Tim Grams has tough trio for Fancy Buckles

One week after hosting the latest edition of the $75,000 It’s Only Money Stakes for older, West Virginia-breds, Charles Town will offer the state-bred fillies and mares the chance to shine in the $75,000 Fancy Buckles Stakes. 

Fittingly, trainer Tim Grams, who conditioned the namesake of this weekend’s namesake as well as the previous one, will send out a trio of distaffers looking to capture the top prize.

In a wide-open affair that’s drawn a full field of 10 plus two on the also-eligible list, Grams will send out morning line favorite Good Karma (7-2), along with Our Diamond Girl (10-1) and Talent Expected (10-1). 

“All three of mine are definitely going to run,” Grams said. “They have three different owners, so I want to give them all a chance to make a few bucks.”

Fancy Buckles herself made a few bucks. The talented state-bred filly was the beaten favorite in both the 2003 Cavada Breeders Classic won by Sweet Annuity and the 2004 edition of the Cavada captured by Original Gold. She concluded her career with a 9-4-2 slate and nearly $280,000 banked from 17 career tries, capturing four stakes along the way.

Any one of Grams’s Fancy Buckles triumvirate could greet him in the winners’ circle for the trophy presentation. Both Talent Expected and Good Karma have ample early speed, while Our Diamond Girl typically does her best running from well off the pace and boasts a solid closing kick.

Our Diamond Girl, listed at 10-1 on the morning line with Felino Lima aboard, is the defending champion of this event and sports a 9-2-2 slate and just shy of $200,000 banked from 18 career outings.

“She usually doesn’t kick into gear until the three-sixteenths pole,” Grams said of Our Diamond Girl. “But if she can save ground on the far turn and work out a decent trip, she can come rolling late.” 

Good Karma, the tepid 7-2 morning line favorite in the Fancy Buckles, has finished second in four consecutive races for Grams and owner Fraco 1 LLC since the conditioner reached in to claim her for $15,000 on January 28. A five-year-old Windsor Castile mare bred by her former trainer, Ronney Brown and Nicole Freeland, Good Karma sports a 5-8-6 slate and nearly $150,000 banked from 23 career tries.

“I really think Good Karma is sitting on a big race,” Grams said. “She’s got plenty of speed, although I don;t know if she’s as quick early as a couple of those other ones in there.”

Talent Expected, a four-year-old daughter of Prospective owned and bred by Dennis Finger, has won once in two starts this year and owns a 5-3-2 slate and over $125,000 banked from 16 lifetime outings.

In addition to the Grams trio, a pair of three-year-old fillies with very different running styles are also expected to get plenty of backing against older foes in the Fancy Buckles while renewing their rivalry.

Silky Serena, a sophomore daughter of Fiber Sonde trained by John McKee for owner-breeder Cynthia McKee, rallied to capture the $75,000 It’s Binn Too Long Stakes in her most recent outing, while Fancy Her Up, a daughter of Juba owned, bred and trained by John A. Casey, settled for third in that event.

Fancy Her Up won the Rachels Turn Stakes for state-bred juveniles last summer and owns four wins and just over $130,000 banked from nine lifetime outings.

Two veteran local campaigners will also be seeking to enhance their resumes in the Fancy Buckles. Alpine Moon, a six-year-old daughter of Swiss Yodeler trained by Russell Davis, arrives as the most experienced and most successful distaffer in the field having won 14 of 45 career outings and banked over $250,000 along the way. Door Buster, a four-year-old daughter of Speighster trained by Ollie Figgins III, has recorded seven wins and over $250,000 banked in 19 career tries, including a trio of stakes victories for owner Jay Reese.

Three other mares will also be seeking to attain stakes success on Saturday night. Figgins will also send out Lady Storm (9-2), while Javier Contreras will saddle Manarola (10-1), and Sherwood Lady (15-1) will go postward for Mike Jones, Jr.


  • Our Diamond Girl
  • Door Buster
  • Silky Serena
  • Fancy Her Up
  • Fancy Her Up
  • Sherwood Lady