Racing at Charles Town. Photo by Coady Photography.

With many of the division’s major players taking a pass, Saturday’s renewal of the $75,000 West Virginia Futurity at Charles Town Races for state-bred two-year-olds may be a bit short on star power, but it’s a wide-open contest.

In fact, not one runner from last month’s WVBC Vincent Moscarelli Memorial for two-year-olds is here, and none of the top seven finishers from the WVBC Triple Crown Nutrition for two-year-old fillies is slated to face the starter.

Instead, the race has taken on the feel of a Casey Family Invitational. Seven of the 10 runners entered are trained by either James Casey or his son John. 

They’ll have to hope there’s strength in numbers, though, because the morning line favorite is not a Casey trainee. Instead, it’s the Javier Contreras-trained Jungle Beast (5-2). The Golden Years gelding, owned by O’Sullivan Farms LLC, graduated by five lengths last out after having finished behind Moscarelli winner Run to Daylight and runner-up Amidships in his first two starts.

Antonio Lopez will retain the mount and break from the five-hole.

The top Casey trainee, and second choice on the morning line, is the maiden Late in the Game (9-2). The Denis of Cork gelding, a homebred for Taylor Mountain Farm, was second to Jungle Beast on debut but finished a disappointing fifth last time out.

Gerald Almodovar is up.

Trainer Jeff Runco will not saddle Triple Crown Nutrition winner The Sky Is Falling or Moscarelli champ Run to Daylight, but he won’t be without a starter. Spectaculo (5-1), a Gattopardo gelding owned by Germania Farms, was the beaten favorite in his career bow and only start to date Oct. 13, finishing third behind Blue N Gold. 

Leading rider Arnaldo Bocachica will ride.

Outside of Jungle Beast, only three of these have posted a maiden score. Hessica (6-1), a Juba filly trained by Kristy Petty, broke her maiden at third asking and most recently was a good third in the Eleanor Casey Memorial. She’ll have Darius Thorpe in the irons.

The James Casey-trained My Juba (10-1), also a filly, took five tries to graduate but was never involved when finishing sixth in the Eleanor Casey Memorial. Fredy Peltroche will ride.

And Windsor’s Play (8-1), a Windsor Castle filly trained by James Casey, won at first asking but has been eighth and fifth in two subsequent stakes tries. Angel Cruz will ride.

Rounding out the field are the John Casey-trained Sugar Lips (15-1) and Bays Castle (10-1); and James Casey’s Castle Lights (10-1) and May Mays Castle (15-1).

The Futurity is carded as the seventh race with a projected post time of 10:02 p.m.