(From Charles Town)
Multiple graded stakes winner Four Gifts headlines the inaugural running of the $250,000 Charles Town Oaks, the feature race on Race for the Ribbon night to be held Aug. 15 at Charles Town Races & Slots.
Four Gifts will seek to go over the $500,000 mark in career earnings in the seven-furlong sprint. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Four Gifts captured the Delta Princess (gr. III) in 2008, as well as the Eight Belles (gr. III) on Kentucky Derby day this year. The daughter of Even the Score will break from post 2 with Robby Albarado aboard.
Aside from Four Gifts, the Oaks field sports five other graded stakes placed fillies including Royal Card, most recently third in the Azalea Stakes (gr. III) on Summit of Speed day at Calder. All told, nine of the 10 entrants in the Charles Town Oaks are either stakes winners or graded stakes placed. The West Virginia-bred hopes will rest with James Carter’s Beware of the Bop. Trained by Tim Grams, Beware of the Bop has won six consecutive starts, including two stakes at Charles Town.
In addition to Four Gifts, the Asmussen-Albarado team figures to play a role in the outcome of the 2-year-old stakes on the card as well. In the Miss Shenandoah, Kinsolving and Vertical Vision form a capable entry with both fillies expected to run. Vertical Vision most recently scored an impressive victory in The Prairie Gold Lassie at Prairie Meadows. Asmussen’s chances in the Charles Town Juvenile will be pinned on the duo of Grand Slam Andre and Western Smoke, both coming off stakes wins in their last start.
Post time for the first race at Charles Town is 6 p.m. EDT. The West Virginia Sprint Derby, Charles Town Juvenile, and Miss Shenandoah will join the Charles Town Oaks as part of an all stakes Pick Four comprising races seven through 10. Post time for the Charles Town Oaks, which will be Race 10, is 10 p.m.