Awsome Faith rallies for Classic stunner

Awsome Faith rallies for Classic stunner

Photo by Coady Photography. by Ted Black, courtesy of TheRacingBiz.com Heading into the 34th edition of the $150,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic for state-bred three-year-olds and up traveling the three-turn distance of one-mile and one-eighth, most of the attention was right focused on post time favorite Runnin’toluvya. He’d already eclipsed the $1 million plateau in career earnings for trainer Tim Grams this year, but it had been an uneven campaign, Which Runnin’toluvuya would show up – the one that won this event by 10 lengths two years ago or the one that reared up in the gate and finished last year in his title defense? Having won the $50,000 Frank Gall Memorial last out and finished third in the Grade II, $600,000 Charles Town Classic one race prior to that, Runnin’toluvya was made the 2-5 the favorite in his third attempt at ‘Classic’ success. Only North Atlantic, the durable Jeff Runco trainee who was making his fourth start in the Classic, garnered much support as the 7-2 second choice. But neither would have the answers, and the ‘Classic’ produced its second straight shocker. Soon after the gates opened in the Classic, longshots Hero’s Man and Opera Nite both broke well to vie for command with Runnin’toluvya and North Atlantic sitting just off the leaders. The pace was quick early with Hero’s Man setting splits of 23.40, 47.14 and 1:12.76 for the first three calls. Runnin’toluvya and North Atlantic appeared to be sitting in ideal stalking spots to settle the issue later in a formful finish. But that’s certainly not how things unfolded in the lane. At the top of...
Bridging the Gap dominates in WVBC Cavada

Bridging the Gap dominates in WVBC Cavada

Photo by Coady Photography. by Frank Vespe, courtesy of TheRacingBiz.com Bridging the Gap wanted no part of the starting gate tonight before the $100,000 West Virginia Cavada Breeders Classic. She shook her head, shimmied in place, then reared up. Jockey Reshawn Latchman popped off, and for a moment, it appeared a storm could be brewing. But Bridging the Gap settled, Latchman re-mounted, and the duo proceeded to lay waste to their rivals en route to a 6 1/4-length victory.   “She was a little fractious in the gate, but she really wanted to run,” Latchman said. “Once she settled, she broke and then I knew she was good.” When the gates opened, Bridging the Gap was away quickest and showed the way. She set down solid early fractions – 23.55 seconds for the quarter-mile, 47.72 for the half – but was doing it well within herself. In the lane, Bridging the Gap opened up powerfully and cruised home to win by six lengths in 1:25.67 for seven furlongs on a fast main track. Lady Storm chased her from second all the way around to no avail but did hold the place spot, three lengths ahead of Sherwood Lady in third. “I didn’t really start asking her until the quarter pole,” Latchman said. “Then she just took off.” Bridging the Gap paid $2.40 to win was the 1-5 betting choice. The one-dollar exacta returned $4.00. Bridging the Gap earned her second consecutive stakes win and fourth win in a row overall. She now has eight wins from 13 career starts, and the winner’s share of the $100,000 Cavada pushed her...
Favorites foiled in WVBC baby races

Favorites foiled in WVBC baby races

Photo of Youthinkthatsfunny by Coady Photography. by Ted Black, courtesy of TheRacingBiz.com In consecutive races during the middle stages of the West Virginia Breeders Classics card on Saturday night, onlookers had a chance to glimpse the future when Charles Town hosted the $70,000 Vincent Moscarelli Memorial for two-year-olds and the Triple Crown Nutrition Stakes for two-year-old fillies in what would be the first attempt around two turns for most of the combatants. Heading into the Vincent Moscarelli Memorial for the boys, much of the attention was focused on Hopping Henry (Wesley Ho) the gray son of Juba owned, bred and trained by Michael Sterling who had prepped by taking the $50,000 Henry Mercer Memorial Stakes last month. With the addition of blinkers for the first time, Hopping Henry was made the even-money choice in the Moscarelli but he was felled by a rough trip and a familiar foe while well beaten in sixth. Soon after the gates opened in the Vincent Moscarelli Memorial, Uncle Funky and Youthinkthatsfunny both broke alertly while Hopping Henry was steadied behind them in tight quarters and never was able to settle down. Pilot in Command, third as the favorite in the Mercer, got away fourth and launched his bid down the backside and through the far turn but by then Youthinkthatsfunny had surged to command and the McKee homebred son of Fiber Sonde held safe the wide, late bid of Officer Appeal to score by three lengths in 1:21.42 as the 3-1 third choice. “My horse has a lot of speed and I just wanted to get away from there and stay out of trouble,” Latchman said. “I...
She Figures takes Distaff first off the claim

