CHARLES TOWN — The sophomore fillies and their older peers garnered the spotlight Saturday night when Charles Town hosted the latest renewal of the Sadie Hawkins Stakes.
Among the eight fillies and mares who went postward were two talented ladies who easily garnered most of the attention and deservedly so. Down Town Allen, the queen of the state-bred distaffers for the past three years, was made the even-money favorite in the seven-furlong affair, while her youthful, speedy rival Jax And Jill was the solid 6-5 second choice in her first attempt at two turns.
Down Town Allen had been listless in her previous start at Mountaineer Park the week before, but the John A. Casey homebred was eager to maintain her status as the best state-bred mare. She had overhauled Jax And Jill in their previous meeting and the defending Cavada champ was expected to upend her younger foe again as the favorite.
When the gate opened, Jax And Jill displayed the best early speed and gained command passing under the wire the first time, while Down Town Allen wasted little time taking up the chase. The favorite stalked the filly through the clubhouse turn and down the backside in what would develop into the virtual match.
Midway on the far turn, Jax And Jill was called upon for her best as Down Town Allen loomed a menacing threat just to her outside. Down Town Allen collared her younger foe and then wore that one down for a length victory. Jax And Jill was game in defeat, but again she failed to usurp the throne.
Down Town Allen, owned, bred and trained by John A. Casey, has won three of four starts this year. In her superb career, Down Town Allen has earnings of over $770,000 bolstered by 16 stakes tallies and she will look to enhance her bankroll in the $250,000 Cavada here October 19.
Jax And Jill suffered only her second setback in five outings this year for trainer Scott Lake and owner-breeder Robert Cole, Jr.
Several races earlier, Donnameade lived up to her role as the 4-5 favorite in an allowance/optional $10,000 claiming race for fillies and mares. Owned, bred and trained by James W. Casey, Donnameade bided her time behind longshot leader Tor down the backside, surged to command and edged clear late to a three-length score.
Donnameade has won all four of her starts this year. and banked almost $65,000 in her sophomore campaign.
Earlier that afternoon at Saratoga, Wise Dan overcame his 129-pound weight assignment to capture the Grade I, $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap by a length for his eighth straight victory. Last year’s champion older male, champion turf horse and horse of the year has now won 17 of 24 career outings for trainer Anthony Lopresti and owner Morton Fink.