09/16/2008 11:00PM

Ghostly Thunder hard to beat


The Maryland-based gelding Ghostly Thunder has been almost unbeatable over the past two seasons at Charles Town and looks like the fastest 3-year-old by far in Friday night's $50,000 Millard Harrell Memorial Stakes.

The seven-furlong Harrell, restricted to 3-year-olds nominated to next month's West Virginia Breeders Classic, is the final local tune-up for the $125,000 West Virginia Lottery on Oct. 18.

Trained by Gary Capuano, Ghostly Thunder has crossed the finish line first in 7 of his last 8 starts at Charles Town since last October, including all four times he has faced statebred company in stakes. His only loss during that span came when he had a troubled start against open company in the $100,000 Red Legend in June. He was also disqualified from the purse money in the West Virginia Futurity, a race he won by 4 1/2 lengths last December.

Based on his last two Beyer Speed Figures, a 90 and an 85, it's hard to project that any of Ghostly Thunder's eight rivals has a realistic chance at springing an upset.

The next fastest Beyer Figure in the field, a 74, belongs to Pow Wow Power, who was beaten nearly eight lengths by Ghostly Thunder last month and remains eligible for a second-level allowance.

One sharp horse who hasn't lost to Ghostly Thunder previously is Wesh's Texas Star. He comes off back-to-back wins at Mountaineer, but would have to improve at least 10 points on the Beyer scale to threaten Ghostly Thunder.

Milwaukee Fun exits a 7 1/4-length romp going 1 1/8 miles in a first-level allowance. He was a distant second to Ghostly Thunder in last year's Tri-State Futurity and finished nearly nine lengths behind Ghostly Thunder when they met on Aug. 9.