One weekend after the state-bred fillies had their chance to shine in the Fancy Buckles Stakes, the older males were in the spotlight this past Saturday night when Charles Town hosted the latest edition of the It’s Only Money Stakes at the one-turn distance of 4 1/2-furlongs. It’s Only Money had won the inaugural edition of the Charles Town Dash and established the track record of 50.36 at the time.
Heading into the latest renewal of the It’s Only Money Stakes, coincidentally the second straight stakes named for a horse trained by Tim Grams, the attention shifted to the Grams-trained Sagebrush, who was made the 7-5 choice in the race after being promoted from second to first after settling for second to Hypothesis in an allowance prep. Not surprisingly, Hypothesis was the solid 2-1 second choice for trainer Crystal Pickett after being disqualified from first in that allowance following a post race positive.
Much of the outcome for the It’s Only Money Stakes was decided at the outset when Unrideabull, Be Be Bop and Hypothesis all broke alertly to vie for command down the backside while Sagebrush missed the break and got away sixth. Midway on the far turn, Hypothesis (Jose Montano) swept past the early leaders to take command then just outlasted the serious, late bid from Sagebrush for a nose score in 52 flat. The four-year-old son of Algorithms recorded his third stakes tally and now owns a 7-3-1 slate and over $230,000 banked from 17 lifetime outings.
One race earlier in a one-turn allowance dash primarily for older males, Golden Key (Luis Batista) lived up to his role as the 4-5 favorite while facing older rivals when he gained command soon after the break, shook off California invader Hartel then edged clear in the lane to a two-length score. A sophomore son of Uncle Limo owned and trained by Ronney Brown, Golden Key notched his fourth win from six starts and pushed his lifetime earnings past $100,000 which included a prior score in the $75,000 Coin Collector Stakes five weeks earlier.
Then one race earlier in a two-turn allowance for state-bred fillies and mares, Boundtobeok broke well to gain command passing the finish line the first time and led throughout en route to a three-length score as the 7-2 fourth choice. A sophomore daughter of Windsor Castle owned, bred and trained by James W. Casey, Boundtobeok notched her third win in five starts this year and 10 overall and pushed her lifetime earnings past $65,000 by getting the 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:20.67.
Then one race earlier in another two-turn allowance for state-bred fillies and mares, Mackenzie’s Music (Arnaldo Bocachica) remained perfect in the early stages of her career when she drew clear from favored Eternal Heart in the lane to a three-length score. A sophomore daughter of Maclean’s Music trained by Jeff Runco for owner-breeder Coleswood Farm, Mackenzie’s Music remained unbeaten in two starts by getting the 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:20.93 as the 8-5 second choice.
Then one night earlier at the midway point of the Friday card, Green Eyes (Xavier Perez) easily lived up to her role as the 4-5 favorite when she romped home seven lengths clear of 18-1 first-timer Prospective Candy in a one-turn maiden special weight event for fillies. A Maryland-bred sophomore daughter of Imagining trained by John (Jerry) Robb of Little Bold John and Anna’s Bandit fame, Green Eyes notched her first win in four tries by getting the 4 1/2-furlongs in a sharp 52.17 as the odds-on choice.
Several races earlier in a two-turn allowance for older males, V.I.P. Ticket (Gerald Almodovar) just lived up to his role as the 1-9 favorite when he edged past 66-1 long shot Sonde St. Blues for a length score. A Maryland-bred five-year-old son of Windsor Castle trained by Jerry O’Dwyer, V.I.P. Ticket notched his second win in four starts this year and now owns an 8-4-11 slate and nearly $300,000 banked from 31 lifetime tries after getting the seven panels in 1:26.54.
At the midway point on the Thursday program, Super Garner (Arnaldo Bocachica) easily lived up to his billing as the 3-5 favorite in a two-turn starter optional event for older males when he gained command soon after the break then led throughout en route to a four-length score. A seven-year-old Garnered gelding owned and trained by Bernard Dunham, Super Garner recorded his seventh straight victory and now sports a 15-5-5 slate and roughly $210,000 banked from 40 lifetime outings.
That same afternoon at Santa Anita Race Course in Southern California, Unbreakable (Umberto Rispoli) finished a modest third in a one-mile event for $50,000 claimers on the grass. A four-year-old West Virginia-bred daughter of Broken Vow trained by Mike Puype, Unbreakable launched her bid on the far turn but flattened out in the lane and settled for third as Keep Dancing prevailed as the tepid 2-1 favorite in 1:36.33 for the mile. Unbreakable owns a 1-0-4 slate from five starts this year and 1-0-5 slate and $45,000 banked from 10 career tries.