11/26/2009 12:00AM

Clarke County set for W.Va. Futurity


In each of the last three runnings of the West Virginia Futurity, trainer James W. Casey has had at least one horse finish in the money, including the 2008 winner, Russell Road, and the 2007 runner-up, Love to Sing. Casey has a good shot to extend that streak Saturday night at Charles Town with his maiden colt Clarke County.

Although winless after two starts, Clarke County has run well around two turns in both of his starts and owns the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure - a 60 - among the field of seven 2-year-olds entered in Saturday's $50,000 race. The seven-furlong stakes is run around two turns.

Three weeks ago, Clarke County rallied from sixth to finish third behind odds-on favorite Son of a Bear in one division of the Tri-State Futurity. Saturday's field contains no one as formidable as Son of a Bear, so Clarke County doesn't seem out of place as a maiden running in a stakes. He is also favorably drawn on the rail.

Clarke County is part of a three-horse coupled entry with recent maiden winner Thefun'sjustbegun and the maiden Prospects of Love, who was a distant fourth in a second division of the Tri-State Futurity.

I Got a Answer and Triple Option, the top two choices on the track's morning line, are both coming off a dull effort.

I Got a Answer, second in the Vincent Moscarelli Memorial on the West Virginia Breeders' Classic program in mid-October, was last without an apparent excuse in the Tri-State Futurity.

Triple Option, who won his maiden going 4 1/2 furlongs two starts ago, has been off since he was fifth in the Moscarelli. His chances were compromised by a bad start in that race. He was taken out of his usual speed-oriented style when he got bumped coming out of the gate and was taken back to last.