Special to the Spirit
On a weekend that may have finally brought the end of summer temperatures, Charles Town hosted a bevy of allowance races for varying age groups and at numerous distances for those runners looking for one last tuneup before the upcoming West Virginia Breeders Classics and Maryland Million cards on Saturday, Oct. 19.
In fact, this past Saturday night may have offered several local, state-bred runners the last chance to get serious consideration for the Breeders Classics.
In a one-turn allowance that kicked off the last three races on the card, Bopsicle continued his stellar form spree for his new connections when he outfought Henry The Lover for a two-length score in 52.25 for the 4 1/2-furlongs. A five-year-old Bop gelding trained by Kevin Patterson for owner Robert Cole, Jr., Bopsicle has won three straight races and three of four starts since Cole and Patterson claimed him for only $5000 two months ago. He will likely see Henry The Lover again on Classics night.
One race later on the card, Hope Still Springs picked the ideal spot to garner his first win over the strip when he posted a 5-1 upset in a two-turn allowance affair for older horses, most of which will not be back on Classics night. A four-year-old New York-bred Corinthian gelding trained by Alejandro Maymo, Hope Still Springs notched his fourth win in 12 starts this year and pushed his seasonal earnings toward $55,000 this year. He had never competed at Charles Town before.
Then in the finale on the Saturday program, Red Penny Princess picked the ideal spot to garner her first win of the season when she rallied from well off the pace to nail even-money choice The Bop Express for a nose victory in 53.49 in a one-turn allowance dash. A four-year-old daughter of Reparations owned and trained by Harry Painter, Red Penny Princess notched her first win in 12 starts this year and her second victory from 15 lifetime tries by nailing the well-traveled The Bop Express on the wire.
Last Thursday evening, Nice Going posted a mild upset as the solid 6-5 second choice in a one-turn allowance race. Trained by John (Jerry) Robb of Little Bold John fame, Nice Going gained command approaching the far turn and then drew clear in the lane to a four-length score in 51.80 for the 4 1/2-furlongs. It was the first win in four starts this year for the runner onwed by the No Guts No Glory Stable and his third win from 11 career outings.
One race earlier on the same card, Clean Heir lived up to his role as the 7-5 favorite in a two-turn allowance when he led throughout and drew clear late to a five-length score in 1:29.02 for the seven panels. Trained by Jeff Runco for owner-breeder New Farm, Clean Heir notched his first win from seven starts this year and now owns a 2-3-3 slate and $70,000 bankroll from 14 career outings.
In the opening race on the card, Forastero posted a mild 4-1 upset in a one-turn maiden special weight event and recorded a fast clocking in the process. Several hours before Nice Going won a one-turn allowance event in 51.80, Forastero notched the first victory of his career when he covered the 4 1/2-furlongs in the identical 51.80 clocking. It was the first win in five starts for the three-year-old Free Thinking gelding trained by Raul Garrido.
One night earlier a trio of maiden special weight races for state-bred hightlighted the card.
In the opening race on the card, Mommy Did It prevailed as the 8-5 favorite in a one-turn dash for state-bred juvenile fillies. The two-year-old daughter of Luftikus covered the 4 1/2-furlongs in 54.24 for her first win in four tries. She is trained by John A. Casey of Down Town Allen and Coin Collector fame and owned by his wife, Kristy Petty.
Several races later on the card, Planking won a two-turn maiden special weight affair for state-bred freshman fillies. After finishing fifth in each of her first two tries, Planking lived up to her role as the 7-5 favorite in the race when she covered the 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:23.52 for her first win in three outings for trainer Suzanne Dempsey and owner Big Lick Farm.
Then two races later on the card, Indispensable posted his first career tally in seven tries when he prevailed in a two-turn maiden special weight event for state-bred three-year-olds and upward. The three-year-old Prized gelding covered the seven panels in 1:29.14 for his first career victory from seven outings for trainer John Dillow and owner-breeder O’Sullivan Farms.