Charles Town Oaks

Gun Runner's Vahva Gets It Done in Charles Town Oaks

Cherie DeVaux trainee Vahva (f, 3, Gun Runner--Holiday Soiree, by Harlan's Holiday) shipped in to Charles Town off a third in Belmont's July 8 GIII Victory Ride S. to capture Friday night's 15th running of the $750,000 GIII Charles Town Oaks, billed as the richest sprint race for sophomore fillies in North America. Off at 7-5, Vahva raced just behind the leaders while 96-1 Late Frost (Frosted) set early fractions of :23.37 and :46.82 as Undervalued Asset (Speightstown) pressured her from the outside. The two pacesetters pulled well clear of...

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Showdown at the Spa as Personal Ensign Heads Friday's Graded Action

A compelling Grade I race with year-end title implications and it's not even a Saturday? Such is the magic of Saratoga. Friday's $500,000 GI Personal Ensign S. at nine furlongs has attracted older mare division leaders Nest (Curlin) and Clairiere (Curlin). Both are multiple Grade I winners with stellar records; the two will meet for the third time. Nest, last year's Eclipse champion 3-year-old filly, is the 4-5 choice after besting Clairiere in a bang-up GII Shuvee S. July 23 over track and trip. It was her first start of...

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Denali Stud's Curlin Filly The Second To Crash Through $1M Barrier at Saratoga

A Denali Stud-consigned Curlin filly became the second horse to cross the million-dollar threshold Monday at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga when agent David Lanigan paid $1.05 million on behalf of Heider Family Stable. A Jan. 12 foal, the chestnut is the first foal from Lady T N T (Justin Phillip), a $335,000 purchase by Scott and Evan Dilworth out of the 2018 OBS March Sale. A second-out maiden winner at Saratoga for the Dilworths and trainer Joe Sharp, Lady T N T recorded the biggest victory of her career when upsetting the...

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Society Flies 'High' in Charles Town Oaks

Peter Blum's Society (Gun Runner) avenged her lone career defeat to date last time in the GI CCA Oaks with a thoroughly dominating performance in Friday's GIII Charles Town Oaks. Favored on the precipitous drop in class, the beautifully bred chestnut was hustled straight into the lead by Tyler Gaffalione and the duo was pressed along early by 21-1 outsider Chardonnay (Candy Ride {Arg}), with the well-backed Louisiana raider Free Like a Girl (El Deal) not far away in third. Going along easily after four furlongs in a very manageable...

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Palace Malice's Fly On Angel Home First in CT Oaks

Making her first start since being claimed for $50,000 out of a winning effort in a Parx optional claiming event Aug. 10, Fly On Angel caught a flyer out of the gate, set a strong pace up front and managed to last over 'TDN Rising Star' Wicked Whisper by a diminishing half-length to take Friday evening's GIII Charles Town Oaks. Fly On Angel was quickly into stride from gate seven and dropped down onto the fence while taking two-pronged pressure to her outside. Able to pinch a bit of a...

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Tonalist's Shape Foregoes Lilies for CT Oaks

Dual graded winner Tonalist's Shape (Tonalist) bypassed the Sept. 4 GI Kentucky Oaks in favor of running in Friday's GIII Charles Town Oaks. Victorious in the GIII Forward Gal S. and GII Davona Dale S. in February at Gulfstream, the chestnut was off the board as the favorite behind leading Oaks contender Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) in the GII Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks Mar. 28. Returning to winning ways in Hollywood Wildcat S. in Hallandale May 15, she was fourth last time in the nine-panel GI CCA Oaks in Saratoga July...

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