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Cousin Winnie (Denis Araujo) captured the first maiden special weight event for West Virginia-bred two-year-old fillies of the current meet last Friday night for owner-breeder-trainer John McKee.

While millions of Americans were celebrating the July 4 holiday weekend by hosting backyard bar-b-ques or heading to the beach, avid local racing fans ventured to Charles Town where the track offered its first maiden special weight events for West Virginia-bred two-year-olds last Friday, ushering in the sport’s next group of potential state-bred stars.

Last Saturday night’s opener was a one-turn allowance dash for older males that provided a modest upset to kick off the early daily double when On The Lam (J.D. Acosta) overcame a year layoff and rallied from well off the pace to overhaul 2-5 favorite Inspiring Justice in his belated seasonal debut. A seven-year-old Run Away And Hide gelding trained by Emmanuel Geralis for owner Bethlehem Watts, On The Lam forged a 7-1 upset by getting the 4 1/2-furlongs in 52.96 for his seventh win from 43 career outings.

Several races later on the Saturday card, Cantakeitanymore (Denis Araujo) rallied from well off the pace to overhaul 3-5 favorite Hot N Spicy Love for a neck victory as a dramatically overlooked 20-1 shot. A six-year-old Midnight Lute gelding owned and trained by Christopher Keller, Cantakeitanymore notched his second straight score, third win from eight starts this year and now sports an 8-7-5 slate and over $130,000 banked from 47 career outings by getting the seven furlongs in 1:27.32.

Then two races later in the penultimate race on the Saturday program, I’m A Total Diva (Denis Araujo) gained command soon after the break, shook off a pair of brief challengers then drew clear late to a three-length score as the 9-5 second choice in a one-turn allowance for state-bred fillies and mares. A three-year-old daughter of Fiber Sonde owned, bred and trained by John McKee, I’s A Total Diva now owns a 2-4-1 slate and over $50,000 banked from eight lifetime tries after getting the 4 1/2-furlongs in 52.24.

One night earlier the Friday opener marked the inaugural one-turn maiden special weight event for state-bred two-year-old fillies, Cousin Winnie (Denis Araujo), restless in the gate before the start, broke well then rushed up along the rail to wrestle command from 28-1 longshot La Cubana, disposed of that one then dueled briefly with 4-5 choice OK Smarty Pants and edged clear late to a length score in her career debut.

A juvenile daughter of Firing Line out of a Deputy Minister mare owned, bred and trained by John McKee, Cousin Winnie recorded a 5-1 upset at first asking by getting the 4 1/2-furlongs in 52.98 as the third choice. OK Smarty Pants missed the break, changed lanes several times while being hustled through to make her presence known on the far turn and easily held the place spot in a game effort for owner-trainer Michael Sterling of Hopping Henry fame..

Several races later in a two-turn allowance for state-bred fillies and mares, Stowe Angel (Arnaldo Bocachica) shook off her budding bridesmaid status when she lived up to her billing as the odds-on choice and drew clear in the lane to a three-length score. A four-year-old daughter of Warrior’s Reward trained by Jeff Runco, Stowe Angel notched her first win in five starts this year and now owns a 6-4-1 slate and over $145,000 banked from 12 career tries after getting the seven panels in 1:27.29.

Then one race later in the penultimate race on the Friday card, Boaster (Bocachica) rallied from well off the pace and drew clear in the lane to a three-length score for a modest 5-1 upset. A five-year-old Creative Cause stallion trained by Runco for owner Huntertown Farm, Boaster notched his first win from three starts this year and now owns an 8-5-7 slate and nearly $185,000 banked from 24 career outings after getting the 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:19.91.

One night earlier in the feature race on the Thursday program, Sonde St Blues (Javier Rivera) surged to command down the backside then just outlasted a drifting Allen Can Do It for a head score over the sloppy surface. A four-year-old Fiber Sonde gelding owned and trained by Miguel Ramos Agosto, Sonde St Blues notched his first win in two starts this year and now owns a 2-3-2 slate and roughly $50,000 banked from 14 career tries after keeping an unlucky Allen Can Do It at bay at the wire.

Then several races earlier in a two-turn allowance/optional $15,000 claiming event for state-bred fillies and mares, Alpine Moon (Keimar Trotman) just lived up to her role as the 6-5 favorite when she gained command soon after the break, opened a clear lead on the far turn then just outlasted the late surge of 13-1 outsider Gab’s Lil Leaguer for a neck score. A five-year-old Swiss Modeler mare trained by Russell Davis for owner Bearowitz, LLC, Alpine Moon notched her second win from six starts this year and now owns a solid 10-4-8 slate and over $165,000 banked from 33 career outings.

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