Lantiz finished in fourth by 1/2 length over Beau Belle. Next came Ferdinanda in fifth, followed by Empress of the Nile to complete the order.
Sistercharlie Looking Towards Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf
Sistercharlie’s record is now at 14-10-3-0, and her career earnings are $3,482,003. Her next stop will likely be the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in November, where she will be defending her title.
She is the Irish-bred 5-year-old daughter of Myboycharlie. Brown has now won five Flower Bowls in the past six years.
“We’re pretty confident (in the Breeders’ Cup) as long as she stays healthy,” said Brown. “I don’t think we’ve reached the bottom of her. Some of the setbacks that she’s had have been a bit disappointing, but it’s kept her fresh, so it really goes both ways.”
Sistercharlie paid out $2.40 to win and $2.10 to place, while Mrs. Sippy returned $2.80 to place. There was no show betting.