Moonlit Song tops My Sister Pearl field
Moonlit Song. Photo by Coady Photography.
by Ted Black
One week after the older West Virginia-bred males were on display in the $50,000 A Huevo Stakes at one-mile and an eighth, the state-bred fillies and mares will have their chance to garner the spotlight this weekend in the $50,000 My Sister Pearl Stakes at the same three-turn distance of nine furlongs over the Charles Town strip.
Last weekend in the A Huevo, trainers Tim Grams and Jeff Runco saddled the top two finishers in Runnin’toluvya and North Atlantic, respectively, and there is a good possibility those two prominent local conditioners could also see a duplicate result with their top distaffers. Moonlit Song will make her first start at nine furlongs and going three turns for Grams, while T Rex Express will seek to defend her My Sister Pearl title for Runco.
Moonlit Song has won four times and finished second on five occasions in nine starts this year and boasts just shy of $120,000 in purse earnings along the way. But one year after she dominated state-bred fillies and mares, Moonlit Song has yet to win a stake. She will head into the My Sister Pearl having finished second most recently in the West Virginia Breeders Classic Cavada, and prior to that she was the runner-up in the Sadie Hawkins and the Fancy Buckles, coincidentally a trio of stakes she won the previous year at age three.
Moonlit Song will also have to deal with breaking from the far outside, having drawn the 10-hole. No horse has won a three-turn race from either the nine- or 10-hole this year at Charles Town. Moonlit Song is 6-5 on the morning line and will have Oscar Flores up.
T Rex Express (6-5), an easy winner in the Distaff on West Virginia Breeders Classics night in her most recent outing, has won three of eight starts and earned over $75,000 this year and arrives as the defending champion of this event. T Rex Express sports a solid 11-7-3 slate and nearly $300,000 banked from 27 lifetime tries for Runco. Her previous success in three-turn events over the local strip — along with the more congenial seventh post — could give her an edge in upending Moonlit Song in her nine-furlong debut. Gerald Almodovar will ride.
Runco will also send out Starlight Flight (12-1) and Frozen Tundra (15-1), while Grams will also saddle Rock N Gold (15-1).
Trainer James W. Casey will send out Scottish Denis (8-1), who owns a modest 2-2-3 slate from 10 starts this year and 5-5-6 mark and nearly $160,000 bankroll from 28 career outings. His son, John A. Casey will saddle Jacky’s Notion (15-1), who arrives winless in seven starts this year but sports a solid 7-11-7 slate and roughly $244,000 banked from 38 lifetime tries.
A pair of three-year-old fillies, For The Crown (15-1) and Dark Empress (5-1), will look to topple their older rivals, and Boca Birdie (30-1) seeks a huge upset for trainer Michael Atkins. Saturday’s My Sister Pearl Stakes is slated as the seventh race of an eight-race program set to get under way at 7:00 p.m. with the main event scheduled for just prior to 9:49 p.m.
- Moonlit Song
- T Rex Express
- Jacky’s Notion