04/18/2009 11:00PM

Camacho, Casey combine to win two stakes


A return to his home track helped Russell Road rebound from a rare defeat.

Back at Charles Town after his six-race winning streak was snapped when he shipped to New York for the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, Russell Road outfought Bunker Hill by a neck to win the $100,000 Blue and Gold for 3-year-olds on Saturday night.

Maryland-based rider Eric Camacho, subbing for the injured Travis Dunkelberger, kept Russell Road ($6.40) in third behind pacesetter Ju Jitsu Jax and Bunker Hill throughout the early stages of the seven-furlong race, then swung his mount four-wide into the stretch. Bunker Hill, making his first start since October, put his head in front briefly with about a sixteenth of a mile remaining, but Russell Road dug down and outgamed him to the wire while completing the distance in 1:24.88. Ju Jitsu Jax finished third.

It was the second stakes win of the card for trainer James W. Casey and Camacho. Earlier, they teamed up to win the $50,000 Salerno for West Virginia-sired horses with Henry the Lover ($13.40).

A short sprint specialist who faded to last of 10 in his only previous try at seven furlongs in his last 10 starts, the 4-year-old Henry the Lover got an uncontested lead and carried his speed to a two-length win. Blackhossnamdwhity, who came in with a four-race winning streak, finished second, 2 lengths in front of Eastern Delite, the 4-5 favorite. Henry the Lover covered the seven furlongs in 1:26.05.

Locally based jockey Gerald Almodovar also won two stakes on the undercard, scoring a half-length win with Trust or Bust ($14.80) in the $100,000 Webb Snyder at 4 furlongs and guiding Savethebestforlast ($19.40) to a front-running 1 1/4-length victory in the $50,000 Opequon Handicap for fillies and mares, also at 4 furlongs.

Trust or Bust, a 4-year-old trained by Paul McClelland, was making his stakes debut after easily defeating second-level allowance sprinters two weeks earlier. He came from third to run down dueling pacesetters Love's Strong Hart and Hesogoodwithmoney in 50.93 seconds. Love's Strong Heart held off Hesogoodwithmoney by a neck for second. Place Your Bet was fourth at even money.

Savethebestforlast, a 7-year-old mare trained by David Wells, won for the 15th time in 33 starts locally by completing 4 furlongs in 51.30 seconds. La Chica Rica finished second, a length in front of What Time It Is, the 6-5 favorite.