Covey Trace won the 2016 edition of the G3 Charles Town Oaks. Photo by Coady Photography.
A late surge in the $50,000 Original Gold Stakes for Spa Creek enabled the seven-year-old mare to overhaul stablemate T Rex Express and earn the win the in 1:27.40 for seven-eighths of a mile. Both runners are trained by Jeff Runco, the former for David Raim and his own Coleswood Farm and the latter for latter for Raim. T Rex Express did most of the dirty work, disposing of Candy Man’s Girl at the head of the lane before her stablemate got the best of her.
Perhaps the performance of the early part of the day belonged to sophomore filly Moonlit Song. The Tim Grams trainee — also a Grams family homebred — dashed to an impressive three-length win in the Its Binn Too Long Stakes, with the reluctant-to-load Lies and Scandals along for second and Unaquoi in third. Moonlit Song, a daughter of Fiber Sonde completed the 4 1/2 furlongs in 52.85 seconds — a full second faster than the boys completed the distance one race earlier in the Coin Collector. Moonlit Song, the favorite, paid $2.80 to win.
Bombs away in the Coin Collector Stakes! When odds-on Aaron’s Tap encountered trouble out of the gate, the 4 1/2-furlong Coin Collector, run for WV-bred sophomores as race six, was up for grabs. Speedy filly Cuttin Edge Tech — racing against boys — zipped to the early lead in sharp early fractions. But when it got late on her,the closers came running, and it was Hot Mic, trained by Ollie Figgins, who benefited most of all. Hot Mic, under Matt McGowan, won a frantic finish with Pistolinmypocket and Cuttin Edge Tech, paying $45.80 to win and topping a $328 exacta and $2888.40 triple.
Charles Town Classic day got underway with beaten claiming horses but the stakes action kicked off in race two with the first running of the Russell Road Stakes, a $50,000 stake contested for older horses at seven furlongs. Shaft of Light, a six-year-old Smart Strike gelding trained by went straight to the lead and never looked back, rolling to a 4 1/4-length win under Tyler Gaffalione. Rockinn on Bye was second, and Golden Glint was third. Running time for the seven furlongs was 1:24.93.
CHARLES TOWN CLASSIC DAY HANDICAPPING AND HEADLINES