Seven fillies hunting first stakes win in Eleanor Casey Memorial
Parisian Diva. Photo by Coady Photography.
by Ted Black
This coming Saturday night Charles Town will put the finishing touches on its stakes schedule for 2018 when it hosts the $50,000 Eleanor Casey Memorial for West Virginia-bred two-year-old fillies, the penultimate race on an eight-race card slated to get under way at 7 p.m.
The Eleanor Casey is named in honor of the late wife of longtime owner-breeder-trainer James W. Casey and mother of conditioner John A. Casey of Coin Collector and Down Town Allen fame. James Casey will send out one contender in here, and he’ll be hoping to spring a major surprise.
His entrant, Charitable Rose, is 20-1 on the morning line. The daughter of Charitable Man is winless in five career starts with a single third-place finish her best outing. Christian Hiraldo will ride.
Parisian Diva, 5-2 on the morning line, is certain to garner more than her fair share of support in this two-turn affair. The juvenile daughter of Freedom Child, trained by Stacey Viands for owner-breeder Melinda Golden, won her debut by seven lengths and then was second behind Battleground Star in the Rachel’s Turn and third behind that one in the Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders Classic in her first try going two turns. J. D. Acosta is in the irons.
Morning line favorite Grace Elizabeth finished fifth as the 8-5 second choice in her career debut for trainer Jeff Runco but then came right back to defeat maiden special weight foes by five lengths as the 5-2 second choice when stretching out to two turns for the first time with blinkers added in her most recent outing. Regular pilot Arnaldo Bocachica is named on the daughter of Great Notion.
Flatter Me Owen, the beaten favorite behind Grace Elizabeth, has yet to win in six starts for trainer Anthony Farrior and owner-breeder James F. Miller, but figures to be a major player in this event despite her maiden status. Jomar Torres will ride a runner who is 4-1 on the morning line.
Thislillimeofmine finished second in her career debut for trainer Javier Contreras of Late Night Pow Wow fame and owner-breeder O’Sullivan Farms. She then was a solid third in the Rachel’s Turn Stakes behind Battleground Star and Parisian Diva before finally breaking her maiden last out as the 3-5 choice with blinkers added. Jose Montano will ride a runner who is 9-2 on the morning line.
Another Jeff Runco trainee, Ocean Lilly, finished fourth and fifth in her first two starts before romping home five lengths clear in a two-turn maiden special weight in 1:21.2 last out, while Skylar’s Trick won her debut at Penn National before running fourth in the Rachel’s Turn and sixth in the Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders Classic.
- Grace Elizabeth – Runco trainee sits right trip
- Thislillimeofmine – Probable speed of the speed tries to take ’em all the way
- Parisian Diva — Battle-tested runner ran evenly in two-turn bow
Note: The original version of this article identified Parisian Diva’s owner as Melissa Golden rather than Melinda Golden. We regret the error.