She Figures takes Distaff first off the claim

Photo by Coady Photography. by Frank Vespe, courtesy of TheRacingBiz.com There were a lot of ways to go In Saturday’s $70,000 West Virginia Roger Ramey Breeders Classic Distaff at Charles Town Races. You had the defending champ, B’s Wild Cork; the speedy Amelia Bedelia trying three turns for the first time; or Dubai Was Lit, who’d finished in the triple 13 straight races. A runner the bettors didn’t give much respect, though, turned out to be best of all. She Figures, making her first start off the claim for trainer Ronney Brown, pressed the early pace of Amelia Bedelia before taking over after three-quarters of a mile and then drawing away to a 7 ¾-length triumph. She Figures paid $24.40 as an 11-1 outsider in the contest and won for the seventh time in 14 career starts. The win pushed her earnings to more than $145,000. Not bad for a horse that Brown picked up for $15,000 out of her last start. “When I claimed her [on August 29] I just thought she wanted to go long,” Brown said following the victory. “I made a few adjustments with her and Luis [Batista] galloped her and he loved her. it’s tough to claim one and then win a stakes next out.” Brown, who claimed the daughter of Overanalyze from trainer Jeff Runco and owners Feebs Racing and Schnably Stable, did so for Kenneth Brown. She won the day she was claimed, her second straight victory and third in four starts. In the Distaff, Amelia Bedelia, the favorite trained by Runco, shot to the lead and pretty much threw out the anchor....
Shocker! Castle Bound scores 68-1 upset in WV Breeders’ Classic

Shocker! Castle Bound scores 68-1 upset in WV Breeders’ Classic

by Ted Black, courtesy of The Racing Biz Heading into Saturday’s $300,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic, favorites had won four consecutive races and five of the seven on the card. That streak ended with an exclamation point, as Castle Bound rallied from the rear of the field to win by a head at odds of 68-1. The six-year-old Windsor Castle gelding paid $138.40 to win. “You never know is this business,” said winning trainer James W. Casey, who also bred and owns Castle Bound. “We were hoping for fifth probably. I had one a year ago pay around $100, but those are the two longest I ever had. We had two or three we were going to put in there. We weren’t sure we would get in, but we thought that this one would like the distance. I didn’t even know he won. I was watching another horse.” It was Casey’s ninth training win in the biggest local event for state-bred winners. Grade 2 Charles Town Classic winner Runnin’toluvya loomed the 1-5 choice in the Classic as the field awaited for the gates to open. But before the starter could turn them loose, Runnin’toluvya reared up in the gate, nearly flipped over the back of the stall, and then lunged through the front gate. After a brief inspection by the state vet and trainer Tim Grams, who was close at hand on the pony, Runnin’toluvya was given the all-clear to run and jockey Christian Hiraldo climbed back aboard. When the gates opened, Runnin’toluvya broke sharply and then settled into a stalking spot behind Opera Nite (Luis Batista) through the...
Budding stars deliver on WVBC undercard

Budding stars deliver on WVBC undercard

by Ted Black, courtesy of TheRacingBiz.com Saturday’s West Virginia Breeders Classics card at Charles Town treated fans and bettors to a handful of performances by potential budding state-bred stars. In the moments after watching Hypothesis and jockey Gerald Almodovar overcome early traffic trouble to win the $75,000 Vincent Moscarelli Memorial BC in his first attempt going the two-turn distance of 6 1/2-furlongs, trainer Crystal Pickett had already made plans to send the juvenile son of Algrorithms south to her farm in Ocala, Florida, with her plans to have the gelding ready for next spring. “Right now the plan is to give him some time off and take him to my farm in Ocala for the winter,” Pickett said. “He’s not eligible to the West Virginia Futurity later this year, so there’s really nothing left for him up here unless we go to Laurel for that stakes race on November 16. But I would like to get him to the farm and give him some time off and then bring him back next spring for the state-bred stakes up here. I would like for him to run through those.” One race later in the $75,000 West Virginia Lottery Breeders Classic for three-year-olds, Loving Touch (Carlos Delgado) maintained the perfect start to his career with his fourth consecutive triumph. Under jockey Carlos Delgado, Loving Touch gained command soon after the break and led throughout to hold safe Hero’s Man (Almodovar) to score by two lengths while getting the seven furlongs in 1:25.92 as the 2-1 second choice. The sophomore son of Fiber Sonde, a full-brother to Runnin’toluvya, is trained by Tim Grams and...