08/11/2011 12:13PM

Charles Town: Sadie Hawkins return spot for Aspenglow


Aspenglow is based at Laurel Park with trainer Gary Capuano, but the bulk of her 14 victories and $459,017 bankroll have been earned in West Virginia on Charles Town’s bullring.

The 5-year-old Aspenglow, on the sidelines since finishing second in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap in February, returns to Charles Town for Saturday night’s $50,000 Sadie Hawkins Stakes.

The seven-furlong Sadie Hawkins, restricted to West Virginia-bred fillies and mares, serves as a local prep for the Cavada, the richest race for females on the Oct. 15 West Virginia Breeders’ Classic program. Last year’s race, which Aspenglow won, was worth $225,000 and the purse has yet to be determined for this year’s race.

Primarily racing at Charles Town, Aspenglow has put together a 14-for-20 record. In 14 starts at Charles Town, she has 12 wins and a second.

The nearly six-month layoff should not pose a problem for Aspenglow, who came off a five-month freshening last September to romp by five lengths in an allowance, her lone prep before taking the Cavada in October.

Her seven rivals in the Sadie Hawkins include Natures Annuity, the close runner-up the last two years in the Cavada, and Down Town Allen, who won four stakes as a 3-year-old last season and added another in her first start of 2011.

The 7-year-old Natures Annuity rallied from far back to finish 1 1/4 lengths behind Aspenglow in last fall’s Cavada. Natures Annuity, 0 for 3 this season, also missed by a nose in the 2009 Cavada and was third in that same race in 2008.

Down Town Allen comes back to her home track, where she is 9 for 16, after a one-race experiment on turf in the July 29 Jenny Wade Handicap at Penn National. On fast dirt, Down Town Allen is 10 for 14, including the Fancy Buckles in her first start this season in mid-June. Although she seems to prefer the ultra-short 4 1/2-furlong sprints carded at Charles Town, Down Town Allen did cruise to a 13 1/4-length win in last summer’s seven-furlong Sylvia Bishop Memorial. She dueled up front early and faded to fifth, beaten by both Aspenglow and Natures Annuity, in last fall’s Cavada.

The field also includes Beware of the Bop, a 5-year-old whose 11-for-21 record at Charles Town includes a win in the 2009 Sylvia Bishop.