Stakes hopefuls get showing

While the stakes schedule at Charles Town will resume this weekend with the latest renewal of the $50,000 It’s Binn Too Long Stakes for state-bred three-year-old fillies, much of the action last weekend was focused on horses perhaps hoping to find their way into stakes company this summer and fall.

Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park, local trainer Ollie Figgins, III, sent his razor-sharp filly Dance to Bristol into the Grade III, $150,000 Bed O’Roses Handicap looking for her third straight lucrative score and her first graded tally. Since Dance to Bristol had won two straight stakes in sharp fashion, including the $200,000 Sugar Maple at Charles Town on the undercard of the Grade II, $1.5 million Charles Town Classic, she was sent out as the 8-5 choice with regular pilot Xavier Perez aboard.

When the gate opened in the Bed O’Roses, Dance to Bristol broke well to race third behind Fantasy of Flight and Delightful Quality down the backside and the favorite bided her time behind those two as the leaders set honest fractions by the opener in 23 seconds flat and by the half-mile mark in 45.4.

Midway on the far turn, Dance to Bristol angled three-wide to join the top pair and did so under confident handling from Perez. She easily overhauled Delightful Quality to loom just outside the leader nearing the eighth pole and then roared past Fantasy of Flight with ease to gain command a sixteenth of a mile from home en route to a three-length score in 1:20.81, a sensational time for seven furlongs.

A winner of five straight races, the last three being lucrative stakes at three different ovals, Dance to Bristol has won five of six starts this year and banked over $340,000 and she is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the best filly-mare sprinters on the East Coast. She sports a solid 8-7-0 slate and $500,000 bankroll from 16 lifetime outings, but Dance to Bristol appears capable of adding to that sum considerably over the summer and fall for Figgins and owner Susan Wantz.

One night earlier at Charles Town, Montague Bay gained command early and led throughout to capture a one-turn allowance event for older runners by two lengths in 51.82 as the 8-5 favorite. A four-year-old Prospect Bay gelding trained by Douglas Barron, Montague Bay notched his first win in five starts this year and now sports a 3-3-1 slate and $60,000 bankroll from 15 career outings.

One night earlier on a Thursday card that featured a trio of allowance races for fillies and mares, Portfolio capped the group of

features by prevailing as the 7-2 second choice. A six-year-old Indian Country mare trained by Kevin Patterson for owner S Kory Porter, Portfolio posted her second win in seven starts this year and now owns an 8-7-3 slate and $150,000 bankroll from 28 lifetime tries. Last Thursday she covered the seven panels in 1:27.97 for the mild upset.

Three races earlier on the card, Stollen posted an 8-1 upset in a two-turn allowance for fillies and mares. A five-year-old daughter of Grand Slam owned and trained by Sherry Rudolph, Stollen notched her first win in three starts this year and now sports a 2-4-8 slate and $75,000 bankroll from 22 career outings when she covered the 6 1/2-panels in 1:19.94 for her owner-trainer.

One race earlier, DD’s Destiny rallied from well off the pace with a strong closing kick to capture a one-turn allowance dash for

state-bred fillies and mares in her seasonal debut. A four-year-old daughter of Dehere trained by David Walters for owner Ellen Walters, DD’s Destiny now owns three wins in four career outings and looks poised for a solid campaign especially when she stretches out.


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