CHARLES TOWN – Three weeks after hosting nine stakes races on its annual West Virginia Breeders Classics card, Charles Town offered the $75,000 Eleanor Casey Memorial for state-bred two-year-old fillies last Saturday night.
Offered as the penultimate race on the card last Saturday night, the Eleanor Casey Memorial featured a rematch between WVBC winner The Sky Is Falling and Rachel’s Turn heroine Fancy Her Up.
Donning blinkers for the first time, Fancy Her Up displayed her speed through the first two turns but it was The Sky Is Falling who finished best of all and splashed home to a three-length score as the even-money choice. A juvenile daughter of Cupid trained by Jeff Runco for owner David Raim, The Sky Is Falling recorded her second-straight stakes tally and third win in four lifetime outings by getting the seven furlongs in 1:27.86 over the sloppy surface.
Three weeks after Runco and rider Arnaldo Bocachica combined to win seven of the nine WVBC stakes, they teamed up again to take the Eleanor Casey Memorial last Saturday night. One race earlier in a one-turn allowance for boys, Lookatlittleferris (Arnaldo Bocachica)lived up to his billing as the even-money favorite when he gained command leaving the chute then splashed home five lengths clear to his second-straight local score.
A Maryland-bred sophomore son of Uncle Alibi trained by Larry Curtis, Lookatlitttleferris now sports two wins from four career tries after getting the 4½ furlongs in 52.38. Then two races earlier in a one-turn maiden special weight event for fillies and mares, Deemed Essential easily lived up to her role as the 2-5 favorite when she disposed of an early rival on the far turn then drew off the lane to a six-length score. A sophomore daughter of Upstart trained by Ronney Brown for owner Jeanine Comiskey, Deemed Essential graduated in her 12th attempt by getting the 4½-furlongs in 53.04 over the off going.
One night earlier in the Friday finale, Brandyurafinegirl (Wesley Ho) gained command soon after the break and led throughout en route to a six-length score in a two-turn maiden special weight event for fillies and mares. A sophomore daughter of Bandbox trainer by Mike Jones, Jr. for owner Brandy Jones, Brandyurafinegirl garnered her diploma in her seventh lifetime try.
Then one race earlier in a two-turn allowance for state-bred fillies and mares, Sonde Affair rallied from well off the pace by saving ground through the first five furlongs then overhauled Love to Zoom late for a head victory. A four-year-old daughter of Fiber Sonde trained by Michael Weeks for owner-breeder Vermont Farms, Sonde Affair recorded her second win from eight lifetime outings by getting the seven panels in 1:28.50.
One night earlier in the penultimate race on the Thursday card, Baytown Frosty easily lived up to his role as the 2-1 favorite in a one-turn allowance dash for two-year-olds when he gained command soon after the break then drew off in the lane to an eight-length score. A juvenile son of Frosted owned and trained by Paul McEntee, Baytown Frosty recorded his second win in eight starts by getting the 4½ furlongs in 52.09.
Then one night earlier in the penultimate race on the Wednesday program, Warrior’s Estate (Victor Rodriguez) benefited from an early speed duel, saved ground through the far turn then angled widest of all for the drive and nailed a gritty Cedar Runs Castle for a head victory in a one-turn allowance for state-bred males. A four-year-old son of Real Estate trained by Michael Atkins for Flamingo Run, Warrior’s Estate notched his second win from eight lifetime tries by getting the 4½-furlongs in 53.49.
One week earlier when Laurel Park hosted the latest edition of the Maryland Million card, Coastal Mission (Arnaldo Bocachica) finished a solid second as the 9-2 third choice in the $100,000 Maryland Million Nursery for two-year-olds. A juvenile son of Great Notion trained by Jeff Runco for Coleswood Farm, Coastal Mission rallied from just off the pace to finish second, beaten two lengths by Buff Hello (Charlie Marquez) in 1:10.51 in his stakes debut.
A full-brother to Lewisfield, a Runco trainee who captured the Maryland Million Sprint, Coastal Mission had won smartly in his career debut when defeating maiden special-weight foes at Charles Town in late September. The West Virginia-bred son of Great Notion then accorded himself well in his stakes debut at Laurel when rallying from just off the pace and down the center of the track to finish second in a game effort.
That same afternoon at Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky, Caramel Swirl rallied from well off the pace to capture the Grade II, $200,000 Raven’s Run Stakes by a head as the 3-1 second choice. A sophomore daughter of Union Rags trained by Bill Mott, Caramel Swirl had finished fourth in the Grade III, $400,000 Charles Town Oaks in her previous start two months earlier then forged her third win in seven starts this year by getting the seven furlongs in 1:23.42.