Magical Feeling Wins; CT Sets Handle Records

The 6-year-old grade II winner took the $200,000 Sugar Maple Stakes April 14.

Grade II winner Magical Feeling, a winner of more than half of her starts, added another victory to her record by taking the $200,000 Sugar Maple Stakes for fillies and mares at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races April 14.

Owned and bred by Peter Blum Thoroughbreds and trained by Allen Iwinski, Magical Feeling rallied from off the pace to win the seven-furlong test by 1 1/4 lengths over Island Bound. Strike the Moon, winner of last year’s $400,000 Charles Town Oaks, finished third.

Magical Feeling, ridden by Roberto Alvarado Jr., paid $5.60 to win and covered the distance in 1:25.10 on a fast track. Earlier this year she won the grade II Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel Park.

Magical Feeling, who now has 12 wins in 21 starts, is a 6-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Empire Maker  out of the Forestry mare Magical Mood. The former claimer competed in starter allowance races as recently as last year but has taken her game to another level.

In her last start March 17 at Gulfstream Park, Magical Feeling finished a solid closing fifth behind victorious Musical Romance in the Inside Information Stakes (gr. II). Musical Romance won last year’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) and was named champion female sprinter of 2011.

The Sugar Maple was one of six stakes on the Charles Town Classic (gr. II) program, which set wagering records for the West Virginia track.

Charles Town established a new pari-mutuel handle mark of $3,441,631 on the 13-race program that began at 5 p.m. EDT. The previous record of $2,584,876 was set on Charles Town Classic night in 2010.

The Classic itself, with a full field of 10, handled $1,006,789, a single-race record for Charles Town.

“It was simply a great night of racing for Charles Town,” director of racing operations Erich Zimny said.

There are two more “big event” race nights at the track this year. The Sprint Festival is set for June 30 and the Race for the Ribbon is scheduled for Sept. 22.