Favored Ghostly Thunder ran his winning streak to four when he outfought Eastern Delite to win the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders' Classic at Charles Town Races and Slots on the night of Oct. 18.
The 3-year-old son of Ghostly Minister, trained by Gary Capuano, is now three-for-three when facing older horses after winning his initial race at 1 1/8 miles. All of his previous victories came at sprint distances at Charles Town, where he has now won eight of 11 starts.
The Classic, along with the $500,000 Jefferson Security Banka Cavada Breeders' Classic, headlined the West Virginia-bred stakes night, which included nine events worth a combined $1.875 million.
Ridden by Travis Dunkelberger, Ghostly Thunder stalked the pacesetters Peaceful Bliss and Confucius Say through solid splits while racing mid-pack on the outside. The dark bay edged closer on the final turn and moved into contention as the field hit the stretch. Ghostly Thunder engaged Eastern Delite, who had taken a short lead from Confucius Say, in upper stretch and prevailed in a good duel to the wire.
The final time was 1:53.54 on a fast track.
Ghostly Thunder had won his previous three races -- all at seven furlongs -- by a combined margin of more than 20 lengths. Owned by Paul L. Fowler Jr. and Capuano, Ghostly Thunder earned $275,000 for the victory and improved his career mark to 8-1-3 in 13 starts with a career bankroll of $500,418.
Charles A. Woodson Jr. bred the winner, who is cout of the Chief Honcho mare Expressive Feather and sold for $13,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sale in April 2007.
Sent off at 6-5 against nine rivals, Ghostly Thunder paid $4.40, $3 and $2.80. Eastern Delite, who now has back-to-back runner-up finishes in stakes races for trainer Freddie Johnson, returned $5.80 and $4.60 with Gustavo Larrosa aboard. It was seven lengths to the show horse, Three's a Crowd, ridden by J. Acosta.
The 10-year-old Confucius Say, looking for his third consecutive stakes win, finished fourth.
In the West Virginia Jefferson Security Bank Cavada Breeders' Cup Classic, odds-on choice Julie B drove to victory on the outside under even pressure from jockey Larry Reynolds to tally by 2 1/4 lengths over Shesagrumptoo.
Julie B, who had to overcome her rail post position, dropped to near the back of the 10-horse field before rallying into contention on the second turn of the seven-furlong event for fillies and mares. Reynolds angled her to the outside for the stretch run and she won as much the best while being kept to her task down the lane.
Trained by George Yetsook, Julie B is an O'Sullivan Farm homebred by Eastover Court--Ashby Inn, by Feel the Power. She has won 13 of 18 starts at Charles Town while winless in six starts elsewhere. The dark bay has amassed $822,347 in career earnings.
Julie B paid $3.40, $2.40 and $2.20. Shesagrumptoo, with Anthony Mawing aboard, returned $4.80 and $3.40. They finished 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Natures Annuity, who was $4.20 to show with Luis Perez in the saddle. Second choice Carnival Chrome tired after setting the pace and finished fourth. The final time was 1:26.36.
In other West Virginia races at Charles Town:
$125,000 "Onion Juice" Breeders' Classic: Punk Robinson, at 36-1, and Judge Marshall, 43-1, the two longest shots on the board, combined for a $2 exacta worth $1,702 in the seven-furlong test on dirt.
Punk Robinson ($75.40), ridden by Xavier Perez, scored a hard-fought head victory over Judge Marshall, with 9-5 second choice Blues in the Night a neck back in third. The 8-5 favorite Smart Pace finished a close fourth.
Edwin Tobin trains the bay Medford gelding for L. Jane Tobin. Wade Sanderson is the winning breeder.
$125,00 Lottery Breeders' Classic: Favored Fool Proof drew clear under steady urging from jockey Travis Dunkelberger to defeat a field of 3-year-olds by 9 1/4 lengths.
Fool Proof, a dark bay gelding by Silver Ghost, stalked from mid-pack, advancing into contention on the final turn and responded to urging to leave 27-1 shot Mc Taggart far behind. Lively Reparations, at 54-1, finished third.
John P. Casey owns Fool Proof ($5.20), who is trained by Larry Curtis. Dr. Maurice F. Casey III bred the winner.
$125,000 Division of Tourism Breeders' Classic: We're in the Money came from the back of a tight pack for jockey Gerald Almodovar to score a 1 1/2-length upset win over 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
We're in the Money, a Whywhywhy filly owned by Ray Pennington III and trained by Ollie Figgins III, paid $17 as she defeated second choice Smile Samantha, who was 1 1/4 lengths in front of 6-5 favorite Shesdebonairness. Charlea A. Wodson Jr. is the winning breeder.
$125,000 Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Dash for Cash Breeders' Classic: Rhythmic Moves gradually wore down odds-on favorite Missacity Luke to score a nose victory for jockey Carlos Castro in the 4 1/2-furlong event.
Owned by Taylor Mountain Farm, the 5-year-old Luftikus gelding completed the distance in :52.49. Massacity set a sharp pace and just failed to last, finishing 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Green Suede Shoes.
James Casey bred and trains the winner, who paid $20.60.
$125,000 Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders' Classic: Leva Mae, guided by Gustavo Larrosa, got free on the front end and outlasted favored Ruvanna for a one-length score in the 2-year-old filly event.
Up In Front Stables' homebred filly by Emancipator went 4 1/2 furlongs in :54.21. Susan Cooney trains the chestnut, who paid $7.80. Ruvanna, the 7-10 choice held off gold Lizzie by a neck for the runner-up spot.
$125,000 Farm Family Insurance Vincent Moscarelli Memorial Breeders' Cup: Pagan Cat, an 11-1 shot ridden by J. Acosta, circled the field on the far turn en route to a 12 3/4-length win in the race for 2-year-olds.
Nancy Camp's homebred gelding by Parker's Storm Cat completed the 6 1/2-furlong event in 1:20.86 on a fast track. Jean Rofe trains Pagan Cat, who paid $24 to win. Buzz finished second with 3-10 choice Rash Traffic third.