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Bwana Charlie Gives Indian Charlie Line Juvenile One-Two Punch

It’s pretty clear that Indian Charlie (TrueNicks,SRO)’s son Uncle Mo is going to head the Experimental Free Handicap and carry off the Eclipse Awad for Champion Two-Year-Old. However, it may well be that the second top-rated juvenile of the year will be another Indian Charlie line horse in the shape of Comma to the Top, a son of Bwana Charlie (TrueNicks,SRO).

Rather unusually for a top juvenile these days, Comma to the Top has already started ten times, but he’s thrived on the work and has won his last five starts. His last three tallies coming in the Real Quiet Stakes, Generous Stakes (gr. III), and this weekend, the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) by 1¾ lengths over the accomplished J P’s Gusto.

Comma to the Top is the first stakes winner from the first two crops sired by Bwana Charlie (although he also has this year’s Debutante Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Tristanme). Until the appearance of Uncle Mo, Bwana Charlie and his brother, the Super Derby (gr. II) winner My Pal Charlie (both out of the Halo mare Shahalo) were the top two colts for Indian Charlie. Bwana Charlie failed to win in five starts at two, although he was in the frame in all five outings. At three, he developed into a smart sprinter, taking the Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) over a pair of talented speedsters in Pomeroy (TrueNicks,SRO) and Weigelia (TrueNicks), and the Lafayette Stakes (gr. III).

Comma to the Top is out of the Stormy Atlantic (TrueNicks,SRO) mare Maggies Storm, a half-sister to the Santana Mile Handicap winner Yes He’s A Pistol. The granddam, Maggies Pistol, is by Big Pistol (by the T.V. Lark son Romeo, a horse who is not frequently seen in major stakes winners). Maggies Pistol herself won the Virginia Handicap (gr. III), and is out of a half sister to a smart juvenile in Good Potential (by Relaunch), who won the Sorority Stakes (gr. III), and was several times graded-placed, including third in the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I). The fourth dam, Order in Court (by the Native Dancer son, Banderilla), won 13 of 59 starts, including the Strike the Anvil Visitation Stakes. This is a relative unrecognized branch of the La Troienne line, and Order in Court’s granddam, Comic Relief, is a three-parts-sister to Buckpasser (by that horse’s sire, Tom Fool, out of His Duchess, a daughter of Businesslike).

Bred in Florida by Richard and Linda Thompson – presumably not the legendary English folk duo of that name – Comma to the Top is TrueNicks rated B on the basis of the Indian Charlie/Storm Bird cross. As far as Indian Charlie with Storm Cat is concerned, Indian Charlie brings in Leo Castelli, who is by Sovereign Dancer, a Northern Dancer/Bold Ruler cross, like Storm Cat. Bwana Charlie’s second dam is by Dance in Time, like Storm Bird a son of Northern Dancer, and his dam is by Chop Chop, sire of the second dam of Storm Bird.

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