In Focus: Wagering West Virginia Breeders Classics night

by | Oct 13, 2017 | Breaking, Handicapping, Top Stories

Rose Brier

Unrideabull. Photo by Coady Photography.

Our In Focus Guide offers the most in-depth analysis and commentary on the key stakes on Saturday’s West Virginia Breeders Classics at Charles Town.

You can also click here to get a two-page PDF version of this guide.


RACE PARTICULARS: Race 6 (9:30 pm EDT), $75,000 purse for WV-bred three-year-olds, 7 furlongs


  1. Lime House Louie (10-1): Sophomore Limehouse gelding has found his niche sprinting on the turf but that’s not likely to do him much good here
  2. Anywhere But Here (30-1): Enters on a three-race win streak but against much lesser
  3. Menetes (20-1): Don’t worry too much about dubiuos last out effort – 5f looks to be too short for this gelding; more worrisome is the question of how he turns tables on three who beat him two back in the Leavitt; may need help from the pace, and note that rider Hiraldo goes elsewhere
  4. Waltersram (30-1): May run better with added ground versus last, but that probably won’t be enough to get him the money
  5. Jacky’s Man (8-1): Nice bounceback effort in last after mysteriously disastrous outing in the Leavitt; late runner has a couple of wins at the trip and rates a shot to contend here; one of five from last out victory won their follow-up
  6. Aaron’s Tap (6-1): Chased Unrideabull to no avail two back but might find a better trip here with other speedy types to do some of the heavy lifting early; plenty of upside for this lightly raced sort; followed Leavitt with a nice win, and one of seven to run back has taken their next
  7. Brass Bull (10-1): Nothing wrong with his effort in the Leavitt when he made a menacing move while hung out wide before emptying out; has been training forwardly towards this for top trainer Runco
  8. Unrideabull (9-5): Speedster owns back-to-back stakes wins on the front end going 7f and will look for the hat trick here; major impediment to a repeat performance figures to be Grumpelstiltskin, who’s also shown plenty of early zip while sprinting
  9. Grumpelstiltskin (2-1): NY-based runner has given pretty good accountings of himself at BEL and SAR and with excuses in last two; if he takes to the track, he could be tough in here, though note he’s stretching out after having lost ground in the final furlong in all four prior starts
  10. Charitable Hero (15-1): Casey trainee ran a big one to win against allowance foes last out and has never been worse than third at the trip; but he’s wheeling back on a week’s rest, a move with which trainer Casey is 0-for-8 (with two ITM)
  11. Arya Peaceful (30-1): Will be a major longshot If he draws in


  1. #6 Aaron’s Tap — Chased Unrideabull to no avail in last but gets more congenial pace scenario here; still plenty of upside for this sophomore
  2. #9 Grumpelstiltskin NY invader has kept best company; distance the major question mark
  3. #8 Unrideabull Looking for a stakes hat trick but likely to be pressed by the quality speed of Grumpelstiltskin from the first jump; got late on him in last but he held on
  4. #7 Brass Bull — Big move while hung out wide before emptying out in last, a better trip can mean a better result


  • 50-cent wager
  • Race 6: 6, 8, 9
  • Race 7: 8, 10 (4)
  • Race 8: 2, 3, 9 (4)
  • Race 9: 6, 7, 8 (5)
  • TOTAL COST: $27.00

    Cost if including horses in optional horses in (parens): $72.00

Queen Caroline

Help a Brother. Photo by Coady Photography.


RACE PARTICULARS: Race 7 (10:00 pm EDT), $80,000 purse for WV-bred three-year-olds and upward, 7 furlongs


  1. Gold Sovereign (20-1): Was up the track at 47-1 in the Leavitt and a similar fate seems likely here
  2. Gaelic Man (20-1): Has done well against much lesser
  3. Allen’s Castle (8-1): Solid 3yo season but ’17 hasn’t been as kind; ran evenly in last and runners that have beaten him of late are here
  4. Hear the Chatter (12-1): Early promise hasn’t quite panned out as hoped, but he’s still been a productive local runner; will need to find ’16 or early ’17 form here — not out of the question, as long as you get decent odds
  5. Uncle Jack (20-1): Best recent efforts have been on turf, which won’t help here, and rider Bocachica takes trainer Runco’s other horse in here’
  6. Castle Bound (20-1): Thrashed at 22-1 in the Leavitt, finds stiff competition here
  7. In the Fairway (3-1): Won the ’16 Gall and was then third at odds-on in this event; ran evenly to be fourth in last against Help a Brother; Bocachica takes the mount here on a horse that owns eight wins at the trip
  8. Royal Blue (7-2): Owns right to improve in third start off a short rest and two back showed he can compete with these; has tactical speed to find a good spot
  9. Little Big Sime (20-1): Closing sort’s summer has included races from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/2 miles on both turf and dirt but hasn’t finished in the money in any; would need a major pace meltdown to be there late
  10. Help a Brother (8-5): Won this event in ’15 and just missed repeating last year; ran well last out and winner chooses the Classic; has ability to lead or stalk and figures tough in here
  11. (also eligible) Emblem’s Estate (20-1): Was third here in ’15 and probably in better form then than he is now
  12. (ae) Cinderella’spalace (30-1): Would need a significant form reversal if he draws in
  13. (ae) Prince of Windsor (4-1): Could pose serious trouble if he draws in (which is unlikely); beaten just two lengths last out in the Gall with a trouble line; knock against: winless in ’17
  14. (ae)Take the Crepe (20-1): Lewis Craig trainee — he also trains Help a Brother — has the look of a horse who’ll be nice enough in the local ranks, but not of one who’ll win this event

You can also click here to get a two-page PDF version of this guide.


