07/28/2004 11:00PM

Charles Town: Fancy Buckles awfully tough


In each of her last eight starts at Charles Town, 4-year-old filly Fancy Buckles has been heavily favored, including six times at less than even money. She rarely disappointed, winning six times during that span at distances ranging from 4 1/2 to seven furlongs.

Fancy Buckles figures to take heavy action again in the $75,000 Sadie Hawkins Handicap, a seven-furlong race for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares.

Part of a three-horse entry for trainer Tim Grams, Fancy Buckles is 8 for 11 lifetime at Charles Town, where she has never finished worse than third.

If there is anyone capable of upsetting Fancy Buckles, it is probably Ketch a Hello or Miss Roberson.

Ketch a Hello, a stakes winner on the West Virginia Breeders Classics card last fall, finished within 2 1/4 lengths of Fancy Buckles in her first start in eight months on June 25 and should move forward off that effort.

Miss Roberson is one of the most improved fillies on the grounds. Starting with a $2,500 conditioned claiming race in March, she put together a five-race winning streak while rising in class. Her streak finally ended when she was bumped and steadied in the stretch after moving into contention against statebred allowance runners earlier this month. She would be dangerous if she can duplicate any of her four previous performances, all of which were worth between 71 and 79 on the Beyer Speed Figure scale.