10/10/2006 11:00PM

HBPA stakes set the table

Email

Any time there's a stakes race at Charles Town this season, it's safe to assume trainer Scott Lake has at least one contender.

Of the 10 horses Lake has started in added-money events in 2006 at Charles Town, he has collected 7 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third, and $268,775.

Lake figures to add to those impressive statistics when he sends out strong threats in both of the $50,000 stakes on Friday night's card.

Sinister G is the 123-pound highweight and likely favorite among seven older males in the HBPA Governor's Cup Handicap at 1 1/8 miles.

Lake also has Remarqable Tale, who will meet defending champion Miss Hamma for the fourth time this year in the HBPA City of Ranson Handicap for fillies and mares.

Both stakes serve as appetizers to Charles Town's premiere event, the $1.45 million West Virginia Breeders Classic series, on Saturday night.

In the Governor's Cup (race 9), the front-running Sinister G is well-drawn on the rail for the three-turn route. In his only previous local appearance, Sinister G wired seven allowance rivals going nine furlongs, earning a career-best 104 Beyer Speed Figure.

Since then, Sinister G has finished fourth in the Grade 3 Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park and third in the $100,000 Charles Hadry at Laurel Park. He is cross-entered in a six-furlong overnight stakes Saturday at Delaware Park, but seems better suited to this spot.

Sinister G's chief rivals are Tactical Brush and Miner Moss, the first- and third-place finishers from a three-horse photo in a similar 1 1/8-mile stakes in early August.

Both horses own good records over the course. The 3-year-old Tactical Brush is 3 for 5 at Charles Town. Miner Moss, 6, has recorded 12 of his 15 lifetime victories locally, but has primarily raced at shorter distances the past two seasons.

Remarqable Tale and Miss Hamma renew their rivalry in the City of Ranson (race 7). The 7-year-old Miss Hamma finished ahead of Remarqable Tale in 2 of 3 meetings earlier this year, most recently in a seven-furlong stakes on Aug. 6.

Remarqable Tale, 5, is a confirmed front-runner whose chances may be compromised by the prescence of the 3-year-old filly Misty Lake, another speedster who ships across the state from Mountaineer following back-to-back dominant victories in shorter sprints.

A speed duel would benefit Miss Hamma, who spots Remarqable Tale two pounds as the 122-pound highweight.