Three weeks ago, two-year-old filly Aye a Song came within a whisker of beating the boys in the $75,000 Tri-State Futurity at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, ultimately settling for a dead-game second to the unbeaten Bullets Fever.
That rival is skipping Saturday’s $50,000 West Virginia Futurity, for state-breds, however, and that puts Aye a Song in the driver’s seat.
Aye a Song — bred, owned, and trained by John McKee — has won three of four starts, two in stakes company, and earned just shy of $90,000. In the Tri-State, she cleared off to an early lead in the 7 furlong test — the same distance as Saturday’s event — was engaged by favored Bullets Fever with a half-mile to go, and dueled heads apart to the wire, finally beaten a neck while 3 1/2 lengths clear of the show horse.
It was a terrific effort in her first try against males, and with no Bullets Fever to face, she is 3-5 on the morning line for her second try against them. Regular rider Christian Hiraldo will be in the irons.
Two other runners from the Tri-State are entered in the West Virginia Futurity, both fillies and both trained by John A. Casey. Romantic Cork (6-1) showed promise in breaking her maiden while earning a Beyer of 68, but she’s been thrashed in each of her last two starts, including by 10 lengths in the Tri-State. Justlikekristylyn (12-1) has finished 14 lengths in arrears of Aye a Song in each of her last two starts.
Another filly, Charitable Princess, by Charitable Man, gets the nod as second favorite, as 5-1. Bred and trained by James W. Casey, and owned by his Taylor Mountain Farm, Charitable Princess broke her maiden last out when stretched out to two turns for the first time in her career. But none of the eight horses to run back has won, and she’ll need to take a big step forward to win this event. Antonio Lopez will ride.
With a short field of just seven, trainer Ollie Figgins is slated to take a shot with two first-timers. Jose Montano will ride Holey Molar, a son of Hunt Crossing who’s 8-1 on the morning line; and Xavier Perez will be in the irons for Big Night Lute (12-1), a son of Midnight Lute.
Sterlings Bailero (20-1) rounds out the field.