Runco’s maidens, Ghost Fever and more: Charles Town racing week

by Mar 24, 2019Breaking, Racing, West Virginia, WV Racing

Photo of Ghost Fever by Coady Photography.

With the Charles Town racing week complete, we take a quick spin through week’s racing highlights. To wit:

Ghost Fever gallops in short field

The improving Ghost Fever entered Friday’s action seeking her fourth consecutive victory at Charles Town and fifth in six starts — and caught a bit of a break when four of the seven runners scheduled to face the starter scratched, leaving just a field of three.

Under jockey Carlos Marrero, Ghost Fever grabbed the early advantage in the $24,500, never-won-three allowance, had a half-length lead after an opening quarter in 21.77 seconds, and drew away to win by four while ridden out. Time for the 4 1/2 furlongs over a sloppy, sealed main track was 52.73 seconds.

Owned and trained by Javier Contreras, Ghost Fever now has six wins from 15 career starts and earnings of $113,193. The four-year-old Fiber Sonde filly was bred in West Virginia by John McKee and is a full sister to Hidden Canyon and Bullets Fever, two speedy and successful Charles Town runners of recent vintage.

Runco’s maidens running wild

Charles Town carded three maiden special weight races over the four-day racing week — and trainer Jeff Runco won all three of them.

Runco, the perennial local leading trainer currently in a tight battle with Ronney Brown for the wins lead during the 2019 meet, struck twice on Thursday, March 21, and completed the hat trick Saturday night.

On Thursday, he conditioned Unruly Julie to a three-length win in a 6 1/2 furlong maiden special. The daughter of The Factor is owned by O’Sullivan Farms LLC and registered her maiden-breaker in her sixth career try. With Keimar Trotman up, Unruly Julie pressed the early pace before drawing off to an easy score.

Two races later, Runco struck again when Out of Cents, a son of Goldencents owned by his own Coleswood Farm and GLM Stables, won by three lengths at first asking against state-bred sophomores. Gerald Almodovar was up as Out of Cents pressed favored Swiss Sunrise to defeat.

On Saturday, Foxy Shot, a three-year-old Trappe Shot filly he trains for Nancy Cole and Chuck Kidder, cruised by nearly three lengths in a 4 1/2 furlong test with Arnaldo Bocachica up. It was her first win in eight career starts.

Wagering trends

Average winning payout during the just-completed week was $7.11, down from $9.16 the prior week… Eight of the week’s winners paid in double digits, topped by Potential Grizzly, who returned $21.20 to win an allowance on Thursday… By contrast, 11 winners paid less than even-money… Jockey Arnaldo Bocachica and trainer Jeff Runco led their respective divisions during the week, each winning four times…