Charles Town to host ninth Race for the Ribbon

by | Aug 8, 2017 | Breaking, Racing, West Virginia, WV Racing

Covey Trace

Covey Trace won the 2016 edition of the G3 Charles Town Oaks. Photo by Coady Photography.

From a Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races release

In partnership with the West Virginia Breast Health Initiative, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races will present a day of activities dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. On Saturday, September 23, Hollywood Casino will host a 5K fun run, the ninth annual Race for the Ribbon track walk, a silent auction, a night of thoroughbred racing and other events at the property throughout the day. The eight prior Race for the Ribbons have raised in excess of $125,000 for breast cancer care and treatment in the state of West Virginia.

“The West Virginia Breast Health Initiative is an organization with an ongoing mission – to increase breast cancer health, awareness and prevention across West Virginia – and we are very excited to partner with the fine folks at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races,” said Patty Shirk, a member of the Initiative’s Board of Directors and a breast cancer survivor. “And importantly, 100% of the funds raised from the Race for the Ribbon, will stay in West Virginia.”

Events for the ninth annual Race for the Ribbon on Saturday, September 23 begin at 8:30am with the third running of the Race for the Ribbon 5K that will start and finish at Hollywood Casino. The event is a stroller friendly walk/run open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities with details on registration for the Race for the Ribbon 5K available at: All participants in the Race for the Ribbon 5K will receive a swag bag and t-shirt with Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races donating all entry fees to the West Virginia Breast Health Initiative.

Following the 5K is the ceremonial walk around the track at noon where each $25 donation for participation in the walk will come with a commemorative t-shirt. Throughout the day, patrons are also invited to check out the pink lemonade stand, silent auction and pink hat contest, which will award cash prizes for “best hats in show.” Beginning at 5pm the evening will include world class thoroughbred racing including the $50,000 Pink Ribbon Stakes.

Saturday’s full schedule is as follows:

  • 8:30am – Start of 5K at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races (rain or shine)
  • 10:30am – Registration for the Breast Cancer walk around the track
  • 12:00pm – Breast cancer walk around the track (weather permitting)
  • 5:00pm – Start of silent auction on the mezzanine level of the grandstand
  • 5:00pm – Post time for the 1st race
  • 8:00pm – Judging for Pink Hat Contest on the track apron, with $500 prize to the winner
  • 9:45pm – $50,000 Pink Ribbon Stakes
  • 10:00pm – Silent auction ends
  • 10:30pm – $300,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3)

“For nine years we’ve held an event that’s raised money to help fund services and treatments for a disease that’s touched the lives of so many and we’re proud to partner with the West Virginia Breast Health Initiative to put on the 2017 Race for the Ribbon,” said Scott Saunders, Charles Town’s General Manager. “As always, I hope to take part in the third edition of our 5K run with some fellow leaders of our community and local businesses.”

The night of racing includes eight stakes races altogether and is headlined by the second graded race on Charles Town’s calendar – the $300,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3) for three-year-old fillies.

“Either the caliber of racing that evening, headlined by the only graded stakes for fillies in the state of West Virginia, or a day dedicated to such a worthy cause as breast cancer care and treatment in their individual capacities would be reason enough to come out to our property on September 23,” said Charles Town’s Vice President of Racing Erich Zimny. “But, combined, the two have really added up to a special day that our employees and the community have rallied around to a remarkable degree.”

The full stakes lineup at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on Race for the Ribbon day is comprised of:

  • Charles Town Oaks (G3), $300,000, Fillies 3YO, 7 furlongs
  • The Pink Ribbon, $50,000, Fillies & Mares 3&up, 7 furlongs
  • Frank Gall Memorial S., $50,000, WV-bred 3&up, 7 furlongs
  • Sadie Hawkins S., $50,000, WV-bred Fillies & Mares 3&up, 7 furlongs
  • It’s Only Money S., $50,000, WV-bred 3&up, 4 ½ furlongs
  • Rachel’s Turn S., $50,000, WV-bred Fillies 2YO, 4 ½ furlongs
  • Henry Mercer Memorial, $50,000, WV-bred 2YO, 4 ½ furlongs

The Race for the Ribbon card is responsible for the five largest non-Charles Town Classic day all-sources handle figures in track history with the 2013 card standing as the only non-Classic one to ever top $2 million in wagering. In its short history, the Charles Town Oaks itself has seen the likes of multiple Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll as well as Grade 1 winners Her Smile, Book Review and So Many Ways take to the gate to contest it.

The stakes-laden card will be televised by TVG2, who will provide in-studio coverage of the event and can also be heard on the Horse Racing Radio Network.