Charles Town offered a pair of maiden special weight events for state-bred three-year-old colts and geldings. In the second half of the divided maiden special weight event for state-bred sophomores, Ravens Terms (Oscar Flores) benefited from a ground-saving journey down the backside and through the far turn and got the better of Proper Move for a neck victory in the 6 1/2 furlong sprint.
The Tim Grams trainee notched his first victory in four tries and pushed his bankroll toward $22,000 for owner Karen Steele.
Proper Move finished second for the second time in four tries for trainer Sandra Dono and owner Randall Conrad. The gelding beat only three rivals in his first two starts, but has since put together back-to-back second place efforts and Saturday night was in clearly the faster of the two divisions.
Several races earlier on the card, Don’tmesswithallen (Jose Montano) lived up to his role as the 7-5 favorite when he surged to command on the far turn and then drew clear late to a three-length score. Trained by Jeff Runco for owner GLM Stable, Don’tmesswithallen had been a solid third in his career debut before winning at second asking on Saturday.
At Aqueduct in New York, Hard Facts finished a modest third in the $75,000 Broad Brush Stakes. Hard Facts earned his diploma at Charles Town on Jan. 7 by taking a maiden special weight event as the 4-5 choice under Travis Dunkleberger.
Trained by Michael Trombetta, Hard Facts would later win a one-mile allowance affair at Laurel before testing stakes foes for the first time in the Broad Brush.
Also at Aqueduct, Charles Town riding champion J. D. Acosta guided Norman Asbjornson to a third-place finish in the Grade III, $150,000 Excelsior Handicap, which winner Marilyn’s Guy may use as a prep for the Charles Town Classic. Norman Asbjornson, trained by Chris Grove, finished 11th in last year’s Preakness Stakes.