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Char N Marg is 'the total package'
Thursday, November 05, 2015 - by Kimberly French, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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Kimberly French
Louisville, KY --- For those that do not believe in love at first sight, have a chat with Nelson ‘Spider’ Willis and he will explain the instant connection. He experienced it when he first laid eyes on his American-National 2-year-old filly pace entrant Char N Marg.

“She was absolutely perfect,” he said. “Her legs looked like a deer’s they were so slender and straight. She also had a great attitude as a yearling. Calm, collected and you could see she was smart enough to take care of herself. She is a very, very nice filly. The total package.”

Although she has not received much ink in the national press, Char N Marg, a daughter of Sportsmaster and the Jate Lobell mare Zip Up Your Pans, has quietly compiled a bankroll and resume worthy of notice. Owned by Quaid Racing, the 2-year-old filly will head to the post on Saturday (Nov. 7) at Balmoral Park in the facility’s first pari-mutuel event of the evening. Casey Leonard will be steering her in the $78,450 contest where she will face five rivals and commence her journey from post position five. She does not possess the largest amount of purse money in the field ($109,390) but her swiftest mile (1:52.4) trumps the rest of her competitors.

REB photo
Filly Orange and Blue winner Char N Marg returns to Balmoral Park this Saturday for the American-National.

“I think she can pace with any of them,” Willis said. “I’ve been around horses since I was a kid, a teenager to be exact, and you cannot have another horse like this filly. She loves her job, she eats well, she never does anything wrong. If she gets a good trip she will be right there. She paces her heart out every time she is on the racetrack. All she needs is to be in the right spot. She will do all the rest for you.”

Willis also has another member of his shedrow that could bring home an American-National title in Lex. While this young lady may not be as accomplished as her six colleagues in the $120,000 3-year-old filly pace, her conditioner and breeder has faith in her ability. She will leave from post six with Kyle Wilfong in the bike and faces the likes of 2014 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion Southwind Roulette, Hoosier Park track record holder Devil Child and Somewhere Sweet, the third place finisher in the Jugette.

“Lexington Legend (her sire) could have been any kind of horse,” Willis said. “He won the Kentucky Sire Stakes final at 2 and was by Jate Lobell out of a Life Sign mare. He had some issues after that race and I could never get him sound, but he had all the credentials to be an outstanding horse.

I bought I Bet U (this filly’s dam) for $1,000 and she has been so good to me. She has only had one foal for me that did not accomplish anything on the racetrack. I put Lex in the Harrisburg Sale and then decided to withdraw her. She is a very consistent horse and since the family has been good to us, I thought we should keep her to race, then maybe be a broodmare.”

Despite his emotional investment in Lex, who has amassed $146,210 from 27 trips, Willis is exceptionally high on Char N Marg’s chances in her contest this weekend. As he should be, as this filly possesses a record of 15-6-5-1 and a bank account of just under $110,000. She has raced solely in the Midwest but her record pinpoints her as a solid contender in any race she participates in.

Char N Marg, who was a $5,000 yearling purchase, captured the $155,000 Filly Orange and Blue and the $20,500 Violet Stake, plus was second in the $32,900 Hanover Stake, In her most recent appearance, she was second by a scant neck in an $8,140 ICF stake.

“Casey (Leonard) loves driving her,” Willis said. “He said she is so perfect to drive and you always have a chance to win if you treat her right. She may not have the money on her card that some other horses do from the East Coast, but she’s won $100,000 here in Illinois. That is something to say for her and she has so much will to win.

She’s never worn a bandage in her life or had an injection. She is absolutely no maintenance and as sound as they come.

I’ll wait to see how she comes back from this break to decide if I stake her outside the area for next year. One thing is for sure though, she is a quality horse and I like her chances on Saturday.”

To view the full pari-mutuel card from Balmoral Park on Saturday, click here.

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