Racing News and Notes
(Thursday, September 16, 2010) Charles Town Oaks Notes
Charles Town Oaks Notes
September 16, 2010
“Hands-On” Casey Poised for Big Night
Not too many trainers pony their own horses to the gate in $400,000 stakes races, but owner-trainer John Casey is the exception to the rule.
“You could say I’m hands on,” says the Charles Town based Casey who will send out Down Town Allen in the Charles Town Oaks and Mr. Proud Allen in the $100,000 Charles Town Juvenile. “I like to pony my own horses, so we’ll see on Saturday night.”
Down Town Allen, likely one of the favorites in the Charles Town Oaks has been on a tear in 2010, going 5-for-5 with two wins coming in open stakes company. The West Virginia-bred daughter of Windsor Castle took the $100,000 Lady Charles Town on Sprint Festival night and the $85,000 West Virginia Secretary of State on the West Virginia Derby undercard. Most recently, she romped to a 13 ¼ length win in the Sylvia Bishop Memorial, restricted to state-breds.
“Down Town Allen – she’s been real good to us,” Casey further explained. “She ran a lot as a two-year-old, we gave her the whole winter off and she came back even better. Sometimes when you give them that much time after running a lot as a two-year-old, you have to worry about them not coming back as good, but she just keeps getting better.”
While Casey wasn’t always certain that Down Town Allen would turn into a stakes horse, he never had such doubts about his star two-year-old, Mr. Proud Allen.
“Unlike Down Town Allen, we could tell Mr. Proud Allen was very good from the get-go. We turned him loose and he could run.”
Mr. Proud Allen figures to be favored in the Charles Town Juvenile off his two career starts, the second of which was a win in the Mountaineer Juvenile, also on the West Virginia Derby undercard. While the Juvenile will be his first start around two-turns, Casey isn’t concerned.
“He’s used to this track and we train him going two-turns, so it shouldn’t be an issue.”
One person who would certainly share in a big night for the barn is the namesake of both horses – Casey’s two-year-old son Allen, frequently seen with his dad in the winners’ circle.
“Both the horses are named for my son Allen and he’s a big part of it for me. We have definitely have a chance to have a great night. There’s no question about that.”
Amoss Looks Live with Beyondallboundarys
Finishing third at odds of 5-to-2 in a graded stakes can be hard for a trainer to swallow, but not for Tom Amoss when talking about his improving sprinter Beyondallboundaries. In the Victory Ride (G3) on Travers’ day, Beyondallboundarys chased the pace three-wide and had to settle for the show spot as the Bob Baffert trained Rapport drew off in the stretch for a 3 ½ length win.
“I really thought she ran a good race in the Victory Ride,” said trainer Tom Amoss. “As the day went on, it appeared that the track was playing more for speed down on the inside and that probably worked against her, so I was happy with it.”
Amoss, who brought his multiple graded stakes winner Backtalk to contest the Red Legend at Charles Town in June says he decided on a return visit and to run Beyondallboundarys in the Charles Town Oaks when taking a look at the surface and running styles that seem to succeed at the track.
“The racing surface looked safe and fair. And the horses I’m bringing this time (Beyondallboundaries and Double Espresso for the Pink Ribbon) have that type of tactical speed that gives horses an edge at Charles Town.”
While Amoss acknowledges that her first try around two-turns is in the back of his mind, he’s not overly concerned.
“She’s a confirmed sprinter and with the circumference of your track it seems like it’ll be fine, but it is on my mind a little bit.”
With Calvin Borel, who rode Beyondallboundarys in the Victory Ride, honoring a commitment to a charity event in Louisiana, Deshawn Parker will ride the daughter of Saint Liam for the first time.
Twelve Pack Shelly Looks to Flaunt Her Speed
In Saturday night’s $100,000 Miss Shenandoah, a 4 ½ furlong test for two-year-old fillies, the John Salzman trained Twelve Pack Shelly looks to show some more of the speed that’s helped her produce an impressive resume only five starts into her career.
In her first start in April, Twelve Pack Shelly set a new track record at Laurel in a 10 ¾ length victory that stopped the timer in :50.83 for the 4 ½ furlongs. She followed that up with a third place finish in the Kentucky Juvenile (G3) where she came in only a neck behind second place finisher, and recent winner of the Hopeful (G1), Boys at Toscanova.
“She’s very, very fast,” Salzman said about Twelve Pack Shelly. “But in that race at Churchill, she grabbed a quarter and it set her back a little bit.”
Following the Kentucky Juvenile, Salzman sent her to run in the Polly Drummond at Delaware Park. However, after a disastrous start where the filly went to her knees, Twelve Pack Shelly could only manage a sixth place finish, 11 ½ lengths behind winner Final Mesa.
“The gate issue at Delaware was a one-time deal. She’s actually a really good gate horse,” said Salzman. “She’s so fast that she almost outbroke herself and went to her knees. It was a miracle the rider stayed on her.”
Following the loss in the Drummond, the two-year-old daughter of Deputy Storm returned with an allowance score at Presque Isle Downs and, most recently, a win in the $100,000 Colleen Stakes at Monmouth – a win that proved very encouraging to her trainer.
“The last race at Monmouth I was very pleased with her. She was able to lay second, opened up by four turning for home and won it professionally. We didn’t take her back from the pace by any means, but she showed she could run with another horse in front of her. She doesn’t need the lead.”
More importantly to Salzman, his star filly looks like she’s putting the quarter-crack issues behind her and is returning to the form that made her on odds-on favorite in a graded stakes in only her second lifetime start.
“I’d say for the race at Presque Isle, she was at 75 percent, for the race at Monmouth in the Colleen, she was about 90 percent and now I feel like I’ve got her right at 100 percent.”
Susan G. Komen Officials on Hand to Present Pink Ribbon Trophy
Saturday marks the second annual Race for the Ribbon event at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, with proceeds from certain events dedicated to breast cancer research, treatment and care.
Additionally, the second running of the $75,000 Pink Ribbon will feature a competitive field of 10 fillies and mares as well as some special Race for the Ribbon guests. Rebecca Newhouse, president of the West Virginia affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Foundation will be joined by other Komen personnel to present to the trophy for the Pink Ribbon.
For the second consecutive year, the events being held include a breast cancer walk taking place on the track on Saturday at noon, as well as a silent auction being held on the third floor of the Skyline Terrace restaurant. The proceeds from these events will be donated to Susan G. Komen’s West Virginia affiliate.
# # #
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, a Penn National Gaming property, is a world-class entertainment venue offering visitors more than 5,000 slot machines, live and simulcast horse racing and a wide range of food and beverage choices, including the 350-seat Epic Buffet. The historic Charles Town Races has hosted live thoroughbred racing since 1933 and began offering gaming to visitors in 1997. Conveniently located about a one-hour drive from the Baltimore and Washington DC beltways, Charles Town Races & Slots is one of the region’s fastest growing gaming and entertainment destinations with more than four million visitors each year.
Hotel accommodations can be found on property at the Inn at Charles Town, which features 153 comfortable guest rooms including 18 spacious suites that overlook live thoroughbred racing action. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet, wireless internet access and can unwind by taking the complimentary shuttle service to enjoy racing, slot action and dining at one of nine restaurants at Hollywood Casino at Charles town Races. The Inn at Charles Town offers a variety of rooms to host business or social functions.
Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races recently introduced table games and a poker room to a newly renovated casino floor and was rebranded in a 1930s art deco look. For more information, visit www.hollywoodcasinocharlestown.com.