WEST VIRGINIA GOVERNOR'S STAKES | PURSE: $200,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | 1 1/16 MILES
In the highlight stakes race on the West Virginia Derby undercard, Clovertowne Farm's homebred Taptowne survived an inquiry to score in the $200,000 West Virginia Governor's Stakes as the 6-5 favorite.
The five-year-old gelding tracked the leader and eventual second-place finisher Whatthecatdrugin on the outside, grabbed the lead coming around the far turn and ducked to the inside at the top of the stretch, causing that rival to check briefly. Taptowne moved clear in the stretch and held on for a two-length win. A steward's inquiry into the run entering the stretch resulted in no change, and the son of Tapit crossed the wire in 1:44 ⅘ for the 1 1/16-mile contest over the fast main track with Calvin Borel aboard.
Whatthecatdrugin overcame a late stumble to get up for second, while it was another 2 3/4 lengths back to 8-5 second choice Mordi's Miracle in third. Son of a General and Eighttofasttocatch rounded out the order of finish. Ojos de Hielo and Percussion were both scratched.
This was the first stakes win for Taptowne since being transferred to Tim Glyshaw, who just started training him at the start of 2013. He won an optional claiming race at Oaklawn Park in his second start of the year and followed up with a second-place finish in the Oaklawn Handicap. Taptowne was exiting a runner-up finish in the Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows. The gray grabbed $126,000 for his second stakes victory to increase his earnings to $511,183 from a 26-6-5-3 career line.
One race earlier, Mark Russell's Russell Road won the $100,000 Senator Robert C. Byrd Memorial Stakes via disqualification. Jasizzle crossed the wire 7 ¾ lengths ahead of his next closest rival but was placed second after a stewards inquiry revealed that he veered into the path of 3-5 favorite Russell Road at the break. The final time of the race was clocked in 1:09 ⅘.
Jose Montano rode the James Casey charge for his 20th career stakes victory, giving the chestnut a total of $1,525,918 in lifetime earnings from a 44-26-8-4 line. The seven-year-old gelded son of Wheaton was entering in here off a score in the Independence Day Stakes over this track on July 2 in a race that was taken off the turf.
In the sister race to the Byrd, Lloyd Schwing's Ms Anna Destiny captured her first stakes in the $100,000 West Virginia Secretary of State Stakes. The Brad Cox-trained daughter of Anabaa tracked the pace four wide around the far turn, grabbed the lead at the top of the stretch and pulled away from the field to win by four lengths. With Ricardo Santana Jr. in the irons, the five-year-old mare stopped the teletimer in 1:10 ⅗ going six furlongs over the main track.
Ms Anna Destiny was claimed three starts back from Dale Romans and Franklin Smith Jr., and was exiting a half-length victory in an optional claimer over a sloppy Indiana Downs track earlier last month. The dark bay has a career mark of 24-7-1-5, $198,499.
Blazing Meadows Farm LLC and Cottonwood Stables LLC's Rise Up kicked off the first stakes race on the day by wiring the field for a 4 ¾-length score in the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes as the 2-1 second choice. The Tim Hamm pupil broke alertly, had a head lead at the quarter-pole before he slowly started to draw away from the field and padded his lead in the stretch. The two-year-old colt stopped the clock in 1:11 for the six-furlong test over the main track with Rosie Napravnik up.
The Rockport Harbor bay was coming off his maiden win in his second attempt over Presque Isle Downs' Tapeta track back on June 26. With Saturday's first stakes win, Rise Up banked $60,900 to boost his bankroll to $88,900 from a 3-2-1-0 line.
In the sister race for two-year-old fillies, Bowman Racing LLC's Silver Valley was much the best as the 2-1 co-favorite in the six-furlong, $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile Fillies Stakes. The Ron Moquette charge broke to an early lead on the outside but settled back in third before taking back over by a head at the half-mile pole and shaking clear in the stretch to come away victorious by four lengths. The bay daughter of Silver Train crossed the wire in 1:12 ⅗ to give jockey Santana his second stakes win in a row.
Silver Valley broke her maiden at first asking back on May 25 for the only start under trainer Bobby Jenkins, and finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Debutante and Schuylerville Stakes her last two times out. She increased her lifetime earnings to $82,609 from a 4-2-0-0 line.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Kentucky homebred Prissy wired the field for her stakes bow in the $100,000 West Virginia Senate President's Cup Stakes in the first race on the firm turf. The Mike Maker trained-four-year-old filly went right to the lead, setting a swift pace along the rail and fought off 6-5 favorite Soft Whisperer to the wire to prevail by a length. The 2-1 second choice traveled one mile and seventy yards in 1:39 ⅖ with Alan Garcia up.
The Unbridled's Song chestnut had won three in a row on the turf before finishing second at Churchill Downs on June 27 in a race that was taken off the turf. Prissy has an impressive career line which reads 6-4-1-0 and $188,200 in lifetime earnings.
In the last stakes race on the card, Loooch Racing Stable Inc.'s Global Power took the field gate-to-wire in the $100,000 West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker's Cup Stakes. For his second start under trainer Jeffery Radosevich, the five-year-old horse broke right to the lead, setting swift fractions, as he built up a four-length lead in the stretch. The bay prevailed by 1 ½ lengths but had to hold off a late charge from 5-2 favorite Derby Kitten. With Scott Spieth in the irons, Global Power went one mile and seventy yards over the turf course in 1:38 ⅖.
The son of Pulpit was exiting a third-place finish in the Arlington Sprint last month, but was placed ninth through disqualification in that race. Global Power won his third stakes and now has a career line which reads 21-7-2-3, $347,702.
Earlier on the card, Jay F. Young's Brooklyn Cowboy was victorious in his stakes debut in the $100,000 West Virginia Legislature Chairman's Cup Stakes. The five-year-old Pomeroy gelding pressured the pace from the outside, took over the lead just past the quarter-pole and was in a dual to the wire with 4-5 favorite Comisky's Humor before edging clear for a 1 ¼-length win. In the first start out of Damon Dilodovico's barn, the 6-1 fourth choice covered 4 ½ furlongs in :52 over the main track with Montano aboard.
Brooklyn Cowboy was exiting a fourth-place finish in an optional claimer at Charles Town last month while being trained by Mike Pino. The bay now sports a record that stands at 20-6-4-4, $199,900.