Updated on 04/14/2012 10:07PM

Charles Town: Magical Feeling scores as favorite in Sugar Maple

Mike Montgomery
The 6-year-old Magical Feeling, ridden by Roberto Alvarado Jr., captures her second major stakes of the season in the $200,000 Sugar Maple.

At an time when many mares her age are already in midst of their second career as a broodmare, Magical Feeling is racing better than ever.

Following up on her 27-1 upset in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap in February, the 6-year-old Magical Feeling collected another six-figure stakes when she rallied as the 8-5 favorite to win Saturday night's $200,000 Sugar Maple at Charles Town.

In winning for the seventh time in 11 starts over the past two seasons for trainer Allen Iwinski and owner Peter Blum, Magical Feeling ($5.60) ran the seven furlongs under Roberto Alvarado Jr. in 1:25.10. It was the fastest of three stakes run at the distance on the card, topping by .02 of a second the win one race earlier by the undefeated  3-year-old male Flashy Dresser in the $250,000 Robert Hilton Memorial.

My Sunshine Gal, third in last season's Charles Town Oaks, was the early leader in the two-turn Sugar Maple, but surrendered the lead to 40-1 longshot Lightshaft, a Parx shipper who had won her maiden just three starts ago in February.  Magical Feeling challenged Lightshaft for the lead approaching the top of the stretch, opened up by about two lengths, and was 1 1/4 lengths clear of Island Bound at the finish. Strike the Moon, the winner of the Charles Town Oaks in her only previous visit to the West Virginia track, was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third at 5-1. Lady of Greatness, scratched out of the six-furlong Primonetta at Pimlico earlier in the day, overcame a poor start and some traffic trouble on the first turn to check in fourth as the 2-1 second choice.

Russell Road much the best in Confucius Say

Bettors had a difficult time deciding whether Son of a Bear or Russell Road should be favored in Saturday night’s $40,000 Confucius Say Stakes for West Virginia-breds at Charles Town, sending off both horses at even money. The outcome wasn’t nearly as close.

The millionaire Russell Road, making a powerful five-wide move from sixth on the backstretch, blew past the field and rolled to a 4 1/2-length score over Son of a Bear in the seven-furlong race.

"I know the horse really well," jockey Luis Perez said. "He's really special. You don't find many like this.”

Russell Road ($4.20) was making his first start since he was a badly beaten fourth as the 1-2 favorite in the restricted A Huevo last Nov. 19. He had previously whipped Son of a Bear by 9 1/2 lengths in the $450,000 West Virginia Breeders’ Classic going 1 1/8 miles and finished two lengths in front of his rival when they met going 1 1/16 miles in September.

“He's trained well this year. As good as he ever has," said trainer James W. Casey. "We laid him up for six months and took him to the farm. He was getting a little stale so we took him and babied him."

The 6-year-old Russell Road, owned by Mark Russell, has now won 20 of 33 starts lifetime.

* The 7-year-old mare Silver Heart ($2.60) continued her love affair with Charles Town, where she has gone 13 for 29 lifetime, by wiring the field in the seven-furlong, $50,000 Original Gold for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares.

* Go Maire Tu ($55), winless in 14 straight starts dating back to March 2, 2011, surged past dueling pacesetters Disco Indy and Pure Rey at the top of the stretch and upset the $55,000 finals of the inaugural Charles Town Starter Handicap. Arnaldo Bocachica rode the 4-year-old Go Maire Tu for trainer Mark Shanley and owner Glen Shamburg.

* Short-sprint specialist Immortal Eyes ($3.40), capitalizing when pacesetter Yukon Wildcat came wide into the stretch, shot up an opening on the rail under Travis Dunkelberger and rallied to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths in teh $50,000 Webb Snyder at 4 1/2 furlongs.