01/12/2013 3:14PM

Charles Town: Invading pair love local track

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Renee Ludwig
Esporon, who won twice during December at Charles Town, returns to the West Virginia track for Tuesday night's 6 1/2-furlong feature.

Something about a road trip to West Virginia seems to bring out the best in 6-year-old geldings Esporon and Peppi Knows.

Within an eight-day span in December, the New York-based Esporon won back-to-back starts at Charles Town, the first at 6 1/2 furlongs and the second going 1 1/16 miles.

Peppi Knows, who is stabled at Penn National with trainer Tim Kreiser, is 2 for 3 lifetime at Charles Town, including a 3 1/4-length score the last time he visited the track in October.

Esporon and Peppi Knows both look like contenders among six older horses going 6 1/2 furlongs in Tuesday night’s featured eighth race. The $31,000 race is open to horses who have not won two allowance or stakes races within the past five months, nonwinners of four lifetime, and $40,000 claimers. Esporon is the only runner entered for the claiming tag.

During a 10-race campaign in 2012, Esporon raced at four different tracks, recording wins at Parx and Monmouth Park in addition to his two wins last month at Charles Town.

Maryland-based jockey Erick Ramirez, who was aboard for Esporon’s two Charles Town wins, has opted to ride Laurel Park shipper My Charming Clyde on Tuesday night. Although My Charming Clyde is mired in a nine-race losing streak, the 89 Beyer Speed Figure he was awarded for his fifth-place finish in the Dave’s Friend at Laurel Park on Dec. 29 is the best last-race Beyer in Tuesday night’s field.

Peppi Knows has been given some time off since beating only one horse in a six-furlong sprint at Laurel in mid-November. The last two times Peppi Knows has returned after a break of 61 to 180 days, he produced a win at Charles Town in November 2010 and a second in the $75,000 East Hanover Township Stakes at Penn National in 2010.

Twenty Hawks is another dangerous horse returning from a layoff. His last four starts all were routes, including a win going 1 1/8 miles in the Governor’s Cup Handicap at Charles Town in October. Although he is only 1 for 12 sprinting, that victory came at the same level and distance as Tuesday’s race last May at Charles Town.

The last time Twenty Hawks, trained by Ronney Brown, returned from a 31- to 60-day break switching from a route to a sprint, he finished fifth in December 2011.