OTB Race Previews & Odds
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Tepid 7-2 morning line favorite Fashion Faux Pas leads a full gate of 10 3-year-old fillies Saturday in Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races' Grade 3, $300,000 Charles Town Oaks.
The Charles Town Oaks is the marquee racing event on the track's 12-race Race for the Ribbon program which includes seven stakes and gets underway at a special first post of 5 p.m. ET.
Race 11 at Charles Town on Saturday, September 21 - Post 10:15 PM
|1||La Chancla||5-1||Jose Ortiz
|2||Irish Mischief||8-1||Joel Rosario
|3||Parisian Diva||12-1||Jose Montano
|5||Newly Minted||4-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|6||Lady T N T||10-1||J. Acosta
|7||Fashion Faux Pas||7-2||Daniel Centeno
|8||Taylor's Spirit||12-1||Arnaldo Bocachica
|9||South of France||9-2||Luis Saez
Owned by Denlea Park, Ltd. and Kent Spellman, Fashion Faux Pas sports a pair of stakes wins in her young career and owns a runner-up finish to 2018 champion 2-year-old filly Jaywalk in the Delaware Oaks (G3) in July. Most recently, the daughter of Flatter had a disastrous trip as the odds-on favorite in Parx's $150,000 Cathryn Sophia when she appeared ready to challenge eventual winner Jeltrin prior to taking up sharply on the far turn and fading to eighth.
While Fashion Faux Pas has shown an ability to win on the lead in her career, her trainer Arnaud Delacour indicated he doesn't think its prerequisite for success on Saturday.
"She has the speed to make the lead, but she also has the ability to sit off the pace," Delacour said. "I know Charles Town has a unique configuration, and so you never know how it will play out until you try, but I think she will like it."
Daniel Centeno, who will ride Fashion Faux Pas in her sixth straight outing, breaks from Post 7.
Unbeaten and relatively unchallenged on dirt, Beach Haven Thoroughbreds' Newly Minted will hope to make her first start outside of restricted company a winning one and give trainer Linda Rice her second victory in the Charles Town Oaks in the process. Rice captured the race in 2015 with Hot City Girl.
In five lifetime starts, the New York-bred by Central Banker is 4-for-4 on dirt with her lone defeat coming on the grass in the New York Stallion Stakes at Belmont Park. In those four dirt wins, no rivals has come within 2 1/2 lengths of Newly Minted when she hit the wire and she most recently rolled to a nine-length score in the Fleet Indian Stakes at Saratoga.
The seven-furlong distance of the Charles Town Oaks represents a cutback of a quarter-mile from that effort in the Fleet Indian, a fact that Rice actually views as a positive.
"She's raced well on the dirt, won going long, won going short, and she's really impressed us so far. I think the experience of going two turns last time should help, but we're looking forward to getting her back sprinting and think this is a great spot for her where we've had success in the past."
Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call on Newly Minted for the first time this Saturday.
Todd Pletcher is no stranger to success in West Virginia's eastern panhandle having won a pair of Charles Town Classics in his illustrious career. However, the seven-time Eclipse Award winning trainer is still looking for his first victory in the Charles Town Oaks and will turn to the talented South of France this Saturday night in an effort to get it for him.
After beginning her career with four straight defeats, the bay filly by Quality Road was dropped in to a $50,000 maiden claimer at Keeneland, which subsequently produced the first win for the $180,000 yearling purchase. She would go on to follow that up with a pair of wins to close out her 2-year-old season, including a five-length romp in the Tepin Stakes at Aqueduct. Following a break of nearly nine months, South of France returned to the races at Saratoga where she finished a respectable second to the graded stakes winning older filly Talk Veuve to Me.
At 9-2 on the morning line, South of France breaks from Post 9 under jockey Luis Saez.
Talk Veuve to Me's trainer, Rodolphe Brisset, will try and get the better of South of France once again as he sends out the lightly raced La Chancla in the Charles Town Oaks. The filly owned by LNJ Foxwoods will mark Brisset's ever first starter at Charles Town.
Purchased for $775,000 as a 2-year-old in training, the filly by Uncle Mo has won two straight after a fourth-place finish in her career debut in May, with her most recent start resulting in an allowance victory at Saratoga. The Charles Town Oaks will not only be La Chancla's stakes debut, but it'll also be her first effort around two turns or beyond 6 1/2 furlongs.
"She is training very well and the timing is perfect," said the 34-year-old native of France. "We are looking forward to running her two turns, and of course the chance to add black type is very appealing."
Jose Ortiz, who piloted La Chancla in her last two wins, has the call once again.
Trainer David Fawkes sends out e Five Racing's Lovesick in an effort to recapture some of the success he's had at Charles Town over the past decade. In 2009, Fawkes saddled eventual Breeders' Cup Sprint victor Big Drama when he took the now discontinued Red Legend Stakes as well as 2011 Charles Town Classic champ Duke of Mischief who almost added a second win in the race a year later.
