Friday, August 14, 2020

Charlie Murray in Charge: flashback friday!

Happy Friday, guys! It's been..... hm, it's been a week, yes? Is it even still August? Still 2020? Honestly I'm kinda losing track.... Lol.... Hope you're all looking forward to a good weekend at least.

the fiercest <3
I thought today we might take a little walk down memory lane and look back on Charlie's career as a racehorse -- specifically with media from his final win at Parx in February 2015.

keep your eye on the big star farthest left
Charlie had a fairly lengthy career -- he raced until he was 7, running 33 total races through August 9, 2016 -- almost exactly 4 years ago, can you believe it? He then came home to me one month later in September.

First race was as a 2yo at Keeneland in Kentucky, where he was born, then shipped up to Chicago for one run, and down to Louisiana for another 2 races in early 2012.

"charlie murray in charge!"
These early performances were... less than stellar. Not at all what his first trainers expected after spending $100K at auction on Charlie as a yearling. In fact, his last race in Louisiana featured a pretty abysmal fade out of contention to finish dead last.

But he was claimed anyway on the strength of his pedigree and racing form, plus the new trainer thought she knew what was wrong: the horse couldn't breathe.
actually fought for it down to the wire
So Charlie moved north in early 2012 to be with his new connections, where they got him scoped and performed a tie back surgery.

He also bowed a suspensory somewhere around here, which in a weird way worked out bc it gave the new trainer time to rehabilitate Charlie completely - physically and mentally - from his earlier painful training episodes.

oh my goodness his goofy sweet ears <3 <3 
This new trainer must have really worked well for Charlie bc altho she described him to me as a horse with not a lot of heart in the sport, he did run well for her. During his time in her stables, Charlie won 4 races and finished in the money more often than not -- running in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

that big star is recognizable anywhere
I try to keep in touch with all his connections, sending them updates at least once a year. And one former owner actually came down to visit Charlie a couple summers ago. Apparently his teenage daughters used to always refer to Charlie as their "baby brother" since their father loved him so much. Is that not actually the sweetest thing tho?

During his visit, he gave me the framed win pictures from this particular race, Charlie's final win. It's not the best shot of Charlie lol, since Charlie's basically running over his handler (something I can personally attest to as a habit!), but I cherish it <3

lol charlie.... running people right the fuck over since 2009 lol
Charlie ran another 12 races after this last win, placing less and less frequently. The way his trainer described it, and the way it looks in the racing videos haha, is that Charlie would get out to the front but then sorta just want to cruise along with his friends. As opposed to the races he won, where he'd get out in front immediately, and stay there.

Finally his trainer convinced the owners to let Charlie retire while he was still sound and healthy -- and avoid risking him getting claimed -- so that he could have the best chance for adoption.

not the most flattering picture, but pretty representative lol
After officially retiring, Charlie spent a couple weeks at the trainer's farm chillin in a field before transferring to the adoption facility, just in time for me to meet him.

Charlie wasn't even on the website yet - wasn't even on my list of horses to look at during the visit. But obviously the facility director knew enough to show off this tall dark handsome gelding with such a sweet quiet disposition haha. And I'm so glad she did, bc right away I knew there was something about him <3

It's fun looking back on these videos, all these years later. I'd never actually watched any of them, tho I'd read all the racing reports. But eh, it was like $8 for a couple days access (and I may or may not have surreptitiously recorded a few of them -- shhh, don't tell!) so finally got to see what Charlie looked like as a racehorse. And, ya know, he looks like my Charlie haha - the same Charlie we all know and love.

Any other OTTB owners out there who obsess and pore over your horse's history? The pedigree, the charts, any videos?? I try not to let my horse's history define him... but still, I love knowing all about it! Only wish I had baby pictures too lol....


  1. I have a whole YouTube playlist of every one of Bast's races. And I have read all of Pig's race reports, but never seen video of his races. And Pig's connections have proven very difficult to track down. Meanwhile, Bast's breeder/race owner is a FB friend who loves tracking his progress. I love how many people loved these horses along the way. And it's so fun to see Charlie in race form!

    1. i wasn't sure about putting the videos on youtube bc of copyright issues... but maybe i'll try anyway? that's so awesome that Bast's former owner stays in touch and keeps following. agreed about loving that these horses have so many connections and people rooting for them throughout their lives!

  2. That is so cool - I had forgot that you had a decent amount of history on him. I like bloodlines, videos and performance records too - I find it fascinating. It doesn't always predict success, but neat to see trends, etc. and maybe understand your horse a bit.

    I actually got a few foal pics of my new mare and heard about her and the breeding program from the original owner, not the lady I bought her from. Very satisfying to have those tidbits! My friend and I have been tracking down info on the mare's three foals too (totally creeping people on FB, lol) for kicks.

    1. ha omg i would totally stalk the crap out of any babies too -- ain't no shame in that game!! and yea the bloodlines stuff is interesting to me, tho mostly just sorta out of curiosity -- satisfying the tidbits like you say haha. it's nice to know the story and background etc

  3. That is so awesome you have so much media!

    1. lol i kinda love that he looked exactly the same even back then <3 definitely worth shelling out a couple bucks to see him in all his glory!

  4. So neat to see them in their former careers! I did the same when I got Romey. I even paid to get some of his win photos. So glad the stars aligned the way they did and Charlie found his way to you!

    1. thanks - so grateful to have found this sweet pony <3 and yea i had considered buying some win photos too, but then got lucky when the one was just gifted to me

  5. Absolutely!! Hero never actually raced, but he did do a breeze at a 2 year old sale, and all the breeze videos were online for the public, so I looked that up and also may or may not have recorded a version to keep. If he raced I would totally have dug into that as much as possible!

  6. hes so recognizable!! i love that you got all the win photos and have videos.

    i dont have any videos or pictures from Spicy's racing life bc it was all in panama :'(

    Indy was racing at penn national which has really limited videos (if any) and i DID have videos of runkles races but he did so poorly he usually wasn't really in the video at all... so unfortunately I have no fun reminiscing.

    oh except there was one race Runkle should have won so he WAS in it... but he end up getting disqualified because on the back stretch he started playing around and bumped another horse. like everyone else is SUPER SRS RUNNING and runkles out having a frolic. who is surprised. no one.


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