Tout Charmant took the lead on the backstretch and held off 1-2 favorite Perfect Sting to win the $554,000 WinStar Galaxy Stakes (gr. IIIT) by 1 1/4 lengths Friday at Keeneland. Under jockey Chris McCarron, Tout Charmant completed the 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.74 while racing over firm turf.
"I wanted to get away sharp and she did," said McCarron. "I expected to be second, right by License Fee, but going into the first turn, Jorge's (Chavez, jockey of Wild Heart Dancing) horse cut Pat (Day, rider of License Fee) off and I fell in behind them. I was tracking a different horse than I thought, but I was in the same path."
Tout Charmant continued to track Wild Heart Dancing until midway through the backstretch when Wild Heart Dancing gave way. Perfect Sting, never far back, moved into second as Tout Charmant ran six furlongs in 1:13.40.
"In the stretch, I looked around and saw that white bridle coming at me (Perfect Sting)," said McCarron. "I knew the race was on then. But we bellied down and really ran a game race."
Tout Charmant, the 4-1 second wagering choice, paid $10.80 for the win and led a $19.40 exacta.
Perfect Sting finished second, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of License Fee. Mumtaz, Skytrial, Candleinthedark, and Wild Heart Dancing completed the order of finish.
For Perfect Sting, the loss ended a four-race winning streak. The 4-year-old daughter of Red Ransom had previously been undefeated on the year.
"It was a great race to the 1/16th pole, but the other filly had too much left," said Jerry Bailey, who rode Perfect Sting. "I think I should have moved her a little quicker, but you never know."
Tout Charmant (Slewvescent--Charm a Gendarme, by Batonnier) earned $343,480 for the win, her sixth in 20 career starts. The winner's share of the purse brings her career earning over the $1 million mark. Prior to the Galaxy Stakes, Tout Charmant, a 4-year-old filly, finished second in both the Ramona (gr. IT) and Palomar (gr. IIIT) Handicaps. Her stakes wins include the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) and the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT). Tout Charmant is owned by Stonerside Stable and was bred by the Robert H. Walter Family Trust.
Trainer Ron McAnally said a decision on whether to run Tout Charmant in the Breeders' Cup Fillies and Mares Turf (gr. IT) would come from her ownership. (Chart, Equibase