Charles Town will race for the second day in West Virginia since the shutdown in March. They join some other racetracks that resume racing this weekend. It’s good for horse racing, and given the circumstances, it’s the only option right now. When the gates open to fans again, attendance will likely be capped at a certain number of people.
The grandstands will not be completely filled, so don’t expect that, at least not initially. And the members of the public that are granted access, there will be social distancing measures implemented. There are a fleury of casinos that are opening up around the US in some states with protocols put into place. The same will happen with racetracks, though don’t expect that to happen this month.
We have a few Charles Town picks for Friday night. This is night racing, so it should be the most convenient track for betting of the day. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the Churchill Downs and Santa Anita cards and see if we can find some winners. Santa Anita Park has two big stakes races, so you’ll want to be ready for Saturday. As far as Charles Town is concerned, there are a few races on the card that I’ve shortlisted. Head below for our free Charles Town selections for May 15, 2020.
Post Time: 7:00 p.m. EST
Distance: 4 ½ Furlongs
We will get started with a very short race in Race 1 on Friday night. Seven horses are signed up for 4 ¼ furlongs for a $11,000 purse. There are three fairly big underdogs, with Master Yoo, Modern Cowpoke, and Machen Bets all with long odds. Modern Cowpoke may need more than +1500 for me to consider. He has raced in one event and finished 7th on August 10, 2019. After a long layoff following his debut, Modern Cowpoke is ready to return, hopefully in better form. He can’t do worse than 7th because there are only seven horses in the field, so there’s that.
Master Yoo has much more experience than Modern Cowpoke, but doesn’t have the results to show for it. He has raced in 10 races and has placed once on January 16. That’s the only race that Master Yoo has finished in the top-4 in. Otherwise it’s been a slow moving career for Master Yoo. Machen Bets hasn’t finished in the top-3 in a race since August 14, 2019. Since then, Machen Bets hasn’t shown in six straight races, with 5th his best effort at the track. Barring some breaks along the way for an underdog, don’t expect a big upset in Race 1 at Charles Town on Friday night.
The most likely scenario is that Sonde St Blues and Becoming Smitty will get into a duel at the top of the stretch. Sonde St Blues has been searching for a win since starting his career on October 25, 2019. However, the best he’s done has been 2nd on January 18. In that performance, Sonde St Blues lost by 1 ¾ lengths against Sweetin Bread. His latest performance wasn’t too bad, as Sonde St Blues finished 3rd behind Jen’s Orphan and Twobitsaride. In an easier field, Sonde St Blue is likely going to be a player in this one.
Becoming Smitty made an impressive debut at Charles Town on March 14. After six races at Mountaineer to open his career, Becoming Smitty made the transition to Charles Town. In his first race he almost got the win as a fairly sizable underdog, but was bested by 4 lengths. After dropping a class, Becoming Smitty should be in fine form for the first win of his career on Friday night.
Post Time: 7:54 p.m. EST
Distance:4 ½ Furlongs
Another short race at 4 ½ furlongs at Charles Town on Friday night. This, however, is worth more than Race 1, with a purse of $27,000 on offer. Grandpa Louie and Cyclobomb are likely going to run solid races in this one, with the rest of the field likely finding it difficult to keep up with those two horses. A Is For Artist will look for the big upset, though. He gets the outside out of the starting gate from the No. 7 post.
If he can break well out of the gate, then he might have a chance. However, he hasn’t been much of a factor since showing in his first race on July 28, 2019. Since that outing, A Is For Artist has finished 5th in back-to-back races. He enters Friday off a long layoff, with his last entry on September 8, 2019.
Cyclobomb will have a better time looking for the top prize in Race 3. He has finished in the top-3 in 3 of his previous 4 races, and in 5 of 9 career races. Cyclobomb finished 2nd two outings ago on May 18, 2019 by 1 ¼ lengths at Pimlico. He made the move to Delaware Park for his next performance and regressed, but was still up there to finish 3rd. Cyclobomb will be in this race, but will likely find problems beating Grandpa Louie. Like A Is For Artist, Cyclobomb is going into this one off a long layoff.
Grandpa Louie has finished in the top-3 in 4 of 8 career races, and came close in his most recent performance on February 26. He crossed the wire for 2nd to place for the third time in his career. Grandpa Louie came on strong after the ¼ pole, but didn’t have enough in the tank to beat Zafir. He will have easier company in this event on Friday, which should help do one better in Race 3 at Charles Town today.
Post Time: 8:20 p.m. EST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
In one of the longer races of the evening, nine horses will compete for a $29,000 purse at 6 ½ furlongs. 7 furlongs in Race 6 is the only event longer than 6 ½ furlongs at Charles Town tonight. The shorter races are certainly exciting, so it should be an exciting night of racing in West Virginia.
There are a few big underdogs in this one, with Quick Energy likely getting the honors as the longest shot tonight. Quick Energy has done relatively well in her career, with 2 wins in 17 races. She showed in each of her previous two outings, but it’s been a while since she has won. Quick Energy has gone winless in nine straight outings.
Shanghai Jewel might be the next most unlikely winner in Race 4. She has 2 wins in 20 races, having won on October 23, 2019, but no success since going up in class. Shanghai Jewel finished in the top-3 in five straight races, which was capped off by that win. That promoted a move up for Shanghai Jewel. However, the results haven’t been there against fields of this caliber. She’s finished 6th, 4th, 6th in her previous three outings. There might be an outside chance she shows, so if you want to sprinkle a few bucks on that
The most likely scenario playing out in Race 4 is Star of Night and Bridging the Gap getting into it at the top of the stretch. Bridging the Gap has had success early in her career. This will be just her sixth race after placing or winning in 4 of 5 races. In her most recent outing, Bridging the Gap was a half length behind Bellysford. Prior to that race, Bridging the Gap won on November 6, 2019 by 4 ¾ lengths over Aye Fancey.
If not for Star of Night, Bridging the Gap would be the clear favorite here. However, she will have to deal looking for the hat-trick on Friday night. After placing in her debut on December 13, 2019, Star of Night has won back-to-back races for 2 wins in 3 career performances. Even in the loss, she was competitive just a half length back. Following that outing, Star of Night won by 5 ½ lengths on January 31 and 5 ¾ lengths over Power Forward on February 29. Similar form is going to result in another win for Star of Night.