Bargain Boss E Boogs paying dividends

Each time that trainer Tabitha Wilhelm sends her homebred Boss E Boogs to the track, she is grateful for the opportunity to train a horse with ample talent and still plenty of room for improvement.

Oh, and also one that arrived courtesy of a complementary price tag.

A six-year-old Limehouse gelding owned, bred and trained by Wilhelm, Boss E Boogs has won his last two starts and three of his last four against allowance foes at Charles Town. He now sports six wins and over $140,000 banked from 26 career outings.

Boss E Boogs is out of the winning A. P. Jet mare Hot and Bothered. Wilhelm had actually won a free breeding to Limehouse, who stands at O’Sullivan Farms, through a random drawing. Initially she thought that she had gotten exactly what she had paid for.

“I remember when he was foaled and even while he was a weanling, he was just a small, gangly colt,” said Wilhelm, who gave birth to a daughter, Diana, last November. “When he finally got to the track, he still looked like he was small, but he acted like he wanted to be a race horse. He broke his maiden at 4 1/2 furlongs, but I always got the impression that he would be better going 6 1/2 or seven furlongs. I think he’s a little better going 6 1/2 [furlongs].”

In each of his last two starts, Boss E Boogs has validated Wilhelm’s impression, capturing a pair of two-turn allowance events for state-bred older runners. After finishing third in his seasonal debut on January 12, Boss E Boogs captured a two-turn allowance on February 7 by two lengths as the 2-5 choice under Juan Nunez in 1:20 flat.

He then came right back to score in another two-turn allowance on Feb. 23 by getting the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:19.54 as the 3-5 choice with Nunez aboard.


“Each time I looked up at the [tote] board and saw that he was even-money, I kept reminding myself that there are no sure things in racing,” Wilhelm said. “Even though he had won his previous start and looked like he was the best horse on paper, there are no guarantees. But when he broke well and then started to pull away at the end, I felt pretty good. Juan Nunez, my rider, has done a great job riding him.”

Boss E Boogs, now six, had finished a nondescript sixth in his career debut at age three on May 6, 2021, but rebounded immediately to graduate three weeks later. Following sixth- and third-place efforts in his next two tries, Boss E Boogs posted his first win at the allowance level that August 12.

Boss E Boogs
Boss E Boogs won an allowance at Charles Town. Photo by Coady Photography.

He then finished sixth next out in the Robert Leavitt Memorial two weeks later in his first stakes outing. He also ran fourth in that fall’s West Virginia Lottery Breeders’ Classic, but since then, Wilhelm has kept her charge in allowance and optional claiming company exclusively.

Now that he has five allowance wins under his belt, however, a return to stakes company could be on the horizon. The first such opportunity is the April 20 Confucius Say.

“The way that he’s racing now I know that I’m going to have to look at the stakes races coming up,” Wilhelm said. “I’m hoping that he can race at least one more time in a non-winners of three allowance event before the first stakes. I know there are a lot of really good state-bred older horses out there, but my horse is pretty good right now, so I’m going to have to take a shot and find out just how good he is.”

Wilhelm began training on her own last year, winning once in 23 outings. This year, with Boss E Boogs leading the way, she has four wins from a dozen starts, and her runners have finished in the money nine times.

Two horses that Boss E Boogs could face in the Confucius Say Stakes also posted allowance victories on the Feb. 7 card. Roughly an hour before the Wilhelm trainee prevailed in 1:20 flat, Social Chic captured a similar condition by getting the distance in 1:20.15. Thirty minutes after Boss E Boogs scored, the venerable Muad’dib, a two-time West Virginia-bred horse of the year who is rapidly approaching $1 million in career earnings, captured another two-turn allowance by getting the same distance in 1:19.60 for trainer Jeff Runco.