A perfect 3-for-3 on fast tracks in her five outings, the daughter of Adios Charlie notched the first stakes of her career in a Florida restricted stakes towards the end of her 2-year-old year and followed that up with a victory in the unrestricted Liza Jane at Gulfstream Park. Last out in the Azalea at Gulfstream, Lovesick checked in fourth, beaten 2 3/4 lengths after contesting the pace.
Fawkes, who has spent his fair share of time around tracks with a tighter configuration believes his sophomore filly might fit one quite well this weekend.
"I was born and raised on a bullring track at Sportsman Park. And when I got this filly, I just felt like she might fit the track well, and I think she certainly fits in the race," he said. "She's got great tactical speed and she'll rate kindly if you need her to, so we're looking forward to seeing how she does."
Tyler Gaffalione will be in the irons aboard Lovesick, who leaves from Post 4.
The local charge has done well recently in Charles Town's marquee events with West Virginia-breds Runnintoluvya and Late Night Pow Wow capturing the last two graded stakes run at the track. On Saturday night, the local hopes will rest with Melinda Golden's Parisian Diva as she tries to make it three straight graded stakes won at Charles Town by horses bred in the Mountain State.
Worse than second only once in her ten race career, Parisian Diva comes into the Charles Town Oaks off of a runaway victory in the restricted Sylvia Bishop Memorial on August 24. A perfect 3-for-3 at Charles Town's two-turn, 7-furlong distance, the Stacey Viands trainee took her show on the road earlier this year and narrowly missed upsetting Miss Preakness (G3) runner-up Please Flatter Me in the Alma North Stakes at Laurel Park.
According to Parisian Diva's trainer, she couldn't be coming into the race any better.
"She's peaking," said the Charles Town-based Viands. "Since the day I got her, this filly has just been so special. She loves her job. She's got such a great mind and she's just great to be around. Just have to hope for a clean trip and let the cards fall where they may."
Another horse with local ties that will try her hand in the Charles Town Oaks is Scott and Evan Dilworth's Lady T N T, trained by West Virginia native Joe Sharp.
Seeking the first stakes win in her fifth attempt, Sharp wants to see his filly put her greatest asset to use on Saturday night - her speed.
"She's really fast, and obviously speed is good to have there, especially going the two-turn seven-eighths. She's doing really well and I think she'll fit the track well."
Blinkers will come off Lady T N T on Saturday night as she inherits the services of J.D. Acosta in the saddle.
Irish Mischief, multiple stakes winner Taylor's Spirit and Scatrattleandroll - whose dam Haley's Lolipop ran in the first ever running of the Charles Town Oaks in 2009 - complete the lineup.
Post time for the Charles Town Oaks is set for 10:15 p.m.
Melinda Golden of Hancock, Md., has owned horses since 1969 but has never had as much fun as she's currently enjoying with her homebred filly Parisian Diva.
The 3-year-old West Virginia-bred by Freedom Child out of Paris Heiress, by Wildcat Heir, has won seven races from 11 starts with three seconds and a third for earnings of $191,845.
On top of that, she's won $36,700 from the Virginia Thoroughbred Association's Virginia-Certified Program.
"It's been wonderful," she said of the program that she first learned about reading the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazine. "My filly was on a farm in West Virginia with no other babies around, and I thought, this baby needs to be in a field with other babies, run around with them, learn to push her way into the feed tub, things like that. They are social animals."
Golden called Brooke Royster at Chance Farm in Gordonsville, Va., and arranged to send the filly there. She spent eight months at Chance Farm (one of more than 125 farms and training centers certified for the program), more than the six-month requirement before the end of a horse's 2-year-old year, and was registered in the Virginia-Certified Program. Then it was off to the races with trainer Stacey Viands.
Parisian Diva won her debut at Charles Town by 7 ¼ lengths last Sept. 8 in a harbinger of things to come. After a second- and third-place finish in a pair of stakes at the West Virginia track, the little bay filly (Golden says she weighs in at just 954 pounds) ended her 2-year-old campaign with a victory in the Eleanor Casey Memorial Stakes at Charles Town.
After a winter break, Parisian Diva returned to the races at three and has won five of seven, including two stakes at Charles Town. In her only racing venture outside of West Virginia, Golden's filly was a closing second to odds-on favorite Please Flatter Me in the Alma North Stakes at Laurel Park in Maryland on June 16. With each victory, checks from the VTA arrive like clockwork at the end of the month.
"It's just lovely to have that money coming in," Golden said.
Next up for her star filly is the $300,000 Charles Town Oaks on September 21. The Grade 3 race usually attracts top-class fillies from around the country.
"I may be embarrassed, but I think she deserves a chance," Golden said.
In the meantime she has two other West Virginia-bred "divas," Bronze Diva and Magician's Diva, who are 2-year-olds and registered in Virginia's program. Golden is hoping a yearling full brother to Parisian Diva can follow in her older sibling's footsteps.
"I have had offers that were fairly substantial (to buy Parisian Diva), and I didn't take the money," Golden said. "I'm just having too much fun."
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