Lucylou Who looks for second straight in Fancy Buckles

This Saturday night Charles Town will host the latest edition of the $75,000 Fancy Buckles Stakes for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares and the overflow field of talented state-bred distaffers of varying ages is a fitting feature on the eight-race card and tribute to its talented namesake.

The race is named in honor of the Tim Grams-trained Fancy Buckles, a fleet, talented state-bred filly who won several local stakes and also finished second once and third once as the favorite in the West Virginia Cavada Breeders’ Classic for fillies and mares. This year’s edition of the Fancy Buckles drew a dozen entrants, 10 of which will eventually go postward in the Saturday night feature.

Based on her current three-race win streak and recent victory as the 6-5 favorite in the $75,000 Original Gold Stakes here for state-bred fillies and mares, Lucylou Who has been tabbed as the 9-5 morning line favorite from post eight with Carlos Lopez aboard. One question will be the cutback in distance; after her two-turn stakes win, she’ll be dashing 4 ½ furlongs this evening.

A four-year-old daughter of Sky Mesa trained by Emanuel “Mike” Geralis for owner-breeder Robert Cole, Jr., Lucylou Who has emerged as a budding stat among state-bred distaffers and sports seven wins in 12 tries over the strip.

Several spots to her inside, Great Spirit is expected to get ample support as the 9-2 second choice from post four while still seeking her first stakes tally. A sophomore daughter of Great Notion and half-sister to the late, great Dr. Feelgood, Great Spirit faced boys last out while fifth as the 5-2 second choice in the Coin Collector Stakes and previously was the beaten favorite when second in the Its Binn Too Long Stakes for state-bred three-year-old fillies, marking her first setback in four career outings at that time for trainer Crystal Pickett.


Lightnin Runner, already a stakes winner at ages two and three, seeks her third such tally while going postward from post seven as the 5-1 third choice. She most recently was heroine of the Its Binn Too Long Stakes when she overhauled favored Great Spirit in the final strides. 

Lucylou Who
Lucylou Who cruised in the Original Gold Stakes. Photo by Coady Photography.

Previously she captured the Rachel’s Turn Stakes last summer for trainer Angel Rodriguez and owner George Nyren. David Cardoso has the mount on the sophomore daughter of Battalion Runner, who was bred by Ronney Brown and Nicole Brown.

Speaking of which, trainer Ronney Brown is expected to saddle a pair of fillies for the Fancy Buckles, both of which should get solid support from the wagering public. Full Moon Lover, recently fourth in her seasonal debut against allowance foes after ending her prior campaign with two straight tallies, is listed at 6-1 from post two, while Tiz The Reason seeks her third straight score while making the massive class  hike from starter allowance foes to stakes and is among the outsiders at 12-1 from post five.

Ghostly Squall, a four-year-old daughter of Master Rick bred by the late John McKee and now owned and trained by his widow, Cynthia McKee, arrives riding a three-race win streak, all at the one-turn dash distance of this event. Ghostly Squall, listed at 6-1 on the morning line from the rail, has won both of her starts this year for McKee and five of 13 overall and will seek her first stakes tally in four such outings.

Longshots Stryda and Coach Rube, along with Mackenzie’s Music and Jacks Sister Jill, both of whom drew in off the also-eligible list, round out the field.

The Fancy Buckles is scheduled as the seventh on an eight-race card. Post time for the opener is 7:00 p.m. For picks and analysis of all eight races, including the Fancy Buckles, please click here.