In the weekends between the Grade II Charles Town Classic and this Saturday’s quartet of West Virginia-bred stakes that serve as preps for the West Virginia Breeders Classics here on October 10, Charles Town has offered a bevy of interesting maiden special weight races for two-year-olds and allowance events for state-bred older horses eyeing the WVBC card.
Last Saturday night onlookers had the chance to view a pair of maiden special weight events for two-year-olds, an open event for freshmen fillies and a state-bred outing for juvenile boys. All four races proved to be formful and the quartet of graduates left little doubt they could prevail again next out facing winners.
In the opening race on the Saturday card, Flash Town (Carloa Marrero) ended her bridesmaid status when she lived up to her role as the 4-5 favorite and drew clear late to a five-length score in a one-turn maiden special weight dash for two-year-old fillies. A juvenile daughter of Flashback trained by Marion “Lynn” Cuttino for owner Terry Hutto, Flash Town graduated in her fourth attempt - she had been second in each of her three previous tries - by getting the 4 1/2-furlongs in 52.56.
Two races later in a one-turn maiden special weight dash for state-bred juvenile males, Pilot In Command (Arnaldo Bocachica) rebounded from a third-place finish as the odds-on choice in his debut to score by four lengths as the even-money favorite. A juvenile son of Will Take Charge trained by Jeff Runco for owner-breeder Coleswood Farm (Jeff & Susan Runco), Pilot In Command broke sharply in his latest outing and soared home well clear of his rivals while stopping the timer in 52.19.
Then one race later in an open two-turn maiden special weight event, Lookin Smart (Bocachica) overcame a lengthy layoff to prevail as the 3-2 favorite. A sophomore son of Lookin At Lucky trained by Runco for owner New Farm, Lookin Smart returned from a 10-month break following his debut at the Meadowlands in New Jersey to score by two lengths in 1:21.14 for the 6 1/2-furlong affair.
Several races later in the Saturday finale, Final Say also delivered a superb effort off the respite to garner his diploma in a two-turn maiden special weight event for state-bred older males. A four-year-old Violence gelding trained by Anthony Farrior for owner James Wolf, Final Say romped home eight lengths clear as the 6-5 favorite in his belated seasonal bow by getting the seven panels in 1:26.42 and he looks certain to triumph again soon against allowance foes.
One night earlier on the Friday card, Distorted Splendor (Jason Simpson) forged a mild upset in a one-turn allowance dash for state-bred fillies and mares. A sophomore daughter of Mr. Prankster trained by Joseph Stehr for owner-breeder Tabitha Brady, Distorted Splendor recorded her second win in 10 starts this year and now owns three wins and over $65,000 banked from 13 career tries after getting the 4 1/2-furlongs in 52.85.
Then one night earlier on the Thursday program, Boaster (Bocachica) continued his upward form cycle for the $50,000 Frank Gall Memorial Stakes this weekend when he rallied from well off the pace and widest of all to capture a two-turn allowance. A four-year-old Creative Cause colt trained by Runco for owner Huntertown Farm, Boaster notched his first victory of the season and now owns a solid 7-5-6 slate and $160,000 bankroll from 21 career outings after getting the seven panels in 1:24.70 over the sloppy track.