Charles Town picks and analysis: August 28
Photo by Allison Janezic.
Charles Town has an eight-race Saturday card. Post time is the normal 7:00 p.m. Good luck!
In this very competitive two-turn allowance for state-bred fillies and mares to kick off Classic night, #5 Bridging the Gap (2-1) gets the nod following a sharp score against similar last out for owner-trainer John McKee. #2 Amelia Bedelia (9-5) has been accustomed to facing some very good ones over the strip for trainer Jeff Runco and looms the favorite. #1 Lady Storm (5-2) has won two straight and six of eight overall for trainer Mike Jones, Jr. and beat the top pick last out six weeks ago. #3 Cameron Street (6-1) posted a 13-1 upset last out against similar and could repeat here for trainer John A. Casey.
In this two-turn maiden $12,500 claimer, #9 Thorn of Rose Hill (5-1) showed speed last out and finished third and should finally graduate in this spot for trainer Victor Espinosa. #1 Man of the NIght (5-2) makes the big drop from maiden special weight company and figures prominently from the rail. #10 Cesar Augusto (7-2) also exits maiden special weight foes for Runco following dull outing. #2 Forever Takes Time (10-1) showed speed in one-turn maiden special weight events and could be a factor dropping and stretching out.
#5 Chris’ Cherokeebop (5-1) has shown speed in two starts since the break and could hang on in this one-turn $5,000 claiming dash. #9 A Is For Artist (3-1) gets favorable outside post draw and looms a serious contender in here for trainer James Day. #4 Bret’s Legacy (6-1) graduated last out against maiden $5,000 claimers and seeks repeat score for trainer Crystal Pickett. #1 Major Medalist (9-5) has been well backed but thumped in last three and looks to atone for trainer Ronney Brown.
#9 Not For Gold (15-1) showed speed in her debut last out and gets favorable outside post draw for this one-turn maiden special weight event for state-bred fillies and mares and could graduate this evening. #8 Miss Grandstander (9-2) makes her career debut for trainer Tim Grams off a series of good workouts, several from the gate. #5 Miss Wave (3-1) has been well supported last three and could atone here for owner-breeder-trainer John McKee. #3 Cruz in the Castle (12-1) was decent fifth in seasonal debut last out and should improve off that effort for owner-breeder-trainer James W. Casey.
#8 Ice Kaufy (12-1) has shown speed in last three and could prevail here in one-turn dash for $5,000 claimers. #10 Equus Novas (8-1) exits $4,000 claimers at Delaware Park but gets favorable outside draw for trainer Kevin Joy. #5 Union Grace (5-1) was second two starts back at 13-1 in similar local spot and figures with similar effort here at shorter price. #3 Ruth Less Blue (8-1) was good second last out against similar and sports 10 career wins.
#2 Hypothesis (7-2) seeks second two-turn stakes score in the $50,000 Robert Leavitt Memorial for trainer Crystal Pickett while stretching out for the first time in 2020. #5 Bright Dawn (8-5) won the Coin Collector here smartly for trainer A. Ferris Allen and has run well last two at Laurel but makes two-turn stakes debut in this spot. #4 Chief Randel (2-1) has won twice in last four at Thistledown and returns for second local try after modest Coin Collector effort. #1 Stowe Angel (8-1) has won three of four thus far for Runco but makes stakes debut against the boys here.
In the first open stakes on the card, #2 Please Flatter Me (7-2) seeks return to freshman form after facing genuinely serious foes over the past two years and makes third start for trainer Steve Asmussen in the Dance to Bristol. #7 A Bit of Both (9-5) was good second in stakes at Delaware Park last out and owns numerous stakes scores for previous trainer Jason Servis. #1 Decoupage (10-1) was handy winner here two starts back and seeks to duplicate that form in this spot for trainer Flint Stites. #6 Lady TNT (5-1) won the Grade III Charles Town Oaks over the strip last year at 37-1 and seeks another upset stakes tally here.
In the $100,000 Robert Hilton, #1 Lebda (7-2) exits the Grade I Haskell and seeks to return to winning ways in open stakes company for trainer Claudio Gonzalez. #7 Code Runner (5-1) has tried graded stakes twice in last three for Asmussen and looms a genuine threat in this spot. #4 Jack The Umpire (6-1) already owns a pair of stakes scores including Big Drama at Delta Downs two back. #3 Paradise Pride (6-1) has looked sharp in allowance triumphs last two and makes stakes debut here.
In the $100,000 Russell Road for older runners, #2 Lewisfield (3-1) returns for an outing over his home track several years after graduating by 20 lengths against maiden special weight company for Runco. #9 Bankit (5-2) gives Asmussen another chance at a local stakes score after trying graded foes on several occasions. #5 Overdeliver (4-1) has won three of last four and seeks first stakes tally in good form. #3 Arthur’s Hope (8-1) was a gritty, wire-to-wire winner against allowance foes at Laurel last out and looks for repeat effort here.
In the first of two graded stakes on the card, #10 Hopeful Growth (4-1) seeks her second straight graded stakes tally in the $200,000 Charles Town Oaks for trainer Anthony Margotta, Jr. and should be able to work out a trip from outside post in this two-turn affair. Former Grade I winner #6 Wicked Whisper (7-2) gives Asmussen another chance for stakes success here following two suspect tries. Razor sharp #2 Boerne (5-1) won minor stakes at Gulfstream Park last out and sports four wins in last five tries. #3 Tonalist’s Shape ( 3-1) exits Grade I company and already boasts a pair of graded stakes scores and looms a genuine factor in the Oaks.
In the latest renewal of the Grade II, $600,000 Charles Town Classic, Grade I winner #4 Math Wizard (3-1) arrives off very good effort in Grade III event at Monmouth Park and figures to be right there in the late stages of this one. #9 War Story (4-1) has been second once and third twice in three previous Classic tries but has been idle since running third in Pegasus World Cup Invitational in January. #6 Mr. Money (6-1) was second to Math Wizard in last year’s PA Derby after winning the West Virginia Derby and looms a factor late. #5 Runnin’toluvya (12-1) arrives as the defending champion for local trainer Tim Grams but has won only won two allowance races since his historic triumph and would have to improve sharply off most recent outing in May.
In the Friday finale, the $50,000 Sylvia Bishop Memorial for West Virginia-bred three-year-old fillies, #2 Star Of Night (8-5) has won three of five for Runco and been odds-on in each outing and looks poised for first stakes score. #5 Peaceful Child (10-1) won last out emphatically and twice in last four outings and makes stakes debut in ideal form. #6 Twirling Owen (9-2) has been dominant in one-turn sprint stakes and will seek to stretch her speed two turns for trainer Anthony Farrior. #3 Boundtobebad (4-1) was state-bred juvenile filly champ last season and seeks to regain that form here.
LATEST IN HANDICAPPING
John Piassek has coverage of today’s 11-race Pimlico card!
It’s opening day at Pimlico! John Piassek shares his thoughts here.
We provide picks and analysis for today’s card at Parx Racing.