02/02/2013 1:57PM

Charles Town: Broad But Nice, 7, enters Tuesday feature in best form of career

Renee Ludwig
The 7-year-old mare Broad But Nice won five short sprints at Charles Town during a 10-race campaign in 2012.

At an age when most mares are finished racing, Broad But Nice is running faster than ever. After two easy wins that produced the two best Beyer Speed Figures of her 30-race career, Broad But Nice will step up substantially in class for the first start of her 7-year-old campaign in Tuesday night’s $30,000 feature at Charles Town.

The 4 1/2-furlong sprint is open to second-level allowance fillies and mares, nonwinners of four lifetime, and $25,000 claimers.

Broad But Nice, who has raced exclusively at Charles Town during a career in which she has won 11 races, seems to have responded well to trainer Kevin Patterson’s decision to race her sparingly. She returned from a two-month break to score by six lengths in October, earning a career-best 82 Beyer. Two months later, she crushed $5,000 claimers by seven lengths with a 78 Beyer.

Broad But Nice resurfaces six weeks later for the optional $25,000 tag. Moving horses way up in class following a win is not one of Patterson’s strengths. He is just 1 for 9 in that category the past five years.

Broad But Nice’s stiffest competition figures to come from Maryland shipper Metal Firecracker. Trained by Hugh McMahon, the 4-year-old Metal Firecracker defeated conditioned $25,000 claimers by 13 1/2 lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs at Penn National in mid-October. In her first two starts of 2013, both at Laurel Park, she held the lead until deep stretch in a pair of longer sprints, first against $30,000 claimers and most recently facing $18,000 claimers. She should appreciate the cutback to 4 1/2 furlongs.

Wild Gabriella has been first or second in 9 of 13 starts in short sprints at Charles Town. A 5-year-old trained by Javier Contreras, Wild Gabriella scored as the 6-5 favorite two starts ago in a nonwinners-of-three allowance. Last time out, at the same level as Tuesday’s race, she stumbled coming out of the gate and finished fifth.

Spring Jump is eligible to improve as she takes a distinct class drop and shortens in distance. Among her last five starts were three stakes and a pair of optional $40,000 claimers. The 5-year-old Spring Jump has hit the board in 3 of 4 starts at Charles Town.

Because of Me ran well at Tuesday’s class level several times last season in Pennsylvania, but in two previous visits to Charles Town last winter she recorded low Beyers of 48 and 52.