  1. #8 Royal Blue — Cooked in the early pace last out but figures to find a better setup here
  2. #10 Help a Brother — 2015 champ was runner-up in this event a year ago; enters in good form now but must overcome tricky outside post
  3. #4 Hear the Chatter Must get back to best form but is a contender on best — and at likely enticing odds
  4. #13 Prince of Windsor (also eligible) Unlikely to draw in but can contend if he does; beaten two lengths with a bit of trouble last out

Lovable Lady

Charitable Annuity. Photo by Coady Photography.


RACE PARTICULARS: Race 8 (10:30pm EDT), $350,000 purse for WV-bred three-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles


  1. Big Bad Dude (20-1): Has run behind several of these at one time or another and will need a career-best effort in here; owns two wins at the trip, which might be his strongest argument
  2. North Atlantic (3-1): Improving Runco trainee got the head-bob last out for second straight win and hasn’t been worse than third in six ’17 starts; second in his only try at the trip, but note that he’s winless in five stakes tries
  3. Charitable Annuity (9-5): Not inclined to judge the late-arriving fifth in the Gall too harshly, as he was facing a loose-on-the-lead foe at a less-than-ideal distance, but comments of trainer Casey – “He didn’t come back great from his last workout” – have to give you pause at 9-5 odds; on best he wins here, and probably should be included in multi-race wagers, but worth trying to beat in win bets
  4. Ello Govna (4-1): Good trip last out behind a pair of speed rivals, even with having to wait for room near the head of the lane, and this Figgins trainee enters in good form; that last went faster than a 7-furlong stake on the same card; the bad news here, though, is the unsightly 0-for-4 record around three turns at CT, never better than fourth
  5. Rockhopper Penguin (20-1): Ronney Brown trainee’s been in the money 10 of 13 this season and three times in three tries at the distance, but he’s been keeping much easier company than these
  6. Weekend Liberty (15-1): Has certainly taken a step forward since trainer Runco stretched him to three-turn events (5-2-2-1 since the switch) but he’s finished behind some of today’s rivals and will need to step forward in his first try since June 29; regular pilot Bocachica chooses the trainer’s other runner here, North Atlantic
  7. Green Time (20-1): Profitable claim’s best shot looks to be to grab the early lead and take ’em as far as he can; has made three career tries around three turns, giving up the lead late to lesser in all three
  8. Profit Machine (20-1): Ran fifth, beaten 13 lengths, in this event a year ago, and it’s pretty hard to see a different outcome here; first off the claim for trainer Grams, who’s waited four months for this start
  9. Follow the Notion (6-1): Pretty good effort in the Gall when bounced around out of the gate and wide on the far turn, he ran on willingly enough before flattening out late to be third; certainly owns the right to improve in his second start off a five-month break, but the question mark is distance; in lone career three-turn try he ran evenly to be third in the ’16 A Huevo behind Charitable Annuity; rider Montano goes to Ell Govna
  10. Blazin Luck (10-1): Will have to figure out way to turn tables on rivals ilke Ello Govna and Charitable Annuity, who both have thrashed him; late-closer gets Xavier Perez in the irons as Bocachica goes to North Atlantic
  11. (also eligible) Navigate (20-1): Was sixth in this race a year ago and looks to be in for similar if he draws in
  12. (ae) Run Real Quiet (20-1): Unlikely to draw in and looks to be overmatched if he does
  13. (ae) Charitable Mark (20-1): Hard to imagine a horse eased against $12,500 claimers last out contending here

You can also click here to get a two-page PDF version of this guide.


  1. #2 North Atlantic — Much improved runner looking for third straight win; winless skein in stakes of less concern, as all came prior to ’17
  2. #3 Charitable Annuity Only runner here with a substantial resume at 1 1/8 miles, 2015 WVBC champ will be looking for just second win of a disappointing season; can’t ignore in multi-race wagers but likely short odds a little bit tough to take on top
  3. #9 Follow the Notion Was third in the ’16 A Huevo behind Charitable Annuity but seems to have held his form better this season; picks this spot over 7f Onion Juice, which he won last year
  4. #4 Ello GovnaFormful sort won a stacked allowance race last out in solid effort, but 0-for-4 record at the trip gives pause

Lovable Lady

Spa Creek. Photo by Coady Photography.


