Race of the Day, May 22 10:20 P.M. ET
Charles Town, Race 9, Claiming 5K, non-winners of 2 lifetime (excluding state-bred), 7 furlongs, Purse: $11K
We take out first late-night trip to Charles Town Races (and slots!) tonight. I’ve spent a decent amount of time at this track which is located just about 45 minutes outside of DC (where I lived for 7 years). It’s right near Harper’s Ferry, so it’s a great trip for the history and horse racing buff. Charles Town races in the evening, except on Sundays during the summer and Fall. They replace Sunday with Tuesday night during the winter.
The track is relatively speed/presser favoring, like most smaller, tighter tracks. Races are often competitive with horses generally more variable in performance than at a major track. Smaller track pools means that smaller budget players can sometimes scoop an entire Pick 3 or Pick 4 pool — something that would be unheard of at a major tracks (granted the payoffs are significantly less).
Tonight’s race is for horses that haven’t won a race other than their maidens with one major exception: state-bred races do not count. This gives an opportunity for horses to tackle these levels after winning against state-bred company. Second Battalion (#2, 5-2) is relatively lightly raced, having made only 9 lifetimes starts. He drops in for the 5K tag after some decent efforts at the 12,500 and 7,500 levels. He likes to close from off the pace, which means that he’ll have to have a few things go his way to win here. Readysetketch (#6, 3-1) has twice run competitive races at this level and certainly ranks as a factor. Ice Fighter (#1, 9-2) continues to try this level after winning 3 races against West Virginia-breds. His last race was way too long for him — if you throw that out, he’s certainly a contender. Oakeshott (#3, 9/2) is the lightest race horse in the field, having just broken his maiden in his fourth start. It is extremely difficult to pass this class level immediately after breaking your maiden at Charles Town, and even for talented horses, usually takes more than one start. Huggy Boy (#5, 6-1) , with local legend Travis Dunkelberger aboard, is 1 for 27, with 7 seconds. He’s a bit off form and seems unlikely. Warren’s Bugler (#7, 8-1) a well-traveled horse that has switched barns often, is another that figures on speed, but already has several failures at this level.
- How is the track playing tonight — are horses able to close? If they are, then Second Battalion looms larges.
- Can Dunkelberger make a difference on Huggy Boy?
- Will Readysetketch show more stamina in his 4th start since the layoff?
In many ways, this is a prototypical Charles Town race. There are several contenders, each with flaws, but who are generally even on speed. Second Battallion certainly should benefit from the class relief, but Readysetketch should ideally improve today. Ice Fighter certainly may be the best price, given his terrible last out performance. I wouldn’t feel terribly comfortable without all three if I was playing the Pick 4, and I would even consider going wider, if your budget allows.
We’ll be live on Twitter @alldayracing at 10:20 ET. Good luck!