The first two-time winner of the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes at Arlington International Racecourse, Sistercharlie won a berth into the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf last week on her quest to become only the second two-time winner of that race.
Winner of the Eclipse Award as champion turf female last year, Sistercharlie has joined an elite group of horses by winning five straight Grade 1s dating back to the 2018 Diana Stakes at Saratoga. Learn more about the superstar mare in today’s edition of the Getting To Know series.
Running in stakes competition almost exclusively during her career outside of two starts, Sistercharlie has shown her extreme talent since she broke her maiden in December 2016 on the all-weather track at Deauville.
Sistercharlie’s sole off-the-board finish came three months later in her 3-year-old debut when she finished fourth by 2 ½ lengths in the Listed Prix Rose de Mai. From there she rolled off two straight victories, including the Group 3 Prix Penelope, before finishing second to Senga in the Group 1 Prix de Diane Longines (French Oaks).
Sold to Peter Brant after that start, Sistercharlie was then transferred to the United States where she joined trainer Chad Brown's barn. Running three weeks later at Belmont Park, she was a credible second in her U.S. debut in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakess to the previous year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner New Money Honey as part of a 1-2-3 finish for her trainer.
That marked the last time she was seen until April of her 4-year-old year when she registered her first Grade 1 victory in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland. From there, it has been almost all smooth sailing for SIstercharlie.
While she finished second by a head to Fourstar Crook in her next start, Sistercharlie has reeled off five straight Grade 1 wins since then. She is one of only a handful of horses to have a Grade 1 winning streak that long, also making history as only the sixth horse in the Grade 1 Diana’s 80-year-timespan to win the race in back-to-back years and the first to win the Beverly D. twice.
While Sistercharlie isn’t running the flashiest Equibase Speed Figures in her victories (her career best is 116), she has consistently shown that she is among the best – if not the best – turf females in the country. Sistercharlie looks on track to win her second straight Eclipse Award as champion turf female if she continues this streak and, even more importantly for this piece, looks like she may win another Breeders’ Cup race.
While her pair of 112 Equibase Speed Figures this year aren’t among the top 10 listed for turf females, the way that she wins shows us she could easily run bigger figures if needed. She won last year’s Breeders’ Cup at a longer distance (1 3/8 miles) than this year’s Breeders’ Cup so distance will be no problem and she is one of two Beverly D. winners in the last seven years to win the Filly and Mare Turf the same year she won the Beverly D., the other being Dank in 2013.
The biggest thing working against Sistercharlie may be the turf course for this year's Breeders' Cup. She has never raced at Santa Anita Park and it can be much different than the East Coast tracks she’s used to. She has won on five different turf courses, but she’ll be facing a much firmer turf course here. While some horses love it, others struggle, so that could be a bit of a challenge.
While it isn’t a deal breaker, it is also worth noting that out of the four runnings of the Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anta this decade, three of the winners have done so by setting the pace or coming from just off the pace. Sistercharlie is often more of a midpack/back-of-the-pack runner, though 2016 winner Queen’s Trust serves as a reminder that all isn’t lost if you’re positioned near the pace, as she rallied from 11th to win.
Sistercharlie has quite the international pedigree to back her own success.
Myboycharlie has sired two recent Beverly D. winners, with Sistercharlie joining 2014 winner Euro Charline on the roster.
A Group 1 winner as a 2-year-old over six furlongs, Myboycharlie never ran farther than seven furlongs, but his record as a sire shows that he probably could have found success going longer distances. In addition to Sistercharlie and Euro Charline, his Australian daughter Jameka was a Group 1 winner at a mile and a half and even ran in the Melbourne Cup in 2016. The stallion’s 18 stakes winners also include New Zealand champion stayer Sir Charles Road.
Sistercharlie is one of three graded stakes winners from three to race out of her dam (mother), Starlet’s Sister, with all three winning at 1 ¼ miles or more. If there was a Broodmare of the Summer Award, Starlet’s Sister would definitely be in the running, as her 3-year-old son Sottsass won the Group 1 QIPCO Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) in June.
That continues a stellar 12 months for Starlet’s Sister, as her daughter My Sister Nat also won a Group 3 in France last September – ironically beating Awesometank, who finished second behind Sistercharlie at Arlington.
Starlet’s Sister is a half-sister to Anabaa’s Creation, a stakes winner who may be best known for nearly defeating Zenyatta when she finished second by a head to the superstar mare in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes in 2009. Also included in Sistercharlie’s pedigree is Canadian champion Leonnatus Anteas, who set a track record at Woodbine for 1 1/8 miles.
It’s safe to say that Sistercharlie’s class and ability has been bred into her for generations. While there are always questions about horses going into the extremely competitive Breeders’ Cup races, if Sistercharlie continues running the way she has been she looks poised to become only the second racehorse to win two editions of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf following the legendary Ouija Board in 2004 and 2006.