Charles Town Oaks Classic Double 8/28/20
Very rarely do we get to elevate a track like Charles Town to Tier 1 status, but on Friday 8/28 most horseplayers will be eyeballing the mandatory payout on the late pick 6 that is just covered with stakes races. Also, Charles Towns biggest races will be on display in the Charles Town Classic and the Charles Town Oaks. For this article, I am going to focus on just the Oaks and Classic and hopefully help you form a Daily Double.
The Charles Town Oaks is a 7-furlong race for three-year-old girls. Since it's inception in 2009, an interesting fact is that neither jockey nor trainer has ever won this event more than once. The morning-line favorite at 3/1, Tonalist's Shape (#3), fits that narrative to continue, as jockey Christian Hiraldo and Trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr have never won this race. At MASSIVE odds of 20/1, if you like the favorite, you have to respect Ankle Monitor (#5) as well. This horse has the exact same run style as Tonalist's Shape, except she's a little quicker on the back end whereas the TS is quicker early on. And for creatures of habit, Ankle Monitor also fits the bill of trainer and jockey never winning this race. Moving away from superstitions, I have a bit of an affinity for Gifted Heart (#9). This horse is not the fastest but could set up to take over if the pace scenario works out in her favor OR the rain moves in. This horse has a win and a 2nd in the mud, which is exactly what I like to see when the radar says 80% chance of rain.
$5 Win Place Show (if wet conditions) - 9
$2 Win Place Show - 5
Unlike the previous race, this race doesn't have any narratives or trends to follow. Castellano has won this race 3 times since it was introduced in 2009. Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions, most jockeys are not able to travel, so we won't see Castellano try for number 4. This race is 9 furlongs and is for four-year-olds and up. Don't be fooled by the age of War Story (#9). This 8-year-old can still hang with the youngest of the bunch and has put up dominating performances. His last 3 races he has either won or hit the board in. At his later years racing, he races fewer races and picks his spots, which means he is ALWAYS game when he runs. I think most eyeballs and money will gravitate toward Math Wizard (#4). This horse is one of the youngest of the bunch and brings some class. He is a little inconsistent and will have a new jockey on top. For a bit of a price horse, I kind of like Sleepy Eyes Todd (#7) at 10/1. This horse brings some class and has pace-setting capabilities. My knock is that the horse has never run in mud, so if it's wet, this will be a new experience. But I tend to like quick horses on the front end in slop usually.
$0.50 Trifecta 4,7,9/4,7,9,10/1-4,6,7,9,10 ($27)