Charles Town picks and horses to watch: January 20, 2023

Charles Town Races has an eight-race card on tap for this evening. Post time for the opener is 7:00 p.m., and we’ve got Charles Town picks.

Carryovers: Jackpot Pick 6, $11,014

Check out our other handicapping here!


Race 3




This never-won-four allowance contest for state-breds has the look of a chalky affair. Pacewise, it projects to see #5 One Night Mike (5-2) on the lead early while being pressed by #1 Coastal Mission (4-5), with the latter overhauling him in the last quarter-mile to win. Coastal Mission hasn’t done a thing wrong in his seven-race career, and trainer Jeff Runco, who generally spots his horses very realistically, has taken him out of town repeatedly to race at Laurel, where he has a win and three stakes placings. His only defeat in three local tries came when going one turn — shorter than he likes — and he arrives here off a dominant win versus never-three state-bred foes… One Night Mike likewise hasn’t done much wrong and should be the one they have to catch. He’s won his last two starts going 6 1/2 furlongs, and his last, going seven, was fine, as well, a third-place finish versus similar… #4 Strong Lil Kokoro (15-1) enters in career-best form and should be running late… #2 Spanglish (5-1) just missed against similar in last, but we’d like to see a repeat before accepting 5-1 on a horse who’s been 10-1 or more in five straight at this level…

Race 7


What’s the opposite of a rain dance? Whatever it is, that’s what trainer Phil Capuano is likely doing on behalf of #3 Dixie Drawl (3-1). This guy has caught off tracks in three consecutive starts, and while he isn’t bad on them, he’s better on a fast track. He’s caught some pretty solid rivals of late and has decent tries over the strip… #6 Sound Off (6-1) ran two pretty solid races at Mountaineer. Let’s see if he can bring that form back home… #4 Outlier (5-2) just missed at this level four back going two turns. Since, he led a long way before fading in the G1 Cigar Mile and ran twice more at Aqueduct, including last out in allowance company. The class relief should help, and on best, he should win here…