Penguin Power installed as solid A Huevo favorite
Penguin Power won the WV Onion Juice Breeders’ Classic. Photo by Coady Photography.
The top five from last month’s West Virginia Breeders’ Classic are all set to square off in Saturday’s $50,000 A Huevo Stakes for West Virginia-breds at Charles Town Races.
But the favorite comes from a different race altogether.
Penguin Power romped at 1-5 odds in the Onion Juice on the Classic undercard last month, and the Jeff Runco trainee has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite. The four-year-old Fiber Sonde gelding has won nine of 11 career starts and figures to be a forward factor in the early running in nine-furlong A Huevo, which has been thrown wide open with defending champ Runnin’toluvya getting some time off after a rough outing on Classics night.
Penguin Power took down Runnin’toluvya in the seven-furlong Frank Gall Memorial, a WVBC prep in September, before taking the seven-furlong Onion Juice. If he is able to stretch out, with not just two additional furlongs but also a third turn in the A Huevo, he could be tough in this contest. Arnaldo Bocachica has the mount.
The Breeders Classic winner, Castle Bound, is also entered here, but bettors cannot anticipate anything like the 68-1 they got on him that night when, under Gustavo Larrosa, he rallied while widest to get up at the wire by a head. Larrosa has the return call on a horse who’s won eight of 30 career starts while posting earnings of nearly $290,000. Castle Bound, a homebred for owner-trainer James W. Casey, is 5-1 on the morning line.
Castle Bound’s strong late rally enabled him to overhaul a pair of Runco-trained runners, Opera Nite, who finished second after leading thoughout, and North Atlantic, who finished third. Both are back for the A Huevo.
North Atlantic, with Gerald Almodovar up, is 4-1 on the morning line, while Opera Nite (Luis Batista) is 9-2. North Atlantic, an earner of more than $500,000, has been second or third in the last three runnings of the Breeders Classic and won the A Huevo in 2017. Opera Nite has won seven of 18 career starts with earnings past $200,000 — and ran a huge race in the Breeders’ Classic — but has yet to record a stakes win.
Also back from the Breeders’ Classic are fourth-place finisher Buff’s Eye View (6-1) and fifth-place runner Captain Charitable (20-1). Buff’s Eye View, beaten just a couple of lengths for all the money, is a David Walters-trained son of Buffum. He’s won four of 13 career starts, including the 2018 West Virginia Lottery Breeders’ Classic for sophomores, and will have Jose Montano up.
Captain Charitable, a son of Charitable Man, was well behind Buff’s Eye View in the Classic. He’s a son of Charitable Man who’s won two of 12 starts for owner-trainer Jody Caison. Fredy Peltroche will ride.
The A Huevo is race seven on the card, and post time is estimated at 10:02 p.m.
LATEST WEST VIRGINIA NEWS
February seems to be Javier Contreras’ month, and the trainer has continued his run of good Februaries with two stakes wins at Charles Town.
A trio of recent maiden winners – College Kid, Star of Night, and Late Night Pow Wow’s little brother Muad’dib – gave notice they’re ones to watch.
Two Charles Town-based trainers – Glenn Harrison and Michael Jones, Jr. – recorded their first career stakes wins in January with big upsets.
Fresh off a six-win season, Sherwood Lady started 2020 in style with a front-running score in Charles Town’s White Alley Stakes.
With a perfect setup and a game effort, Mean Bean blew up the toteboard in winning Saturday’s Mint Mission Overnight Stakes at Charles Town Races.
Clubman, owner of two stakes wins at bullring tracks, is the tepid morning line favorite in Saturday’s $35,000 Mint Mission at Charles Town Races.