Friday night’s feature at Charles Town was an allowance dash for state-bred fillies and mares perhaps looking to get an early jump on the upcoming stakes for West Virginia-breds. The Big Dig had won her debut by open lengths in April, but bled so badly she was unable to return to the winner’s circle. Idle since she was still made the 3-5 favorite for trainer David Walters.
Bears’s Lucky Lady was the solid 2-1 second choice following a decent effort behind Donnameade, the talented James W. Casey-trained homebred who has won all three of her starts this year and appears headed for state-bred stakes. Bear’s Lucky Lady has competed exclusively in one-turn sprints in her career for trainer Vernon Greaves and owner-breeder Michael Baer.
When the gate opened, Bear’s Lucky Lady broke alertly to gain command leaving the chute with Diva On Demand away well to sit just outside of her. The Big Dig raced three-wide down the backside in close order but never fired and settled for fourth.
On a night when speed horses were tiring, Bear’s Lucky Lady led the field down the backside, widened her advantage on the far turn and drew clear in the lane to a four-length score. Diva On Demand lasted for the place spot in a good try.
Bear’s Lucky Lady posted her first win in three tries this year.
Earlier on the card, Kashaya rallied from well off the pace with a four-wide bid to capture an event for $6250 filly-mare claimers. Trained by Simon Hobson for owner-breeder Colebrook Farms now sports a solid 3-3-0 slate from seven starts this year.
Earlier, Bountiful Blessing rallied from well off the pace to keep her perfect record in tact. Idle since winning easily against maiden special weight rivals at River Downs last August, Bountiful Blessing rallied from well off the pace as the 3-1 second choice for trainer James Williams and owner Brian Griffin for her second win in as many starts.
Black Bayou easily lived up to her role as the 3-5 favorite when she assumed command on the far turn and then drew clear late to score by five lengths. Trained by Ollie Figgins, III, for owner Shannon Casey, Black Bayou easily prevailed in her seasonal debut after being away from the races for over a year.
One day later reigning West Virginia-bred horse of the year, Lucy’s Bob Boy, tried graded stakes company for the first time when the Sandra Dono trainee was at Monmouth Park in New Jersey to compete in the Grade III, $150,000 Salvador Mile.
Sent out as the 7-2 third choice, Lucy’s Bob Boy sat just off the longshot leader through the first turn and down the backside, was under urging entering the far turn but failed to find another gear and faded late to fifth. In his first venture outside of Charles Town, Lucy’s Bob Boy watched his five-race win streak come to a halt.
At Hollywood Park in California, recent Charles Town Classic champion Game On Dude was looking to continue his winning ways in the Grade I, $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, possibly the last running of the prestigious event. Game On Dude had won the Grade II, $1.5 million Charles Town Classic in April.
Sent out as the overwhelming 1-5 favorite despite the presence of Clubhouse Ride, who has repeatedly finished second behind the Baffert trainee, Game On Dude gained command soon after the break, led the field through the first turn and down the backside and then held safe a gritty Kettle Korn for a length victory.
Game On Dude has now won all four of his starts this year and already banked over $2 million in seasonal earnings and his latest victory pushed his career bankroll past $5 million. Game On Dude is the best older male dirt horse in the land. His latest tally probably ensured that the Charles Town Classic will get elevated to Grade I status next spring.
Sunday afternoon at Monmouth Park, Immortal Eyes displayed plenty of speed early and even a better kick late and drew off to a seven-length victory in the $75,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes. Trained by Damon Dilidovico for owner Robert Abbo, Immortal Eyes has won three of six starts this year and now owns 14 wins and earnings of over $800,000 from 44 outings.