10/16/2009 11:00PM

Researcher romps at Charles Town


Researcher reaffirmed his affinity for his home track by romping to an easy victory in Friday night's $50,000 HBPA Goveror's Cup at Charles Town.

In a near replay of last year's race, which he won by 14 lengths, the 5-year-old Researcher ($3), ridden by Luis Perez for trainer Jeff Runco, cruised over a sloppy, sealed track to finish 14 1/4 lengths in front of Luckifee in a field of five older horses. His time of 1:51.25 for 1 1/8 miles translated to a career-best 108 Beyer Speed Figure, one point higher than he earned for his victory in the $615,000 Charles Town Classic in April.

It was Researcher's eighth win in 12 lifetime starts locally and snapped a three-race losing streak out of town.

In the two other stakes on the card:

* Sweet Goodbye ($6.20) improved her local record to 4 for 4 by drawing off to a 2 1/2-length victory in the $50,000 HBPA Jefferson County Municipalities for fillies and mares.

A 4-year-old filly ridden by J.D. Acosta for trainer Chris Grove, Sweet Goodbye dueled early with 7-5 favorite All Night Labor before taking control entering the final turn of the two-turn, seven-furlong race and easily defeating runner-up Trophy Collector. All Night Labor faded to last.

Sweet Goodbye, who won the $75,000 Pink Ribbon in her first start of the season in August, completed the distance in 1:25.93.

* Love's Strong Hart ($11) ended a five-race losing streak by drawing off to a 3 1/2-length victory over Love to the Max in the $50,000 HBPA Jefferson County Commission.

An 8-year-old gelding trained by Damon Dilodovico and ridden by Travis Dunkelberger, Love's Strong Hart ran the 41/2 furlongs in 50.75 seconds while winning for the ninth time in 53 lifetime starts.