Posted: May 31, 2019
By Tom LaMarra
It’s not often that two full brothers race against each other, let alone in back-to-back stakes. But then again, the success of their Pennsylvania-based sire and the partnership that owns and bred them is unusual to say the least.
The brothers–4-year-old gelding Midnightcharly and 5-year-old horse Midtowncharlybrown–are owned by Uptowncharlybrown Stud and their breeder, Godric LLC. In 27 starts combined, the pair out of the unraced Speightstown mare Torchwood have earned almost $600,000 and have done their part to make their sire, Uptowncharlybrown, a hot commodity in the Mid-Atlantic region.
They are entered in the Chocolatetown Sprint Stakes, a MATCH Series event, at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course June 1. In their last start April 27 at Parx Racing, Midnightcharly finished first and Midtowncharlybrown fifth in the Lyman Stakes for Pennsylvania-breds.
But it’s more than a novelty for Bob Hutt’s Uptowncharlybrown Stud, which offers low-cost partnerships that now have about 500 members. It’s about family and friends, and their connection through Thoroughbreds.
After the death of his father, David, Hutt launched Fantasy Lane Stable with 12 partners and a few claiming horses. Eventually, horses were purchased at auction, and in 2009 Fantasy Lane spent $57,000 to buy a 2-year-old son of Limehouse in Ocala, Fla. Uptowncharlybrown, trained by Hutt’s close friend, the late Alan Seewald, made his first start Dec. 26 that year at Tampa Bay Downs and won by nine lengths.
The colt was on the Triple Crown trail in 2010 and finished a fast-closing third in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, five days after Seewald passed away. He finished an even fifth in the Belmont Stakes but was disqualified and placed last for losing a lead pad during the race; he also suffered a bowed tendon and was never the same.
But Hutt never forgot what Seewald had told him the year before. Though Uptowncharlybrown didn’t have a chance to reach his potential on racetrack, he has more than made up for it in the breeding shed.
“Alan always called him ‘The Chestnut,’ ” Hutt said. “And he was 100% correct when he told me this is the best horse I ever owned.”
Uptowncharlybrown entered stud at Glenn and Becky Brok’s Diamond B Farm in Mohrsville, Pa., in 2013. The stallion has a phenomenal success rate–Hutt notes his AEI (average earnings index) is 2.19, which is very strong given the type of mares bred to him. Uptowncharlybrown is the leading third-crop sire in Pennsylvania, and this year 92 mares were bred to him, almost twice the number in 2018.
Meanwhile, Uptowncharlybrown Stud has a 30% win rate and 65% in-the-money rate with average earnings of more than $14,000 per start.
“Nobody can believe it,” Hutt said. “And this is being done almost exclusively with horses by Uptowncharlybrown. Where others go out and buy (at auction), we’re breeding our own racehorses. It has been an unbelievable ride.”
The partnership last year won the Grade III Victory Ride Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park with Dixie Serenade, who is by Uptowncharlybrown and was bred by Fantasy Lane. Eddie Colleti Jr.–his stepmother, Irene, owns and breeds under the Godric name–trains the partnership’s runners including the full brothers and Dixie Serenade, who is expected to return later this year and then become a broodmare for the partnership, according to Hutt.
Most recently, Wait for It, a 4-year-old Uptowncharlybrown gelding, finished a game fourth in the Grade III Pimlico Special in May. Hutt said the Pennsylvania homebred provided quite a thrill for the partners that afternoon as Wait for It not only ran a big race but galloped out well ahead the winner, Tenfold.
“We had a suite on the clubhouse turn at Pimlico–we try to treat everyone in our partnerships like they’re millionaires–and they were all outside cheering him,” Hutt said. “And I can’t say enough about Eddie, who was an assistant to Alan Seewald. He’s a young trainer who last year smashed his earnings mark with $1.7 million in earnings. He very quietly has made a name for himself, and I’m proud to call him a friend.”
As for the two full brothers, who will race as a coupled entry in the Chocolatetown, Hutt said they’ve been a pleasure to watch compete on the racetrack. Midtowncharlybrown has won nine of 18 starts, while Midnightcharly has five wins and hasn’t finished worse than second in nine outings.
“I call them Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside,” Hutt said with a laugh. “One can make the lead and other is a dynamite closer. Midtowncharlybrown has had only one race so far this year, and he was coming on again at the end (in the Lyman). As for Midnightcharly, we like to say he has rocks between his ears. He certainly has the physical talent but he’s still green and learning to be a racehorse.
“We’re going against a few very nice horses Saturday, but we think they’ll make a very good showing. They’re well-prepared and I think we can hold with the big guns. Win or lose, we’re just so damn proud of them.
“We’ve made so many friends through Uptowncharlybrown Stud. It has been incredible. It’s rewarding making so many friendships over the years, and I’m very proud of our team. The social exposure is great for us and the partners. It has been a fabulous way to become involved in racing, and we keep growing.
“Little did we realize how blessed we would be.”
(Photo of Midtowncharlybrown–left–and Midnightcharly by Nikki Sherman)