If you like night racing, then Hollywood Casino at Charles Town has ponies running this evening in West Virginia. Between Charles Town and Mountaineer Park, West Virginia has the night racing thing down pat. It’s always convenient when you can’t bet on the early races in the afternoon. Most of the fun when it comes to horse racing is watching the races. Big stakes races are the most exciting to watch, and we’re only a month away from the running of the 147th Kentucky Derby on May 1. There are three 170-point prep races scheduled to take place on Saturday. The Blue Grass at Keeneland is the one to watch if you can only see one race this weekend.
I’m incredibly excited to see how Essential Quality runs. Fingers crossed that he runs a sharp race along with staying healthy. I have a future bet on Essential Quality to win the Kentucky Derby, so hoping for the best. Charles Town gets started with post time scheduled for the first race at 7:00 p.m. EST. There are eight races at Charles Town with a total of $119,000 in prize money available tonight. Head below for our free Charles Town picks for March 31, 2021.
Post Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
In Race 2 at Charles Town, we have 6 ½ furlongs on the dirt for a $12,000 purse. You can make a good case for Bard Yard Brat and Slew the Turn to win this event. Barn Yard Brat gets the inside rail out of the gate and is feeling confident recently.
He is coming off a win and has finished 2nd, 6th, 1st in his previous three appearances. Barn Yard Brat placed 2nd on July 30 in a $11,000 event, 6th in a $14,000 event, and most recently struck for a win on March 11. Barn Yard Brat beat Sterling Caesar by 1 ¼ lengths in the $11,000 race.
He was clear late after taking the race over as a slight favorite in that event. It was a wide-open event, with Barn Yard Brat coming through for the win over some equally talented opponents. Slew the Turn has two wins in his career through nine outings.
He beat Deputy Bee by 6 ¼ lengths for a $11,000 purse on December 4. Since then, Slew the Turn has gone 4th, 2nd, 5th in three straight performances. He placed 2nd on February 17 in a $17,000 race behind Fappiano Rocket by a length. Slew the Turn was expected to win as the favorite, so the desired result didn’t work out.
Slew the Turn most recently finished 5th on March 6 for a $28,000 purse. That was an ill advised entry for Slew the Turn. Too tough. In any case, he’s down all the way down to $12,000 on Wednesday night. Slew the Turn looks like the horse to beat in Race 2.
Post Time: 2:29 p.m. PST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Eight horses are expected to travel 5 ½ furlongs for a piece of a $9,000 purse in Race 3. Epic West and Top Hat Titan are shortlisted on my watchlist for this event. Top Hat Titan is 2 for 12 in his career, and has been competing hard recently. He has finished 1st, 9th, 2nd, 3rd in his previous four entries.
The gelding was a winner for the second time in his career on September 21. He beat Daggers Arch by 1 length for a $12,000 purse. That was impressive, with Top Hat Titan showing sway throughout with a wire-to-wire win. Top Hat Titan has been unable to get back to the winner’s circle since then, though.
His last two attempts weren’t bad at all, though. Top Hat Titan placed 2nd behind Bullgrats by 1 length in an upset for a $12,000 purse. He couldn’t prove that it was a fluke loss in his next outing, with Top Hat Titan showing 3rd in another $12,000 event. He wisely moves down to a $9,000 event for Wednesday.
Epic West is coming off a win on March 10. He improved from 3rd to 2nd to 1st in his last three performances. Epic West placed 2nd on February 17 to finish a length behind Windsors for It. I liked the improvement from Epic West from losing that race to beating Adios See Ya easily by 3 lengths for a $11,000 purse on March 10.
Purchased for $275,000 in 2018, Epic West has been a money burner for his owners. He’s all the way down to a $9,000 race on Wednesday at Charles Town, after opening his career at Gulfstream Park and Churchill Downs. Back-to-back wins should be in his future if he runs how he did earlier in the month.
Post Time: 8:53 p.m. EST
Distance:1 1/16 Miles
Race 5 runs for a $14,500 purse covering 1 1/16 miles. Crazy Idea and Fly E Dubai are the horses to watch out for in this event. Crazy Idea is a consistent runner, and could get into the winner’s circle with another strong run today. He has finished 2nd in four attempts, picking up place money since January 7.
Crazy Idea has yet to do worse than that in 2021. It’s likely not long before he breaks through and gets a win. In his most recent outing, Crazy Idea placed behind Gio Dude by a half length for a $14,500 purse. Preceding that effort, he placed behind Hot N Spicy Love by 5 ½ lengths in another $14,500 race.
It might be time for Crazy Idea to finally get over the hump and cash in with a win. However, Fly E Dubai should do a fine job of repelling that bid. Fly E Dubai is 6 for 57 in his career with a couple of recent wins on October 29 and November 28. He’s gone 1st, 1st, 8th, 3rd in his previous four attempts.
In his most recent win, Fly E Dubai beat Tizezzy by ¾ lengths in a $13,500 event. Since the winning run, he’s gone 8th and 3rd in his next two outings in two $14,000 assignments. I’m not for the inconsistent outings from Fly E Dubai. He can certainly be good when he wants, but I’d rather take better value on a consistent contender. I like Crazy Idea to clear and win in the stretch.