CHARLES TOWN PICKS AND HORSES TO WATCH: July 2

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.

Carryovers: None

Check out our other handicapping here!

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RACE NUMBERCONTENDERSCOMMENTS
Race 16-3-2-4It’s the first baby race of the year at CT, a 4 1/2-furlong dash for state-bred juvenile fillies. We’ll give the nod to #6 My Juba (8-1). Her work tab is nondescript, but this one’s only sib to race, a full to her, has been in the money in three of four starts and won at second asking, and trainer James Casey has a 21% strike rate with two-year-olds making their bows in special weight company… A horse whose work tab is a little sharper is #3 O K Smarty Pants (5-2). She’s been working smartly for trainer Michael Sterling, including a bullet move June 8. Sterling is 2-for-4 with juvenile debut runners in special weight company, and this one’s out of an Overanalyze mare who won at first asking… Trainer John McKee has a pair in here, and we’ll see if the longer-priced runner, #2 Silky Serena (6-1), can make an impact. Though the other McKee trainee, Cousin Winnie, has been working faster, it seems notable that go-to rider Reshawn Latchman lands here… Trainer Ben Delong is 0-for-20 with debut two-year-olds in special weight company, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, but #4 Worth a Peek (3-1) has been working well enough, and you’d have to think Delong likes this one at least a little bit to ship in from Illinois, where he’s based…
Race 77-8-3-1Trainer Anthony Farrior has been thriving at CT in recent years — 30% strike rate this year — and brings top choice #7 Hemp (4-1) in for this never-won-three allowance. This one was a step slow leaving the gate and got bounced around a little bit in the stretch in his last, but he also may have bounced a bit off his big effort to be third in the G3 Chick Lang. That was as good an effort as any horse here has given, and if he can get back to that effort, he’ll have plenty to say about the outcome tonight… #8 Fiber and Emily (6-1) didn’t run a bad race last out when fifth in the Its Only Money, and there’s a pretty good chance he’ll control the pace here on the stretch out. All this William Atkins trainee does is run good races… Leading trainer Jeff Runco sends out the a.m. favorite here in #3 Russeldoingthings (9-5). This’ll be the first time in the barn for this runner, who previously was trained in Maryland by Brittany Russell, and he’ll be making his first start off a five-month break. Notably, go-to rider Arnaldo Bocachica is not aboard — seven-pound bug Alisson Nunez is — which might steer you to give a longer look to Runco’s other entrant, #1 Boaster (8-1), who’s certainly an OK runner.

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