On the mend, Pyfer wires Snow Chief with Bally’s Charm

May 28, 2022

Presented By City National Bank, Race Is Part Of Lucrative CTBA-Sponsored Golden State Series

ARCADIA, Calif.—Off mounts last weekend due to being kicked in a paddock mishap on May 20, Jessica Pyfer, America’s Eclipse Champion Jockey for 2021, notched her first stakes win as a journeyman jockey on Saturday at Santa Anita, as she put Red Baron’s Barn homebred Bally’s Charm on the lead and never looked back en route to a 5 ¾ length win in the $150,000 Snow Chief Stakes presented by City National Bank. Trained by Jeff Mullins, Bally’s Charm got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:50.21.

The Snow Chief is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired three-year-olds.

The “fittest horse in the race” according to Mullins, Bally’s Charm, fresh off a three quarter length win going a mile on turf in a first condition statebred allowance here on April 17, made a visually easy lead while in-hand going into the Club House turn. Turning up the backside, even money favorite Smuggler’s Run settled into second, about two lengths back.

Smuggler’s Run loomed ominously around the far turn and a quarter mile out, he pulled to within a half length of the winner but turning for home, Bally’s Charm seemed to find another gear and was long gone in a thoroughly dominant effort.

“I was waiting for some company to come up with me and it never happened, so I didn’t know what happened behind me, but I knew my horse had so much talent,” said Pyfer, 24. “I’m just so blessed to be here and to be able to ride these kinds of horses and I just hope we can keep moving forward like this. I want to be in the Winner’s Circle and I love this game.”

Third two starts back in a mile and one eighth allowance on turf Feb. 4, Bally’s Charm was the second choice in a field of six at 2-1 and paid $6.20, $3.80 and $2.40.

Owned and bred in California by Red Baron’s Barn, LLC and Vaya Con Suerte, LLC, Bally’s Charm is a 3-year-old gelding by Roi Charmant out of the Arch mare Ballydonnell Drive. Ridden in all six of his starts by Pyfer, he notched his first stakes win and now has three victories from six starts. With the winner’s share of $90,000, he increased his earnings to $191,340.

“When I saw the fractions and he started to open up in the turn, I thought it was going to take a hell of a horse to get by him,” said Mullins. “All of the chatter was abut the six horse (Smuggler’s Run) but he had never gone two turns, let alone a mile and one eighth. I had one rider ask me if I might need somebody, but I said Jessica would be good. She knows him, she’s been on him every time, and she’s worked him every time. I wasn’t going to do that.”

Royal ’n Rando, who shipped south from Golden Gate Fields for trainer Steve Specht, finished with a flourish from well off the pace under Frank Alvarado to finish second by a head over Smuggler’s Run. Off at 13-1, Royal ’n Rando paid $8.80 and $3.40.

Ridden by Joe Bravo, Smuggler’s Run held off Worse Read Sanchez by a nose and paid $2.20 to show.

Fractions on the Snow Chief were 24.11, 49.45, 1:13.60 and 1:38.20.

  Annabelle Stute, widow of trainer Melvin Stute, who conditioned the legendary California-bred Eclipse Award winning Snow Chief, assisted in the Winner’s Circle trophy presentation.

$150,000, SNOW CHIEF STAKES QUOTES 

JOCKEY QUOTES

JESSICA PYFER, BALLY’S CHARM, WINNER: “I was waiting for some company to come up with me and it never happened so, I didn’t know what happened behind me, but I knew my horse had so much talent. From day one he worked, I said to Jeff, “I want this one.” He is just super special. Like I said before, I don’t think he has it all together yet and that’s how talented he is. I’m just really blessed I get to ride him. Thank you so much to the Cohens, Red Baron’s Barn for letting me go through this trip and journey with him, because he’s just a really nice horse.

“I don’t even know how much we won by, but he’s always just got something else.

“I’m just so blessed to be here and to be able to ride these kinds of horses and I just hope we can keep moving forward from this. I want to be here, I want to be in the Winner’s Circle, and I love this game.”

TRAINER QUOTES

JEFF MULLINS, BALLY’S CHARM, WINNER: “When I saw the fractions and he started to open up in the turn, I thought it was going to take a hell of a horse to get by him. All of the chatter was about the six horse (Smuggler’s Run) but he had never gone two turns, let alone a mile and an eighth.

“I had one rider ask me if I might need somebody, but I said Jessica would be good. She knows him, she’s been on him every time, and she’s worked him every time. I wasn’t going to do that.”

NOTES: The winning owners/breeders are Red Baron’s Barn, LLC and Vaya Con Suerte, LLC.

Santa Anita Press Release
Photo by Benoit Photos

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