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

A pair of stakes races top the action at Charles Town Races this weekend, while Friday’s card includes a couple of allowance tilts.

For good measure, there are also two carryovers, with $23,967 carrying over in the Pick 5 and $57,055 in the Jackpot Pick 6 as we enter Friday’s action.

Here’s what we’re watching:

Check out our other handicapping here!

Friday/Race 3Leading trainer Jeff Runco has a pair in this allowance contest, but the morning line favorite belongs to Tim Grams, who’ll send out Remy’s Showtime (8-5), a winner twice in nine tries. The Fiber Sonde gelding, a homebred for team Grams, is out of the productive Grand Slam mare Remy Doodles and just missed against similar two back. On the two Runco runners, oddly enough, riders Arnaldo Bocachica and Carlos Marrero switch mounts, Boca getting back on Ishihara (7-2), whom he rode to victory on debut, and Marrero grabbing Choco Roco (4-1). There’s not a lot of early lick in here, which might aid the cause of Northern Ridge (8-1), who two back posted a pace-controlling win against claiming rivals.
Friday/Race 7With several runners having done good work on the front end previously, this state-bred allowance for fillies and mares might fall in the lap of the morning line favorite. The Anthony Farrior-trained Union Song (8-5) has been facing better at Laurel Park and figures to sit off the speed before motoring on by. If one of the speed types does stay on to the end, it’ll likely be Littlebitalily (3-1), the Brandon Kulp trainee who’s shown enough to contend here. She had a useful try last out in a PEN allowance in her first try in over six weeks and can improve here. Two others who may find the expected fast pace to their liking are the Mike Jones, Jr. trainee Sainte Therese (10-1), who enters off a win but will need her ‘A’ game; and Mae Sai Princess (5-1), Farrior’s other runner in here.
Saturday/Race 7The $75,000 Confucius Say Stakes, at seven furlongs, features the return of Penguin Power (8-5). It’ll mark the Runco trainee’s first start since a seventh-place finish in the Fire Plug Stakes at Laurel Park January 16 and his first local try since he won the WVBC Onion Juice by 14 lengths last October. The speedster has never been worse than third in 17 local starts. There’s plenty of other speed signed on, though, which could play to the advantage of the Jerry O’Dwyer-trained shipper V. I. P. Ticket (5-2). He’ll be running late – that’s how he won the A Huevo Stakes – but the seven-furlong trip may leave him a lot to do. Also signed on are veterans North Atlantic (6-1), an earner of over $628,000 who was second in this event a year ago; and Mean Bean (10-1), the nine-year-old Glenn Harrison trainee making his first start since February 3 and just second since March 21, 2020.
Saturday/Race 8The 4 ½-furlong Its Binn Too Long, for three-year-old state-bred fillies, is a bit of a curious cat, an ultra-short race at a time when many sophs are in the midst of stretching out (or trying to). Two runners this should suit just fine are Peppa Star (7-2) and Talent Expected (3-1). The former’s 2-for-2 at the trip for trainer Javier Contreras, and while her last was poor, it was a two-turn event. The latter was a pretty easy winner over older rivals at this trip last time out. And then there’s That Kenney Kid (9-2); the Runco trainee’s form has been a bit in and out, but she’s shown promise.