01/05/2013 3:26PM

Charles Town: Golden Set not in best form

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Mike Montgomery
Golden Set won the West Virginia Lottery for 3-year-olds in 2011, but went 0 for 7 during 2012 and will try to regain his good form in Tuesday night's co-featured eighth race allowance sprint.

Each of the last three seasons, Golden Set crossed the finish line first in a stakes on the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic program at Charles Town. Yet he remains eligilble for Tuesday night’s co-featured eighth race, a seven-furlong allowance restricted to nonwinners-of-two-races lifetime.

Even more strangely, Golden Set may be more of a shaky proposition at a short price than a sure thing.

Golden Set’s victories in the Vince Moscarelli Memorial as a 2-year-old and the West Virginia Lottery for 3-year-olds don’t affect his eligibility for the open company allowance because any wins against West Virginia-bred company don’t count. He officially went 0 for 7 in 2012 after he was disqualified from an apparent nose victory in this fall’s Onion Juice for lugging in and brushing against a rival during the stretch run.

More disturbing, however, are Golden Set’s performances in two subsequent outings. He was second as the 4-5 favorite against similar company to what he will face Tuesday night and then last of four, beaten nearly 23 lengths, after being used up in a duel with the 3-year-old Lucy’s Bob Boy, winner of the $450,000 West Virginia Breeders’ Classic, on Dec. 11.

Fortunately for trainer Jeff Runco, in addition to Golden Set he will send out uncoupled stablemate Don’tmesswithallen, who looks like the biggest threat to the favorite among eight rivals.

The 4-year-old Don’tmesswithallen finished five lengths ahead of Golden Set almost a month ago, but finished 6 1/2 lengths behind his barnmate at the same level as Tuesday’s race two months ago.

The field also includes King of Bop, who steps into open company following back-to-back wins in allowances restricted to statebreds, and Another Oreo, who was beaten less than two lengths in each of his last two starts. Another Oreo is seeking his first win since July 2011.

◗ Race 6 offers identical nonwinners-of-two allowance conditions for fillies and mares going seven furlongs. Ok Listen Up, a four-time winner in 2012, and Heir Gone Wild, runner-up at the same level in each of her last two starts, figure to vie for favoritism while breaking alongside each other from posts 1 and 2.

Ok Listen Up comes off a 5 1/2-length win over a sloppy track while facing statebred optional $16,000 claimers.

Heir Gone Wild set the pace, but allowed a two-length lead at the stretch call to evaporate and lost by a neck as the 5-2 favorite going 6 1/2 furlongs on Dec. 11.