BC Internationals: Filly & Mare Turf contender Ryans Charm

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

October 26th, 2016

A Kentucky-bred sold for a mere $6,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, Ryans Charm has vaulted to stardom in her adopted homeland of Peru. The Cinderella story isn’t likely to culminate in Breeders’ Cup success, though.

The Peruvian racing scene doesn’t feature the same degree of talent as the premier South American venues of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. Moreover, Ryans Charm faces an even stiffer task while making just her second start in a year, and her debut for new connections.

On the plus side, Ryans Charm boasts a remarkable record of 22-15-4-0 at her home course of Monterrico, where she’s never finished worse than fourth, and she brings a six-race winning skein into Santa Anita.

That sequence includes back-to-back victories in Peru’s signature race for turf females, the Clasico Pamplona (G1). Honoring the great Peruvian-bred champion who went on to produce two European classic winners, memorably 1976 Epsom Derby (G1) hero Empery, the Clasico Pamplona was added to the Breeders’ Cup Challenge schedule as a “Win and You’re In” in 2016.

Ryans Charm has contested the Pamplona for four consecutive years, finally achieving a breakthrough in 2015. Held up well off a moderate pace, the daughter of Heatseeker spun out wide and drove home.


She continued her prolific success for the remainder of the year, scoring repeat wins in the Santa Rosa de Lima, India Brava, and Mari July (all labeled “clasicos” but not significant enough to rate as black-type races for international cataloging purposes).

Ryans Charm wasn’t seen again until her title defense in the June 26 Clasico Pamplona. Despite her eight-month layoff, former trainer Armando Filipuzzi had her primed. Ryans Charm carved out a similar trip as the prior year and finished with a flourish. You’ll hear the announcer calling her name before you can actually see her storming up the far outside, near the hedge.


Purchased by Japanese interests, Ryans Charm was at one stage doubtful to make the Breeders’ Cup, according to a report in Turf Diario. But she’s been training regularly for new conditioner Paddy Gallagher, who has the unenviable challenge of getting a fresh recruit ready for a race of this magnitude.

As reported by, Ryans Charm was almost retired to the broodmare life upon her private sale. But she was given an opportunity to defend her crown in the Pamplona, sporting the silks of her longtime owner Stud Nautica. Her Breeders’ Cup tilt can be interpreted in a similar vein – as a chance to boost her profile internationally before going to the paddocks. Why not?

Aside from the concerns about having a single run under her belt within the past year, and that coming four months ago, the other question mark is class. Ryans Charm is the queen of the Lima turf, but she was more vulnerable when venturing to the tougher Argentinian circuit.

Both of her foreign sorties came in the Copa de Plata (G1) at San Isidro. In a roughly run edition in 2013, Ryans Charm showed commendable resolve to muscle her way through and finish first past the post, only to be disqualified and demoted to fourth.


When seeking compensation in the 2014 Copa de Plata, Ryans Charm ran a non-threatening ninth in the worst result of her career. To put this in perspective, the winner, Pretty Girl, was seventh behind Filly & Mare Turf (G1) contender Sea Calisi in this summer’s Beverly D. (G1). Ryans Charm would need a career-best to factor, and that’s a real ask for a six-year-old on the verge of the breeding shed.

Photo courtesy Hipica en Monterrico via Twitter