Super Cholo nosed out Temper Time to win the Annapolis Handicap yesterday as Chas' Whim's three-race winning streak expired in the Laurel stretch. The outcome was a guess even after the finish line: Only 1 1/2 lengths separated the first five, and it would have been tighter had Reputed Testamony not been cut off in midstretch.
The $54,825 Annapolis was billed as a showdown between 3-year-olds Chas' Whim, an eight-race winner this year, and Country Day, who returned from foot problems to win two straight at Laurel this month. But Country Day never got untracked, and Chas' Whim's stretch run was most noteworthy for the trouble he caused the oncoming Reputed Testamony.
After stumbling out of the gate, Chas' Whim recovered and set the pace along the rail without going too fast. But his lead was scant; Temper Time left with unusual speed on the outside and pressed Chas' Whim into the clubhouse turn. "You can't leave Chas' Whim alone," said Mark Johnston, who rode Temper Time. "I knew I had to go pressure him a little bit."
Temper Time stayed close through a modest 24-second quarter-mile and 47 2/5-second half, Chas' Whim seldom getting more than a half-length ahead. Super Cholo loomed in third, about four lengths back, until the Shug McGaughey-trained Wikki Up advanced inside leaving the backstretch. Country Day, at 5-2 the second choice, was a wide fifth and running listlessly.
Based on recent form, Chas' Whim carried a career-high 124 pounds -- eight to 14 more than any of the other six. Temper Time, with 12 fewer pounds, wore down the 11-10 favorite turning for home but never got a sizable lead. Still trying to dispose of Chas' Whim, he had Wikki Up and Super Cholo rallying to his right, and Reputed Testamony gaining along the rail.
Chas' Whim took care of Reputed Testamony by angling in with less than a furlong left, forcing Andrea Seefeldt to pull back her mount to avoid contact. Reputed Testamony renewed his rally, but the damage was done.
While Temper Time clung to a lead, Super Cholo pressed past Wikki Up with less than a sixteenth-mile left and reached the wire a nose in front to give trainer Carlos Garcia his 20th stakes win this year. Wikki Up finished third, a half-length back.
Chas' Whim beat out Reputed Testamony by a nose for fourth, but the places were reversed because of the interference. Leading jockey Mike Luzzi gave Country Day no excuse in a sixth-place finish.
Chas' Whim earned $1,645 after having won six of his previous seven races, and jockey Allen Stacy faces a possible suspension for careless riding.
Super Cholo earned $32,895 for Enrique Villa Garcia Martinez of Potomac to bring his 12-race winnings past $240,000. He and Temper Time traveled 1 1/8 miles in 1:49 3/5 and produced an exacta worth $205.60. Super Cholo was 7-1, Temper Time 20-1.