CHARLES TOWN PICKS AND ANALYSIS: August 27
Charles Town has a 13-race Friday card. Post time is the 5:00 p.m. Good luck!
Carryovers: Jackpot Pick 6, $10,225
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In the opener on the stakes-filled Charles Town Classic card, a one-turn maiden special weight event for fillies and mares, #5 Brandyurafinegirl (3-5) should get the night off to a chalky start while returning from an outing at Pimlico for trainer Mike Jones, Jr. #6 Lady Cinco de Maya (3-1) makes her career debut off a pair of ‘bullet’ works for trainer Dewayne Johnson and merits respect at first asking. #7 Signs of Jealousy (12-1) gets favorable outside draw for career debut off a series of decent works for trainer Lewis E. Craig, Jr. #4 Down Under Thunder (12-1) also makes career debut in this spot for trainer Amanda Calhoun and could forge mild surprise.
In this two-turn event for $5,000 claimers, #1 Widget Factory (7-2) was solid second last out and has been runner-up four times in six winless starts this year but looks to emerge here for trainer Kevin Joy. #2 Prince Valeski (8-1) won last out and seeks second straight and third overall for trainer Ronney Brown and merits upset chance. #6 Golden Appeal (9-5) exits allowance company last two and gives Jones solid chance to capture the early daily double. #7 Burn the Ships (6-1) makes 12th start of busy sophomore campaign for owner-breeder-trainer John McKee.
- Several local runners among Barbara Fritchie nomsThe nominations for the Barbara Fritchie Stakes upcoming at Laurel Park include several local runners, among them last year’s show horse Fille d’Esprit.
In this two-turn allowance for state-bred fillies and mares, #3 Moonlit Shadow (7-2) graduated two starts back and looks to rebound from latest and seek to emulate full-sister Moonlit Song for trainer Tim Grams. #1 Heretodaygonemanana (5-2) makes long awaited seasonal debut after graduating last fall for trainer Jeff Runco. #4 Juba’s House (6-1) was solid second last out for trainer John A. Casey. #5 Arrowwood (6-1) gives Runco outside chance to run one-two in here.
In the first stakes race on the card, the $75,000 Sadie Hawkins for state-bred fillies and mares, #5 Star Of Night (1-1) looks to maintain the perfect start to her four-year-old campaign as the defending West Virginia-bred horse of the year returns to stakes company to face a familiar foe. #7 Bridging the Gap (5-2) looks to prep for her title defense in the Cavada off a series of good works while being idle since January. #6 Stowe Angel (6-1) has been a bridesmaid much of this year but gives Runco chance to run one-two here. #4 See Ya Manana (8-1) has been a model of consistency throughout here career for Runco and merits respect in here.
In this one-turn allowance dash for state-bred older males that could easily pass for a stakes race, #8 Golden Key (2-1) gets favorable outside draw while tackling older foes again for trainer Ronney Brown. #2 Hypothesis (7-2) rebounded from dull outing at Colonial Downs to capture allowance dash last out and looks capable of repeat here. #4 Aaron’s Tap (4-1) was sharp second last out for Runco and certainly merits respect in this spot. #1 Command The Cat (12-1) returns from stakes try at Mountaineer Park and could be a factor late for McKee.
In the $75,000 Robert Leavitt Memorial for state-bred three-year-old males, #7 Nocashrefunds (15-1) makes stakes debut off two straight sharp scores for trainer M. Joanna Boggs and looks poised for mild surprise here. #6 No Change (3-1) has won three of last four for McKee and looms the tepid choice in this spot. #2 Youthinkthatsfunny (7-2) gives McKee outside chance to run one-two here. #1 Social Chic (4-1) was second in Coin Collector two starts back and gives Runco upset chance here.
- Which horses had the best post-CT Classic careers?Art Collector’s win in Saturday’s Grade 1 Pegasus got us wondering: which winners of the Charles Town Classic had the best careers after their Classic win?
In the $75,000 Sylvia Bishop Memorial for state-bred three-year-old fillies, #1 Door Buster (7-2) returns off a solid effort in minor stakes at Colonial Downs and gets nod to regain winning ways here for trainer Ollie Figgins III of Dance to Bristol fame. #7 Shutupn’kissme (3-1) has been consistent sort throughout her career for McKee and could forge mild upset here. #4 Mady Rose (5-2) posted nice allowance tally last out and merits respect here as the tepid choice. #2 Jacks Sister Jill (4-1) also notched allowance triumph last out for trainer Vernon Greaves and could upset here.
