Night racing time on Friday night at Charles Town in West Virginia. The eight-race card begins at 7:00 p.m. EST. You are not going to find the biggest purses at Charles Town, but post times are convenient for most horse handicappers. Or, after you are done with earlier races, like at Gulfstream Park, you can put your attention towards Charles Town in the evening hours. All of the attention is going to be on Monmouth Park tomorrow. The running of the Haskell Stakes (Gr. 1) will take place for $1,000,000. The Monmouth Cup (Gr. 3) and United Nations Stakes (Gr. 3) are also notable events with $300,000 available in purse money in each race.
Charles Town is barely offering half of the pure of one of those races. There is $183,000 in total offered at Charles Town on Friday night. From a betting standpoint, though, a lot of people don’t care about that, and there’s still some purses in the upper $20,000’s tonight which isn’t bad. They just want winning horses regardless if they’re racing for a million or some extra sweet feed after the race. Establishing what class horses are running in versus past events is very important, though. We have a few picks at Charles Town to get to for Friday night. Head below for our Charles Town free picks for July 17, 2020.
Post Time: 8:02 p.m. EST
Distance: 7 Furlongs
Race 3 is one of the biggest races tonight at Charles Town. A purse of $28,000 is up for grabs in this 7-furlong event. The two horses on opposite ends, Stowe Angel and Peaceful Child, are expected to run strong races on Friday. Peaceful Child has an opportunity to do some damage from the No. 1 post position. The filly will be making the fourth race of her career today. She has finished in the top-3 in all three of her races, including a win on June 11.
Peaceful Child won over Katalima by 4 ¾ lengths for a $27,000 purse. Prior to that, Peaceful Child was 3rd, and then she followed up the win in 3rd in June 27, which is her most recent performance. Peaceful Child finished well back of the winner by over 10 lengths. Star of Night cruised in that race as a heavy favorite. Peaceful Child never stood a chance in that $29,000 race, but should be involved in the stretch on Friday night.
Stowe Angel will step into the gate for the third time in her career. She won as a first-time runner on November 28, 2019. That was a $27,000 win for Stowe Angel, as she beat Cheese Louise by 6 lengths in an easy win. Stowe Angel was clear of Cheese Louise at the top of the stretch and built on the lead for a textbook victory. Her next race was until January 10, where she came short a half length a little up in class. Stowe Angel just got going too late in that event. It was only 4 ¼ furlongs, so she would have been better suited at a longer distance.
She is coming off a layoff and will race for the first time since then. Her workouts have been on the impressive side recently. Stowe Angel completed 4 furlongs with times of 48.40 and 49.49 seconds. Peaceful Child will provide Stowe Angel with a tough test in this one, but I think Stowe Angel can get it done in her return race on Friday.
Post Time: 8:32 p.m. EST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
Race 4 brings us past 8:30 p.m. EST in West Virginia on Friday night. This event will feature a $28,000 purse with 6 ½ furlongs of racing. We could have a duel on our hands in the stretch. If both break well out of the gate and don’t get caught in traffic, then Boundtobebad and Lady Storm are setting up for an existing finish.
Both participants have been in good form recently and should have strong efforts in Race 4. Boundtobebad is a winner in 3 of 6 races in her career, with a hat-trick to start her career from June 14, 2019 to November 2, 2019. That includes wins in the West Virginia Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders’ Classic Stakes (Black Type) and West Virginia Futurity (Black Type). Those races were for $75,000 and $50.000.
Boundtobebad’s win in the West Virginia (Black Type) was a blowout over the field by 11 lengths. She was a heavy favorite and the money was correct in that race. Since then, Boundtobebad finished 2nd in the Eleanor Casey Memorial Stakes (Black Type), 3rd on May 22 in the Its Binn Too Long Stakes, and 2nd most recently in an allowance race for $28,000. Boundtobebad was the favorite in that race, but was a bit of a disappointment. In any case, Boundtobebad is still in good form.
Lady Storm has some positives on her resume, too. Lady Storm is 5 for 7 in her career and is a winner in 4 of her previous 5 outings. She is coming off a strong performance on June 26 to win by 5 lengths over her nemesis today, Boundtobebad. That was a wire-to-wire win for Lady Storm. She was clear of Boundtobebad by 3 ½ lengths at the top of the stretch. Boundtobebad continued to fade while Lady Storm got stronger in the 7-furlong run. This race should be closer, but Lady Storm likely has the edge based on recent form.
Post Time: 9:32 p.m. EST
We’ll end the day at Charles Town with 7 furlongs of racing on the dirt for a $19,000 purse. He’s a Gold Digger and Tranquil Blue are on my shortlist for Race 6. He’s a Gold Digger has been showing consistently quality results recently, with 3 of his previous 4 races in the top-3. In 4 of his previous 6 races, He’s a Gold Digger has been reasonably close and in the top-3 in those events, including a win on October 17, 2019.
The only problem for He’s a Gold Digger is the fact that he has only 2 wins in 50 career races. He might be able to get into the top-3, but closing the deal and winning has become a problem. That said, He’s a Gold Digger has been coming close, and also coming off a strong workout on July 3. He’s a Gold Digger completed his homework with a time of 49.80 seconds over 4 furlongs. Tranquil Blue is back to where he feels more comfortable on Friday.
Tranquil Blue went up in class after a couple of promising performances. He finished 5th in a $29,000 event on March 14 This was after Tranquil Blue won over Turner Ashby by a length in this class. He had a 1 ½ length at the top of the stretch and held on. Overall, Tranquil Blue is 2 for 13 in his career, with both wins coming in similar races as what he’ll see on Friday night.
He is coming off a layoff after that March performance. There have been some positive signs in the morning from Tranquil Blue. A 48.40 second workout over 4 furlongs and 3 at 36.60 seconds is encouraging. Tranquil Blue should return to the track with a bold bid on Friday night at Charles Town.