02/19/2011 4:06PM

Lori Z's Punch needs best effort at Charles Town


Lori Z’s Punch has a fondness for ultra-short sprints at Charles Town and has been facing tougher competition than most of her nine opponents in Tuesday night’s featured $35,000 overnight handicap. But will those factors be sufficient for her to snap a nine-race losing streak that began 11 months ago?

The 5-year-old Lori Z’s Punch must outrun two extremely sharp female sprinters in Fancy Up and Chase Em to win Tuesday’s 4  1/2-furlong feature, which goes as the eighth race on a nine-race card that begins at 7:15 p.m. Eastern.

Based at Laurel Park with trainer Ben Feliciano, Lori Z’s Punch has recorded three of her four lifetime victories at Charles Town, where she has not been worse than third in seven tries going 4 1/2 furlongs. She has lost nine straight, however, since winning back-to-back short allowance sprints over Charles Town’s bullring in the fall of 2009. In her lone start this year, Lori Z’s Punch didn’t show any speed while finishing last over a sloppy track at Laurel. Her last eight starts have come against second-level high-priced optional claimers.

On the positive side, her trainer, Ben Feliciano Jr., is 11 for 43 (26  percent) with shippers he has brought into Charles Town who have shown a race within the past 30 days.

Fancy Up and Chase Em both show good recent form while facing $10,000 claimers and $5,000 starter allowance company. Both are confirmed front-runners.

Fancy Cup, based at Penn National with trainer Jim Tracy, will be seeking her fourth straight win. Her 72 Beyer Speed Figure for her three-quarter-length score on Jan. 15 is tied with deep closer Gottahope’s 28-1 upset win going six furlongs as the best last-race figure in Tuesday’s field.

Chase Em ships from across the state at Mountaineer Racetrack, where she has been off since winning back-to-back starts in November and December for high-percentage trainer Doug Shanyfelt.

The field also includes Touch of Class, a seven-time winner at Charles Town who has been off since Dec. 10; Blue Tango, a Penn National-based filly who has won four of her last five starts, including a first-level allowance last time out on Jan. 8; and Hear Our Prayer, a Mike Trombetta-trained Maryland shipper who is 2 for 2 in short sprints at Charles Town.