09/28/2013 12:34PM

Charles Town: Figgins to start two on short rest in Tuesday allowance


Watch the replay of the Sept. 21 Roger Ramey Handicap, and you will see Allegheny Jack rallying over a speed-favoring, sloppy track to finish in between the victorious Fred High and the millionaire Russell Road. There was just one big problem: Allegheny Jack ran the entire 1 1/16-mile race without a rider on his back.

Allegheny Jack dumped Richard Monterrey after stumbling badly coming out of the gate, so he really didn’t get much out of what was intended to be a prep for a possible start in the Oct. 19 West Virginia Breeders’ Classic, a $450,000 stakes for West Virginia-breds in which he finished third last fall.

So, trainer Ollie Figgins is bringing back the 5-year-old Allegheny Jack for the featured eighth race on the first Tuesday night card of the fall at Charles Town. Allegheny Jack and his uncoupled stablemate, Figpenn, who also ran in an undercard stakes on the Sept. 21 program, are among seven horses in a $27,000 allowance at 1 1/16 miles for non-winners of three lifetime.

Although Allegheny Jack and Figpenn have 11 victories between them, both are eligible because races restricted to West Virginia-breds don’t count against them.

Last October, Allegheny Jack and Figpenn dueled for the lead through the first six furlongs of the 1 1/8-mile Classic before backing up to finish behind current statebred star Lucy’s Bob Boy and Russell Road, the 4-5 favorite who has 26 lifetime wins and a bankroll of $1.5 million. Soundly beaten by the winner, Allegheny Jack was just three-quarters of a length behind Russell Road.

After the Classic, Allegheny Jack did not race again until July, when he made two starts, finishing third and then second, missing by only a head.

A good performance Tuesday night could send Allegheny Jack back for another shot at Charles Town’s richest race for statebreds. He will be ridden for the first time by Xavier Perez.

Over the past two years, Figgins is 7 for 37 (19 percent) with route runners returning in 14 days or fewer.

Figgins also will send out Figpenn, a 4-year-old who won the West Virginia Futurity in 2011. He too failed to perform up to his capabilities while stopping after a half-mile on a sloppy track in the 6 1/2-furlong Dr. Ernest Benner Handicap on Sept. 21. He gets a rider switch to Travis Dunkelberger while trying to snap a seven-race losing streak since his last victory in January.