Four Virginia-bred horses recently reached the winner’s circle at Charles Town including a consistent mare that was making her 70th career start.
Storming Margaret, an 8 year old Here’s Zealous mare, made her 70th start quite memorable in kicking off the month. She came four wide from fourth in the final turn of her $10,000 claiming race to nip Mrs. Sport by a neck at the wire and record her 12th victory. Bred by Rodger Smith, Stormin Margaret has been a model of consistency in her career. She has 15 runner-up finishes to go with 13 thirds, and has recorded 31 consecutive “top five” finishes, a streak that goes back over 2 1/2 years. Her career earnings stand at $175,905. She is out of the Smoke Glacken mare, Storm in Philly.
Max James orchestrated a nice comeback to reach the winner’s circle at Charles Town early in the month. The 4 year old Union Rags gelding was ninth at the halfway mark of his 1 1/8th miles claimer amongst a field of ten before stepping up. He advanced to seventh at the third fraction, though still nearly ten lengths off the pace, before a huge rally. Max James crossed 2 1/2 lengths to the best in 1:56.46. He was bred by Audley Farm, is out of Pink Champagne by Awesome Again, and has now earned $40,940 from 14 starts.
Girlwthewrngtattoo authored a gate to wire effort at the West Virginia oval for owner/breeder Donna Hayes. The 4 year old daughter of Fiber Sonde beat runner-up Charitable Bound by 1 3/4 lengths in her $24,000, 6 1/2 furlong allowance. She is out of the Housebuster mare, Miss Morgana and has $36,700 in winnings from 7 starts.
Braxton was the most recent Charles Town victor, connecting on Valentine’s Day in a $24,500 allowance sprint. Sent off as the betting favorite, the 4 year old Peak Dancer gelding trailed early in the 4 1/2 furlong event, got to within 1 1/2 lengths of the leader at the top of the stretch and within 1/16th of the finish, finally gained control. Braxton crossed in :52.66, 3 1/4 lengths the best. Owned and bred by the Eagle Point Farm in Ashland, the Javier Contreras trainee won for the third time in six career outings. He is out of Toccoa by Purple Comet.
Other recent Virginia-bred triumphs occurred at Tampa Bay Downs, Gulfstream and Laurel.
Black Prong, owned and bred by Sarah Nagle and trained by Reid Nagle, came back from ninth at the half in his one mile, $14,700 claimer at Tampa to win by a half length over Indy Forest. The 4 year old Wiseman’s Ferry gelding rallied inside early in the stretch then went outside late. Out of Talented Nut by Horse Chestnut, Black Prong has finished out of the money just once in his eight career starts. He has bankrolled $37,330.
Gamer Girl collected her first lifetime win at Gulfstream in a six furlong, $21,000 maiden claimer. The 4 year old Jersey Town filly went gate to wire in 1:12.27 and crossed 1 1/4 lengths the best. She is out of the Meadowlake mare, Speedwell, and was bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm. In her last three starts, all at Gulfstream, she has a pair of seconds and a win.
Porte Cochere, bred by Legacy Farm and Larry Johnson, prevailed in a $15,000 claiming sprint at Laurel. The 5 year old Street Sense mare won for the sixth time. She had 12 “in the money” finishes in 24 starts before finishing sixth earlier this week. She is out of the Partner’s Hero mare, Wonderous Woman.
A Virginia owned Kentucky-bred horse also was victorious at Laurel this past week. Rumor Ridge made her second lifetime start and collected her first win — by 4 1/2 lengths — for the Burning Daylight Farms and trainer Ferris Allen. The three year old Yes It’s True filly, who did not race as a two year old, beat ten others in a $40,000 maiden special weight race.
In recent stakes competition, Virginia-bred One Go All Go competed in his first Grade I event — the Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes — and did quite respectably. The 6 year old horse finished fourth but only lost by 1 3/4 lengths. Bred by Albert Coppola, the solid outing enabled One Go All Go’s bankroll to surge over the $400,000 mark.
Tyfosha, a three year old filly bred by Lazy Lane Farms, also took fourth in a stakes at Oaklawn — the $125,000 Martha Washington. She has now bankrolled $86,050 from just five races.