Sleepy Eyes Todd
Sleepy Eyes Todd won the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic. Photo by Coady Photography.

Charles Town Races has an eight-race card on tap for this evening. Post time for the opener is 7:00 p.m., and we’ve got Charles Town picks.

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Race 33-1-7-5The horses who’ve run before for the most part have questions to answer in this maiden speiclal for two-year-old WV-breds, which points us in the direction of one of Jeff Runco’s two first-timers, #3 Emperor Penguin (5-2). The son of Palace Malice is the first foal out of a stakes-placed Eskendereya mare. He’s been training well enough towards his debut, and it’s notable that go-to rider Bocachica lands here instead of on the other Runco runner… #1 Ministry of Magic (6-1) disappointed last time out, fading to fifth after being wide on the second turn, but with only three starts under his belt, he retains the right to improve… #7 Tappin for Glory (3-1) has run some decent races since stretched out to two turns, including besting Ministry of Magic twice, but he also has lost this race five times already… After fading in recent starts, #5 Pistol P (5-1) gets blinkers on today for his sixth start… if #12 Stride On By (6-1) manages to draw in, he’s a major player here; last time out, he was the only one making up ground at the end…
Race 73-10-8-7It’s hard to know exactly what’s gone wrong with #3 We Should Talk (10-1) in his last few starts. Four back, he crushed a group of claiming horses at Saratoga with a gaudy 89 Beyer fig, but his three since haven’t been great. He catches a manageable group today and shifts into Joan Reynolds’ barn and is worth a shot at a price… Favored #10 Rossie Val (7-5) has won three of four, but those odds are tough to take on a horse that’s been away 17 months. He makes his first start in Crystal Pickett’s barn today… Since shifting into the Farrior barn, #8 Final Say (5-1) has run three good races, winning twice. In the third of those races, he ran third behind Fancy Concho, who’s since won three straight (including a WVBC race)… Three of seven to run back from his last have won their follow-ups, which has to be a good sign for #7 Rip Rap Riley (10-1), who dueled for the lead for a long way before tiring late…