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Access To Charlie Wins Geisha Stakes
LAUREL, MD. 11-9-13---Howard M. Bender’s Access To Charlie moved by speedy Malibu Beach Bunny with 3/16ths of a mile to go and held on to win the $100,000 Geisha Stakes for registered Maryland-bred fillies and mares this afternoon at Laurel Park. The Geisha was the first of four stakes races on Saturday’s nine race program.
Julian Pimentel was at the controls as the 5-year old daughter of Indian Charlie completed the one mile distance in 1:39.56 and paid $5.60 as the betting favorite. Monster Sleeping, who stumbled at the start and was quickly rushed into contention, came after the winner in the final furlong but finished second, losing by a neck. Longshot Mystic Love took third.
The winner, who was fourth in the last year’s Geisha, was making her first start since a fifth place finish in the Grade 3 Obeah Handicap at Delaware Park in June. Larry Murray trains Access To Charlie.
“This horse was coming off a layoff so you never know how they are going to come back,” said Murray. “She was training very well and I think she was as good as she ever was. She had run into some tough fillies before but we thought this was a good spot for her. I didn’t tell Julian much. I knew there was a lot of speed in here and she has to be in the game. She was pretty close and I liked where she was.”
“She normally doesn’t like to be right on the lead,” said Pimentel. “Today she was real fresh and fought all the way around. We really battled in the stretch to get there first. With the second finish line you have to be a little more patient and she got it done.”
About Laurel Park
Laurel Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.