Trainer Casey seeking win in wife’s namesake race
by Ted Black
For a pair of trainers who will be saddling three of the contenders in the $50,000 Eleanor Casey Memorial for West Virginia-bred two-year-old fillies on Saturday night at Charles Town, a trip to the winner’s circle would have an emotional value that would vastly outweigh the monetary one.
Trainer James W. Casey, widower of the race’s namesake whose horses race under the Taylor Mountain Farm colors, will send out homebreds Bound to Windsor and B’s Wild Cork. And James and Eleanor’s son John A. Casey will saddle Imagoodchatterbug.
Bound to Windsor arrives having won three of four starts, including consecutive stakes scores in the split West Virginia Futurity and the Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders Classic, and she looms the odds-on favorite having defeated several colts, including stablemate William and Mary in the faster half of the WV Futurity.
“We’ve been training them both together in their workouts,” the elder Casey said of Bound to Windsor and William and Mary, who won an allowance race over the local strip last Friday and is being pointed for the $50,000 Tri-State Futurity later this month. “I’ve always been really high on him, then I saw how well she trained alongside him and thought she must be pretty good, too. It would obviously mean a lot to win this race on Saturday night. I’ve won it before, and it’s special because Eleanor loved the horses.”
Casey’s other trainee, B’s Wild Cork, has won once in five starts and finished fourth in the Triple Crown Nutrition BC, while Imagoodchatterbug owns one win and two second-place finishes from four starts but makes her stakes debut for trainer John A. Casey, perhaps best known locally as the conditioner of Down Town Allen. But with Bound to Windsor expected to go postward at a very short price, perhaps even as low as 1-9, both B’s Wild Cork and Imagoodchatterbug will likely be well into double-digits by post time.
Trainer Jeff Runco is rapidly approaching 4,000 wins in his training career, and Saturday night he will send out a trio of hopefuls for the Eleanor Casey Memorial, all of which are seeking their first stakes tally and one of them is making her stakes debut. Both See Ya Manana and Wolfblade won at first asking for Runco before running fifth and third, respectively, in the Triple Crown Nutrition BC. Flashy Dragon Girl won her career debut on October 7 in a one-turn maiden special weight dash, but tries stakes company and two turns for the first time.
Trainer Ollie Figgins, III, will send out Nellysford, who owns one victory in five tries and was second in the Rachel’s Turn, fifth in the Triple Crown Nutrition then fourth in the slower half of the divided West Virginia Futurity. Conditioner David Walters will send out At The Half, second to Flashy Dragon Girl in their respective career debuts before winning at second asking. This will be her first try against winners, going two turns and trying stakes company.