RACE PARTICULARS: Race 9 (11:00pm EDT), $80,000 purse for WV-bred fillies and mares three-years-old and up, 1 1/8 miles


  1. Jefferson Bop (20-1): First three-turn try for a horse whose breeding says “sprint”; figs not there for this group, though two of eight from her last-out win won their follow-up
  2. Madeitouttaharlan (15-1): Ran fifth in the ’15 Division of Tourism for 3yo fillies; will need a big one here
  3. New London (6-1): Note that Bocachica heads to trainer’s other horse in here; this miss isn’t bad, and breeding says she might like the added ground, but it’s a tough ask here – to go from 6f sprint at MNR to first ever 9f try around 3 turns
  4. Return to Denis (5-1): Ran a big one to be second in this event a year ago and would need a repeat of that to factor here; wheels back on just two weeks rest and without regular pilot Lopez, who’s injured; will be running late
  5. Spanish Moss (15-1): Trainer Runco has a preposterously good record stretching horses from sprint to route distances (39%, positive ROI); lightly raced sophomore has run OK in last two, and it’s notable that Runco bypasses soft 3yo filly spot going 7f to run long here
  6. Romantic Cork (2-1): Won this 7f Division of Tourism last year, then ran second in the My Sister Pearl at today’s distance, her only try going 9f; had a two-race win streak snapped last out against the terrific Moonlit Song, but no shame in that; can run well in this spot
  7. Spa Creek (5-2): One of several to finish well back last out in the Sadie Hawkins — with modest excuses, as she was fractious and bumped around at the gate — but that’s OK: this 9f trip is what she does best (5-2-2-0), and she’s the only one with wins at the trip
  8. Lies and Scandals (10-1): Talented Fiber Sonde filly bypasses 3yo filly race at 7f to stretch out off so-so effort in the Sadie Hawkins; figures to be forwardly placed in the early going and should appreciate getting away from Moonlit Song
  9. Rock n’ Gold (10-1): Grams trainee is yet another making her 3-turn debut; deep closer will need to perhaps be a bit closer to the pace on the stretch-out and will need the added ground to help her

You can also click here to get a two-page PDF version of this guide.


  1. #7 Spa Creek — Love of this three-turn trip gives this Smoke Glacken mare the nod in effort to earn threepeat
  2. #8 Lies and Scandals — In a normal year, this McKee trainee would be duking it out for 3yo divisional honors — but she’s been beaten by Moonlit Song six times in 13 starts
  3. #6 Romantic CorkOnly try at the trip suggests she fits here
  4. #5 Spanish Moss Another 3yo picking this spot over relatively soft 7f WV Division of Tourism for 3yo fillies; trainer Runco has gaudy sprint-to-route numbers

Moonlit Song. Photo by Coady Photography.


Eight-year-old Greenway Court (9-5) bids for a fourth win in the WV Dash for Cash Breeders Classic (R1) going 4 1/2 furlongs after late score in the It’s Only Money last month but odds feel too short in what looks to be a pretty wide open affair. The top four from that race were separated by less than two lengths, and all four —  including Cat Come Home, the mare Nay’s Back, and Eutaw Street — are here. Can’t single this race…

Bettors will probably need to eat the chalk and move on in the WV Cavada Breeders Classic (R2) for fillies and mares going 7 furlongs. Moonlit Song (3-5) crushed the field in a dazzling Sadie Hawkins performance that was faster than the G3 Charles Town Oaks later on the same card and figures to be too much for this short field. Defending champ Candy Man’s Girl (8-1) may offer value at post time and has five wins at the distance but was almost 11 lengths behind the favorite last out…

Noblame (3-5) crushed the field in the Rachel’s Turn on CT Oaks night and is likely to do the same in the 6 1/2 furlong Triple Crown Nutrition for two-year-old fillies. She already owns a win at CT and, at Indiana Grand, a win at six furlongs, so the distance won’t be beyond her scope. But she’s never been two turns, so if you think that’s crucial info, the place to look here is the James Casey trainee B’s Wild Cork (15-1), who broke her maiden last out at today’s distance. Not much to hang your hat on, but if you’re looking for some reason to bet against the fave, it’s the best we can offer…

William and Mary, who impressed in the Mercer Memorial on CT Oaks night, is not eligible for the WVBC races, leaving him out of the Vincent Moscarelli Memorial for two-year-olds — and throwing this race into a bit of disarray. Dionysus’ Chalice, third that day, inherits the favorite’s mantle and deservedly so, but you can make a case for others here, too. Trainer Jose Corrales sends out a pair in Owen’s Mo (10-1), a maiden who’s mostly kept better company, and Own’s Way (3-1), who finished within a length of Dionysus’ Chalice in the Mercer. And William Lewis trainee True Heir gets one more crack to demonstrate that his flashy debut was no fluke…

The WV Division of Tourism Breeders Classic for three-year-old fillies is the day’s most inscrutable race, with a field that includes four also-eligibles and a lukewarm 3-1 favorite in the form of Tricky Windsor, who was fourth in the Sadie Hawkins. Bettors need to spread out in this one and keep an eye out for value, which could include horses like Charitable Heart (8-1), who was just a neck behind Tricky Windsor three back in the Bishop Memorial, or the improving Lime Away (12-1), who beat two next-out winners in her last…