Charles Town picks and analysis: September 17
Charles Town has an eight-race Saturday card. Post time is 7:00 p.m. Good luck!
Carryovers: Jackpot Pick 6 $18,321
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RACE 1 – The $40,000 Last Enchanment WV Overnight Stakes
In the Saturday night opener, a final tuneup for the $75,000 West Virginia Dash For Cash Stakes here next month, #2 Hypothesis (9-5) arrives off a sharp score in the Potomac Stakes last month and seeks to maintain winning ways for trainer Crystal Pickett. #3 Nico (3-1) was solid second behind the top choice in the Potomac last out for trainer Javier Contreras and certainly merits respect here. #1 Penguin Power (6-5) was the beaten favorite in the Potomac and will look to atone for trainer Jeff Runco. #5 Jefferson Native (6-1) was solid third in the Potomac last out for trainer Linda Dohlinger-Stehr and sophomore gets another chance against older foes in this spot.
In this two-turn event for $5,000 claimers, #4 Hummin’ the Funk (4-1) makes local debut for trainer Dale Capuano and gets the nod for mild upset here. #2 Cruz in the Castle (7-5) won last out for trainer Ronney Brown and looms the favorite despite modest two-month break. #1 I B Nasty (6-1) seeks first win in 11 tries this year for trainer Marc Raccnelli and gets favorable inside draw. #5 Offlee Graysful (9-2) goes in quest of first win in 18 seasonal outings for trainer Melvin Ovando and could complete several gimmicks.
- Taiba scores in Pennsylvania DerbyTaiba bounced back from a narrow defeat in the Haskell to win the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby Saturday at Parx Racing.
RACE 3 – The $75,000 Rachel’s Turn Stakes
In the first of two stakes for state-bred juveniles, #3 Sail On Breeze (3-5) looms the one to beat in the Rachel’s Turn Stakes following a stellar debut score here for trainer Jeff Runco. #4 Strong Willed (5-2) also won at first asking over the strip for trainer Anthony Farrior and merits respect in this spot. #2 Lightnin Runner (6-1) posted 30-1 shocker in first two-year-old race here this summer for trainer Angel Rodriguez and will still be viewed as an outsider here. #1 Pure Nonsense (8-1) also won at first asking for owner-breeder-trainer John McKee and should be a factor despite tricky rail draw.
RACE 4 – The $75,000 Henry Mercer Memorial Stakes
In this prep for the upcoming Vincent Moscarelli Memorial Breeders’ Classic, #4 Teachintherelease (5-2) won at second asking for trainer John A. Casey and seeks repeat score here in the Mercer. #5 Xcellent Start (9-5) rallied to prevail in career debut for trainer Jeff Runco and looms the likely favorite in this spot. #3 Juba’s Notion (2-1) graduated smartly last out and gives Casey chance to run one-two here. #6 Paymengold (10-1) rebounded from modest debut effort to win at second asking for trainer Dewayne Johnson.
In this one-turn maiden special weight dash for two-year-olds, #8 Chrome Heir (3-1) makes career debut off a trio of sharp gate works for trainer Jeff Runco and should benefit from outside draw here. #5 Mo Eh Hennessy (5-1) was modest fifth against maiden claimers at Timonium for trainer Anthony Farrior and merits respect in this spot. #3 All About Lucky (2-1) makes local debut for trainer Angel Rodriguez and looms likely favorite following Colonial Downs outing. #4 Hesfiredup (6-1) also makes local debut for trainer Linda Wohlers who once saddled Runhappy to Grade I score.
In this two-turn allowance, #6 Jungle Beast (2-1) exits a pair of stakes races for trainer Javier Contreras and gets the nod to regain winning ways here. #8 San Antone (8-1) has been second twice and third once in three local tries for trainer Kieron Magee and could forge mild surprise here. #9 Demo Doctor (9-2) was solid second last out over the strip and certainly merits respect here for trainer Robert Klesaris. #1 Shameless Risk (7-2) won last out and gets favorable rail draw for possible repeat score for trainer Ronney Brown.
- BackTracks: The kingly Henry of NavarreIn today’s BackTracks, New Jersey-bred Henry of Navarre found Hall of Fame success on the racetrack and later played a more martial role.
In this intriguing, three-turn allowance for state-breds, #7 Candy Invasion (5-2) has thrived at the distance for trainer John A. Casey and looms the one to beat here. #4 Fancy Concho (9-2) got elevated to top spot in the Frank Gall last out for trainer Tim Grams and merits respect at the distance. #5 No Change (2-1) faded as the favorite in the Gall and looks the regain winning ways for trainer John McKee. #2 ishihara (6-1) has been consistent sort throughout his career for trainer Jeff Runco and merits respect here at a decent price.
In the Saturday night finale, a competitive, interesting two-turn maiden special weight event for state-bred two-year-old fillies, #2 Impressionism (3-1) finished second in her career debut for trainer Jeff Runco and gets the nod to graduate here. #9 Patti Blue Eyes (4-1) has been second in each of her first two outings for trainer Anthony Farrior and looks to end bridesmaid status in this spot. #8 Livana (7-2) has been second and third in two local tries for trainer Ollie Figgins III and tried stakes company at Colonial Downs in between those starts. #1 Boundtobegreat (6-1) finished fifth in career debut for trainer John A. Casey but gets favorable rail draw for this spot.