07/14/2017 9:10AM

11-year-old horse to have supervised work at Charles Town


Stewards at Charles Town Races in West Virginia have agreed to allow an 11-year-old horse who has not started in 6 1/2 years to have a supervised workout that could lead to the horse being permitted to enter a race at the track, the stewards and the connections of the horse said this week.

Awesome Actor, who last started in December 2010 at Charles Town, will work on Saturday at the track under the supervision of the state veterinarian, according to the horse’s owner, James King, and the chief state steward, Danny Wright. Following the workout, the state veterinarian will evaluate the horse and draw blood to verify that the horse has not been administered any medications that would affect his performance in the workout, Wright said.

“We want to make sure the horse is fit enough to do what he is being asked to do,” Wright said on Friday.

Two weeks ago, stewards at Charles Town ordered the horse scratched from a race despite the horse being eligible to start under West Virginia racing rules. The stewards acknowledged that they acted after being notified of criticism of the entry on social-media sites. The criticism was based entirely on the horse’s age and long layoff.

King said at the time that the horse was fit and had been in training for five months. The long layoff was due in part to a protracted dispute over the horse’s ownership that precluded King from entering the horse in a race, King said.

King said on Thursday night that Awesome Actor is healthy and ready to run. The horse has earned $140,575 from 22 career starts from 2008-10, but he finished last in all three of his most recent races at Charles Town.

King had entered the horse in a $5,000 claiming race at Charles Town, but the horse was not entered to be claimed, under a rule allowing that designation for a horse who has not started in six months or longer. At the time of the entry, Awesome Actor had one published workout on June 24, but a second workout on June 10 has been added to the horse’s records since then. King had maintained that clockers did not enter the June 10 workout into the horse’s records because they failed to identify him before he went into the gate.

Wright said Awesome Actor will be evaluated by the state veterinarian following the work for any physical problems. The horse will also be required to work in a “timely manner,” Wright said, to be eligible to be entered.