01/15/2011 5:10PM

Conditions make Charles Town feature


T he conditions for Tuesday night’s allowance feature at Charles Town clearly state the 4 1/2-furlong sprint is restricted to horses who have never won two races. Nevertheless, half of the 10-horse field already owns at least two victories, including one stakes winner and four others with three to four wins on their r é sum é s.

All those horses are eligible for Tuesday’s eighth race because they are West Virginia-breds and any victories in statebred races don’t count against their eligibility in open company.

In fact, Speedy Sammy, a 5-year-old gelding with 4 wins in 31 starts, already won at this same allowance condition two starts ago, coming from slightly off the pace to get up by a head at 9-1 odds. He was then a non-threatening fifth against slightly tougher competition in a first-level allowance open to horses who have never won a race other than maiden, claiming, or starter.

The field also includes the 6-year-old Perfect Way, who was good enough to finish second in the $67,000 Dash for Cash on the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic program in October. Perfect Way shortens up to a distance where he has been no worse than second in 6 of 8 starts following back-to-back starts in which he flashed high early speed and faded going two turns.

As a 2-year-old in 2009, Captain Kirkland won the Henry Mercer Memorial going 4 1/2 furlongs. He hasn’t finished closer to the winner than 6 3/4 lengths in four subsequent starts, but is eligible to move forward making the second start of his current form cycle.

The most dangerous horse in the lineup, however, may be the lightly raced newcomer Atlanta. In his first three starts, Atlanta has a win and a pair of seconds while running at Delaware Park and Parx Racing. His trio of Beyer Speed Figures – 79, 77, 75 – are significantly better than any of the last three Beyers that any of his nine opponents on Tuesday night have posted in their last three starts.

In addition, Atlanta exits what has proven to be a key race. The two horses who finished behind him in a conditioned $25,000 claimer on Nov. 20, Street Brawler and Dan’s Ginger, came back to win their next start, each with a Beyer of 62. Henceforth, the horse who defeated Atlanta by 3 3/4 lengths, stepped up to finish second in an allowance with a 79 Beyer.