08/23/2012 4:12PM

Charles Town: Navy Chapel tries to rebound in Sylvia Bishop


Navy Chapel, 2011’s champion West Virginia-bred 2-year-old filly but winless in four starts this season, seeks to regain her good form when she takes on six statebred 3-year-old fillies in Saturday’s $50,000 Sylvia Bishop Memorial Stakes at Charles Town.

In five starts at 2, Navy Chapel went undefeated against fillies, and her lone defeat came against males in the Tri-State Futurity. She won three stakes, including the West Virginia Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders’ Classic.

This season, however, has been a disappointment. Although she finished second most recently against open company in a second-level allowance, Navy Chapel’s Beyer Speed Figure of 48 was her lowest since she launched her career in August 2011 by defeating maidens with a 47 Beyer.

Trainer Jeff Runco said Navy Chapel hasn’t really had any excuses this year.

“The first race back in May, she got a little tired and then just got outrun in the last two,” Runco said. “They’ve been some tough spots she’s found herself in. but we hope she’ll bounce back on Saturday.”

Runco will also send out Notayankeefan, who will be making her stakes debut in the seven-furlong Sylvia Bishop, named in honor of one of the nation’s first black female trainers. Notayankeefan’s Beyers have declined from the 65 she received for winning a nonwinners-of-three allowance in April to a 53 last time out at that level.

The field also includes Rita Haywood, who moves back into restricted company for the first time since beating statebreds in a nonwinners-of-three allowance in May. She comes off a third-place finish with a 65 Beyer against open company in a second-level allowance.