From a Charles Town release
Charles Town track record holder Immortal Eyes, most recently seen winning the $350,000 Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park on September 21, returns to the track where he’s racked up 9 wins in 11 starts this Friday night as he headlines the field in the 4 1/2 furlong Jefferson County Commission Stakes. The Jefferson County Commission Stakes is one of a trio of $50,000 races on Friday night that serve as a prelude to West Virginia Breeders’ Classics XXVII, which will be run at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races the following day.
The eight-year-old Immortal Eyes has shown no signs of wearing down with age as his 2013 campaign is his best yet and has produced 5 victories and nearly $400,000 in earnings. With his win the DeFrancis Dash, the gelding trained by Damon Dilodovico not only notched the most lucrative victory of his career and highest Beyer speed figure in his 47 starts, but also allowed him to top the $1 million mark in career earnings.
Despite all of his success over the course of his career, his trainer thinks it might actually have been a trip to the Jersey shore this summer that helped get Immortal Eyes back to the top of his game as an eight-year-old.
“You know, we really haven’t done anything different with him this year,” said Dilodovico. “He wasn’t that eager and sharp in some of his races earlier this year. But we ran him at Monmouth and he just really took to the surface. There’s something to be said for a horse’s confidence and he got his back after those races up in New Jersey.”
Sent up to Monmouth after finishing fifth in the Maryland Sprint Handicap (G3) on Preakness day, Immortal Eyes rattled off three consecutive wins at the New Jersey track, including victories in the $75,000 Mr. Prospector and $100,000 Teddy Drone on Haskell day.
In cutting back to 4 1/2 furlongs, Immortal Eyes gets back to the game he made his living at for much of his last four years, with nearly one-third of his career earnings coming at the distance. However, cutting back from the 6 furlongs in the DeFrancis to Friday’s 4 1/2 furlong trip has Dilodovico wondering if Immortal Eyes will show the same sharpness going the shorter distance that he has in the past.
“It’s possible that he isn’t as sharp turning back from 6 furlongs as he would be if he was just running 4 1/2 (furlongs) race after race. People don’t realize how much of a difference that makes to a horse coming into a race like this. But it’s really an issue here because the horse we ran against back in April at Charles Town is so strong.”
That strong horse Dilodovico is referring to is Winners Circle Partner’s Fearsome, who has done what only one other has been able to do – beat Immortal Eyes at Charles Town.
In the $50,000 Webb Snyder Charles Town Dash presented by Long Fence on the undercard of the 2013 Charles Town Classic, Fearsome broke quickly and was never challenged on the lead, drawing off to a convincing 3 length victory over Immortal Eyes. In fact, while Immortal Eyes is nearly perfect at Charles Town, Fearsome has actually remained perfect over the surface, sporting 4 wins in his 4 outings. In his most recent start, Fearsome won an allowance optional claiming race at Charles Town on September 20.
J.D. Acosta is slated to ride Fearsome, who is trained by Hugh McMahon,
The Hunk, Brooklyn Cowboy, Marylovesteton and Snow Leopard round out the field for the Jefferson County Commission Stakes.
Also on the card is the $50,000 Municipalities Mayors Stakes, which drew a deep field of 10 that includes 2012 Arlington-Washington Lassie (G3) winner Gold Edge, 2013 Pink Ribbon victor Wardelle and Strike the Moon, who took the 2011 Charles Town Oaks, defeating eventual champion Groupie Doll in the process. The 7 furlong Municipalities Mayors Stakes is schedule as Race 8 with a post time of 10:25pm EST.
Earlier in the night, the $50,000 Governor’s Cup will be run over 1 1/8 miles with multiple stakes winner and graded stakes placed Concealed Identity taking on a group of 7 others including last year’s Governor’s Cup winner Twenty Hawks as well as the first two finishers in last month’s Governor’s Day Stakes at Delaware Park, Managed Account and Warrioroftheroses.
Post time for the Governor’s Cup is 9:04pm EST with the first race on Charles Town’s Friday evening card is set for 7:15pm.
(Featured image of Immortal Eyes by Laurie Asseo.)