In the first open stakes on the card, the $150,000 Pink Ribbon for fillies and mares, #2 Lady Rocket (9-5) won allowance at Churchill Downs last out for trainer Brad Cox of Knicks Go fame and looks ready for first stakes score. #8 Queen Nekia (7-5) exits consecutive graded stakes for this event for trainer Saffie Joseph and looms the solid post time while cutting back to a sprint. #5 Landing Zone (7-2) finished solid third in allowance at Delaware Park last out for trainer Claudio Gonzalez and merits respect here. #4 Ava’s Charm (8-1) should benefit from belated seasonal debut in stakes at Delaware Park last out.
In the $150,000 Robert Hilton Stakes for three-year-old males, #2 Exculpatory (5-1) arrives off nice score at Colonial Downs and looks to maintain winning ways here for trainer “Butch” Reid. #1 Swill (9-2) prevailed against allowance foes at Ellis Park off the layoff last out and could repeat in this spot for Cox. #6 Helium (5-2) has been third in two stakes at Churchill Downs since exiting the Kentucky Derby and merits respect here for trainer Mark Casse. #5 Moonlite Strike (5-1) has been third in last two stakes tries for Joseph and appears to be a serious contender in this spot.
In the $150,000 Russell Road Stakes for older males going seven furlongs, #7 Wind of Change (5-2) won minor stakes at Monmouth Park two back for Joseph and looks poised to rebound from latest outing at Saratoga. #6 Vertical Threat (9-5) exits Grade I Bing Crosby in overdue seasonal debut last out and looms the tepid choice here following cross continental flight. #2 Savvy (15-1) was good third in Ellis allowance last out for trainer Ian Wilkes and could round out several gimmicks at a generous price. #11 Speightsford (12-1) won previous try over the strip in May and merits respect here if he draws in off the AE list.
In the Grade III, $400,000 Charles Town Oaks for three-year-old fillies, #2 Street Lute (8-1) should atone for latest outing at Colonial Downs and possibly forge double-digit upset here for trainer John (Jerry) Robb of Little Bold John and Anna’s Bandit fame. #3 Pauline’s Pearl (3-1) has tried nothing but stakes foes since graduating for all-time winning trainer Steve Asmussen and merits respect here. #1 Caramel Swirl (5-2) posted sharp allowance score at Saratoga last out and gives Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott chance for graded stakes double here. #6 Inject (9-2) was solid third in grade III stakes at Belmont Park last out for Cox after handy score in minor stakes at Prairie Meadows.
In the main event on the card and the entire racing calendar at Charles Town in 2021, the Grade II, $800,000 Charles Town Classic at nine furlongs for older runners, #1 Warrior’s Charge (3-1) gets favorable rail draw and exits off solid second-place effort behind Maxfield in Grade II Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs and gives Cox solid chance at graded stakes double. #6 Ny Traffic (8-1) exits pair of stakes at Monmouth for Joseph and former Derby and Preakness participant can not be overlooked here. #8 Art Collector (5-2) won minor stakes last out for Mott and gives Hall of Fame conditioner chance to late graded stakes double. #7 Sleepy Eyes Todd (6-1) has literally traveled the world since winning this event last summer and seeks repeat tally here.
In the Friday night finale, a genuinely deep, contentious renewal of the $75,000 Frank Gall Memorial for West Virginia-breds going seven panels, #9 Muad’dib (7-2) has won all six of his lifetime starts for Runco and full-brother to Late Night Pow Wow makes his stakes debut in a salty spot. #5 Fancy Concho (6-1) has only been worse than second once in 14 lifetime tries for Grams and will seek to work out a favorable trip in prep for the Onion Juice BC. #1 North Atlantic (5-1) rallied to overhaul Fancy Concho on two-turn allowance here last out and looks destined to make fifth attempt at West Virginia Classic success for Runco. #4 V.I.P. Ticket (6-1) should atone for latest local effort and could benefit from ample early action in this wide open affair,