CARaMEL SWIRL TABBED AS CT OAKS FAVORITE
With the second-largest purse of the year offered by Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia’s only graded stakes race for fillies up for grabs, a wide-ranging, full field of 10 three-year-old fillies will battle for the top prize on Friday night in the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3) at seven furlongs.
The Oaks, now in its 13th year, is the main undercard attraction on a card featuring the $800,000 Charles Town Classic (G2) and total purses topping $2 million. Post time for the first race is 5:00 P.M.
- Pimlico Pick 6 solved, payout over $479kOne and only one bettor solved PImlico’s Jackpot Pick 6 Thursday, leading to a payout of $479,801 after it carried through Preakness weekend.
Being a two-turn race at a sprint distance, the Oaks has attracted trainers sending sprinters they hope will hold their speed against routers that figure to have a stamina edge.
One of those who believes he’s found what his filly wants to do is Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott who sends out Caramel Swirl for Godolphin off a sharp three-length score in an allowance July 24 at Saratoga. The Union Rags filly raced forwardly and sailed home under a hand ride by jockey Junior Alvarado. The race was an impressive rebound after a dull seventh-place finish in the Eight Belles (G3) on Kentucky Oaks Day at Churchill Downs.
“She’s a nice filly,” Mott said, “Always well thought of. We tried stretching her up to a mile, two turns, and it didn’t work, so we shortened her back up and it worked well. Six and seven furlongs are probably good distances for her.”
Alvarado has the return call on Caramel Swirl who sits as the 5-2 morning line favorite for the Charles Town Oaks.
Eight of the 10 runners in the main body of the race — there’s also an also-eligible — are lined 12-1 or less. Among Caramel Swirl’s major rivals will be Pauline’s Pearl, a Grade 3 winner for trainer Steve Asmussen; Grade 3-placed Inject (9-2) for trainer Brad Cox; and a pair of runners who are 8-1, Street Lute and Allworthy.