Ed DeRosa will not agree with this post.

Is it laughable to suggest that a seven-time Grade 1 winner is overrated? It has to be, doesn’t it? What comes after laughable? “Beyond absurd”? Something else? Whatever. I don’t care. I’m going to do it anyway.

The most overrated racehorse in America is Elate. The second-most overrated is Sistercharlie.

Sistercharlie’s final race in Europe more than two years ago was the Prix de Diane at Chantilly. She lost to a filly named Senga that day. Senga is now dead, but before she died she established herself as an everyday Group 3 type who happened to hook a weak field, including Sistercharlie, in the Diane when stealing a Group 1 win.

So then Sistercharlie comes to America. She loses two of her first three starts to a couple of her Chad Brown stablemates, New Money Honey and Fourstar Crook. Neither of them was shabby, but neither of them ever was world class except for the day New Money Honey won a Breeders’ Cup race.

Since starting her impressive streak of Grade 1 wins, Sistercharlie’s foes have mostly consisted of other fillies and mares trained by Chad Brown, and European mediocrities. Let’s take an inventory, shall we?

Ok, ok. Yes. Wild Illusion DID have three Group 1 wins in Europe before losing to Sistercharlie in the 2018 BC Filly and Mare Turf. I’ll give Ed DeRosa that point. But since that day, Wild Illusion is 0 for 3, with nary a board finish to her credit. And Magic Wand, 4th in the 2018 Filly and Mare Turf, has not won a race since. Though she does have a pair of 2nds to Bricks and Mortar since that day, for whatever that’s worth to you.

Awesometank, her beaten foe in the Beverly D, has never won a graded stakes and has only a trio of Group 3 placings in Europe. Hardly a top class European. Yes, Sistercharlie ran her down with ease at Arlington. But don’t forget she had the help of a rabbit that day.

Mrs. Sippy, recently 2nd to Sistercharlie in the Flower Bowl, once got within two lengths of the deceased Sea of Class (the second dead horse alluded to in this post) in Europe. Beyond that, her claim to fame is a win over Empress of the Nile in the Grade 2 Glens Falls at Saratoga.

Here is my point. I don’t hate Sistercharlie. She’s good. She’s far and away the top American (even though she was bred in Ireland) female turf horse the last two years. But I will submit to you that if we get two or three top Euros over here this year for the BC Filly and Mare Turf, Sistercharlie is unlikely to hit the exacta. Even with Thais making sure no one steals it up front.


  1. Agameofskill on October 15, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Yeah, I was pretty much of that same opinion going into last year’s race. That worked out well…

    • Justin Dew on October 15, 2019 at 8:28 pm

      Yeah, and it might work out the same way this year. If the Euros they send are second rate, I’ll probably end up using her in a double or something.

  2. Greg on October 15, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Sistercharlie has improved leaps and bounds since the races you were referencing. However even with that said if top euros do show up they would have to be the very best. With vasilika and uni in the race sistercharlie already has her hands full. I’d like your take on the 1.5 mile turf , they are sending at least two that are top world class horses in magical and waldgiest. How do you feel arklow and bricks and mortar (if he goes) stack up.

    • Justin Dew on October 15, 2019 at 8:26 pm


      I think we have to see who shows up, honestly. That goes for all of the grass races. I hope Waldgeist comes because I think his edge comes when the going is soft, which it won’t be at Santa Anita. But he should take a lot of money. Bricks and Mortar is obviously very good, and I can’t imagine the extra 1/4 mile would be his undoing. The question will be whether or not he’s good enough to beat whichever Euros come over. We already know he’s superior to Magic Wand. But she isn’t Coolmore’s top runner by any means.

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