Roughly one week after the first group of West Virginia-bred juvenile fillies made their career debuts in a one-turn maiden special weight dash at Charles Town, onlookers were belatedly treated to their first glimpse of state-bred juvenile boys who had the chance to display their precocious speed in another genuine sprint.
Thursday’s opener was the first maiden special weight event featuring West Virginia-bred two-year-old boys, although the race included a trio of freshman fillies. In fact, one of the ladies, who had bypassed the first maiden special weight event of the season specifically designed for juvenile fillies, not only garnered the attention at the windows but also from onlookers.
Fancy Her Up (Gerald Almodovar), a freshman daughter of Juba out of a Smoke Glacken mare, was made the 8-5 favorite from post five, easily gained command soon after the break and romped home six lengths clear in a stellar debut. Owned, bred and trained by John A. Casey of Down Town Allen fame, Fancy Her Up displayed ample early speed and then drew off in the lane from Talking Teddy while stopping the timer in a snappy 52.33 over the fast track.
Several races later on the Thursday card in a one-turn maiden special weight event for state-bred males, Mio Graceland (Victor Rodriguez) overcame an outside post and early wide duel and edged clear late to a three-length score. A sophomore son of Mio D’Oro trained by Victor Espinosa of Noble’s Honey fame, Mio Graceland garnered his diploma in his third career try by getting the 4 1/2-furlongs in 53.35 for an 8-1 upset.
One night later in the Friday opener, a two-turn allowance for state-bred older males, Nico (Antonio Lopez) gained command soon after the break and led throughout for a two-length score as the 2-5 favorite. A four-year-old son of Trappe Shot trained by Javier Contreras for owner-breeder O’Sullivan Farm, Nico recorded his second straight tally and now owns a 4-4-0 slate and nearly $110,000 banked from eight career tries after getting the 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:18.67.
Two races later in a two-turn maiden special weight event for state-bred males, Nocashrefunds (Victor Rodriguez) led throughout and romped home five lengths clear to forge a mild 9-2 upset. A sophomore son of Juba trained by M. Joanna Boggs for owner Luis Mendez, Nocashrefunds garnered his diploma in his seventh career attempt by getting the 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:20.21. Then two races later in another two-turn maiden special weight event for state-bred boys, Maddeye Moody (Lopez) drew clear late as an overlooked 5-1 shot when the sophomore son of Limehouse owned and trained by Laura Carson also graduated in his seventh lifetime try by getting the 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:21.77.
Two races later in a two-turn allowance for state-bred older males, North Atlantic (Arnaldo Bocachica) lived up to his role as the 8-5 favorite when he rallied from just off the pace for nearly a length score. An eight-year-old Ghostzapper gelding trained by Jeff Runco for owner-breeder Coleswood Farm, North Atlantic notched his first win from three starts this year and now boasts a solid 18-17-11 slate and over $650,000 banked from 52 lifetime tries after getting the seven panels in 1:26.51.
Then one race later in the Friday night finale, Just Ask Me (Rodriguez) forged a mild 5-2 upset in a one-turn maiden special weight event for state-bred fillies when she shook off early pressure to open a clear lead on the far turn and held sway through the lane for a three-length score. A sophomore daughter of Fiber Sonde owned and trained by Jay Armstrong, Just Ask Me graduated smartly in her sixth career outing by getting the 4 1/2-furlong dash distance in 53.49 as the second choice.