03/16/2013 12:28PM

Charles Town: Prize Winner might upend favorites in overnight handicap

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Mike Montgomery
Bayonne, winning the Pink Ribbon last September, will make her first start since Nov. 22 in Tuesday night's $35,000 handicap for fillies and mares.

Based on her rally to get third in a Grade 2 stakes last month, Withgreatpleasure would seem to be a bargain at her 9-5 morning-line odds for Tuesday night’s $35,000 overnight handicap for fillies and mares at Charles Town. A closer look at her record in three previous visits to the six-furlong West Virginia track, however, might sway bettors to look for a viable alternative.

Withgreatpleasure outran her 22-1 odds to finish third, beaten only 2 1/2 lengths, in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap on Feb. 16 at Laurel Park. But that may be negated by her 0-for-3 record shipping into Charles Town. In her two most recent local efforts, she was a distant fourth as the 2-1 favorite in a seven-furlong overnight stakes last October and surrendered a two-length lead in deep stretch to finish second as the 2-1 second choice in the seven-furlong Pink Ribbon on Sept. 22.

Pink Ribbon winner Bayonne also wound up three-quarters of a length in front of Withgreatpleasure when they were rematched a month later last fall. Bayonne will launch her 5-year-old campaign in Tuesday night’s 1 1/16-mile feature.

The trainer stats for Withgreatpleasure and Bayonne are equally dismal. David Nunn, who trains the 5-year-old Withgreatpleasure, is 0 for 6 shipping into Charles Town. Bayonne’s trainer, Jeff Cramer, is 0 for 6 with runners returning in a route following a break of 61 to 180 days.

The most logical alternative to the top two choices on the morning line is Prize Winner, who will break from the outside in the field of six. Prize Winner has raced well the last two times she came to Charles Town from her base at Penn National. She finished second in the seven-furlong Violet Handicap on Feb. 26 and won a seven-furlong, $40,000 optional claimer to launch her 2013 season in January.

The 5-year-old Prize Winner’s trainer, Michael Lauer, shows a five-year record of 13 for 30 (26 percent) with horses who finished in the money last time out returning in fewer than 30 days while switching from a sprint to a route.

The field also includes Kathleens a Cash, who makes her first start since being claimed for $12,500 out of a winning effort Jan. 3. Her 5-for-11 record at Charles Town includes wins each of the last four times she has raced the 1 1/16-mile distance of Tuesday’s race.