Fashion Faux Pas heads wide-open G3 CT Oaks
Fashion Faux Pas. Photo by The Racing Biz.
Tepid 7-to-2 morning line favorite Fashion Faux Pas leads a full gate of ten three-year-old fillies who will take to the track this Saturday night at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and attempt to make the $300,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3) the first graded stakes score of their career. The Charles Town Oaks is the marquee racing event on the track’s 12 race Race for the Ribbon program which includes seven stakes and gets underway at a special first post of 5:00 P.M. EST. In addition to the stakes action, Charles Town is again partnering with the West Virginia Breast Health Initiative to hold a series of events at the track throughout the day to raise money for breast cancer care and treatment in the state of West Virginia. The Race for the Ribbon, now in its eleventh renewal, has raised more than $160,000 since its inception in 2009.
Owned by Denlea Park, Ltd. and Kent Spellman, Fashion Faux Pas sports a pair of stakes wins in her young career and owns a runner-up finish to 2018 champion two-year-old filly Jaywalk in the Delaware Oaks (G3) in July. Most recently, the daughter of Flatter had a disastrous trip as the odds-on favorite in the $150,000 Cathryn Sophia where she appeared ready to challenge eventual winner Jeltrin prior to taking up sharply on the far turn and fading to eighth.
While Fashion Faux Pas has shown an ability to win on the lead in her career, her trainer Arnaud Delacour indicated he doesn’t think its prerequisite for success on Saturday.
“She has the speed to make the lead, but she also has the ability to sit off the pace,” Delacour said. “I know Charles Town has a unique configuration, and so you never know how it will play out until you try, but I think she will like it.”
Daniel Centeno, who will ride Fashion Faux Pas in her sixth straight outing, breaks from Post 7.
Unbeaten and relatively unchallenged on dirt, Beach Haven Thoroughbreds’ Newly Minted (4-1) will hope to make her first start outside of restricted company a winning one and give trainer Linda Rice her second victory in the Charles Town Oaks in the process. Rice captured the race in 2015 with Hot City Girl.
In five lifetime starts, the New York-bred by Central Banker is 4-for-4 on dirt with her lone defeat coming on the grass in the New York Stallion Stakes at Belmont Park. In those four dirt wins, no other runner has come within 2 1/2 lengths of Newly Minted when she hit the wire, and she most recently rolled to a nine-length score in the Fleet Indian Stakes at Saratoga.
The seven-furlong distance of the Charles Town Oaks represents a cutback of a quarter-mile from that effort in the Fleet Indian, a fact that Rice views as a positive.
“She’s raced well on the dirt, won going long, won going short, and she’s really impressed us so far,” the trainer said. “I think the experience of going two turns last time should help, but we’re looking forward to getting her back sprinting and think this is a great spot for her where we’ve had success in the past.”
Irad Ortiz, Jr. has the call on Newly Minted for the first time this Saturday.
Todd Pletcher is no stranger to success in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle having won a pair of Charles Town Classics in his illustrious career. However, the seven-time Eclipse Award winning trainer is still looking for his first victory in the Charles Town Oaks and will turn to the talented South of France (9-2) this Saturday night.
After beginning her career with four straight defeats, the bay filly by Quality Road was dropped in to a $50,000 maiden claimer at Keeneland, which produced the first win for the $180,000 yearling purchase. She would go on to follow that up with a pair of wins to close out her two-year-old season, including a five-length romp in the Tepin Stakes at Aqueduct. Following a break of nearly nine months, South of France returned to the races at Saratoga where she finished a very respectable second to the graded stakes winning older filly Talk Veuve to Me.
South of France breaks from Post 9 under jockey Luis Saez.
Talk Veuve to Me’s trainer Rodolphe Brisset will try ro get the better of South of France once again as he sends out the lightly raced La Chancla (5-1) in the Charles Town Oaks. The filly owned by LNJ Foxwoods will mark Brisset’s ever first starter at Charles Town.
Purchased for $775,000 as a two-year-old in training, the filly by Uncle Mo has won two straight after a fourth-place finish in her career debut in May, with her most recent start resulting in an allowance victory at Saratoga. The Charles Town Oaks will not only be La Chancla’s stakes debut, but it’ll also be her first effort around two turns or beyond 6 1/2 furlongs.
“She is training very well and the timing is perfect,” said the 34 year-old native of France. “We are looking forward to running her two turns, and of course the chance to add black type is very appealing.”
Jose Ortiz who piloted La Chancla in her last two wins has the call once again.
Trainer David Fawkes sends out eFive Racing’s Lovesick (10-1) in an effort to recapture some of the success he’s had at Charles Town over the past decade. In 2009, Fawkes saddled eventual Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) victor Big Drama when he took the now discontinued Red Legend Stakes as well as 2011 Charles Town Classic champ Duke of Mischief, who almost added a second win in the race a year later.
A perfect 3-for-3 on fast tracks in her five outings, the daughter of Adios Charlie notched the first stakes win of her career in a Florida restricted stakes towards the end of her two-year-old year and followed that up with a victory in the unrestricted Liza Jane at Gulfstream Park. Last out in the Azalea at Gulfstream, Lovesick checked in fourth, beaten 2 3/4 lengths after contesting the pace.
Fawkes, who has spent his fair share of time around tracks with a tighter configuration, believes his sophomore filly might fit one quite well this weekend.
“I was born and raised on a bullring track at Sportsman Park. And when I got this filly, I just felt like she might fit the track well, and I think she certainly fits in the race,” he explained. “She’s got great tactical speed and she’ll rate kindly if you need her to, so we’re looking forward to seeing how she does.”
Tyler Gaffalione will be in the irons aboard Lovesick who leaves from Post 4.
Also in the field are Irish Mischief (8-1) for trainer Brad Cox; local hopeful Parisian Diva (12-1) for Stacey Viands; the Joe Sharp-trained Lady T N T (10-1); Taylor’s Spirit (12-1) for conditioner Scott Gelner; and the Kelly Rubley trainee Scatrattleandroll (15-1).
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