Charles Town restricts its restricted races

March 06, 2005|by LARRY YANOS

Restricted races for Accredited West Virginia Breds at Charles Town Races & Slots have been curtailed because of insufficient funding.

"The West Virginia Breeders Fund is depleted and we're currently not offering restricted races," Charles Town Racing Secretary Jimmy Hammond said. "We had been running one restricted race per program."

The purses for the restricted races were 20 percent larger than the purses for a similar type race.

"It used to be we would run a restricted race every three days, then we were running a restricted race every day," Hammond said.

In the place of the restricted race, Hammond's condition book now includes a preferred race for West Virginia bred-or-sired horses.

"In the preferred race, preference is given to the West Virginia horses, then we would fill in with non-restricted horses," Hammond said.


The West Virginia State Racing Commission notified Charles Town that scheduling of restricted races should be stopped through June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Charles Town-based breeder-trainer John McKee, Chairman of the Breeders' Legislative Committee, hopes the restricted races will return soon.

"We've had restricted races at Charles Town since the West Virginia Thoroughbred Development Fund was formed in 1982. It was in the original bill passed," McKee said. "The breeders got very little at the beginning but now get the entire funding."

McKee said he and representatives of the Charles Town Division/Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association hope to come up with a financial solution.

Onward and upward

Allegany College of Maryland's Center for Continuing Education in Cumberland offers programs geared to the horse racing industry and its followers:

· Instructor Michael D. Rinehart will present Basic Equine Education and Safety, introductioin to horse sense and sensibility.

The first class will be March 15 and the six-session course is designed for those interested in being introduced to horses or those desiring a better understanding of horses.

· Internationally known author/educator Don Blazer, the author of "Make Money With Horses," will present 16 online equestrian courses April 16.

Blazer's book details profit opportunities pinhooking weanlings and yearlings, training horses for resale, claiming race horses, training horses for others, breeding mares and standing a stallion.

For registration information, call the Center for Continuing Education at 301-784-5341.

Pony tales

In statistics through last Thursday, Gerald Almodovaris the leading jockey at Charles Town with 42 trips to the winner's circle in 2005.

He is followed by Kendrick Carmouche (27), Travis Dunkelberger (23), defending champion Angel Quinones, (18), Vernon Bush (16), J.D. Acosta (15), Dale Whittaker (15), Shannon Campbell (14), Carlos L. Castro (14), Oscar Flores (11), David Cora (11), Gustavo Larrosa (11) and Sunday Diaz (10).

Defending champion Ronney Brown and Don Roberson share the lead in the trainers' standings with 13 wins apiece.

They are followed by Ernest M. Haynes (12), Kevin J. Joy (11), Jeff Runco (9), Julio Cartagena (7), Flint W. Stites (6), Preston Herbst (5), Mark Shuman (5), Leonard T. Dunne (5) and William L. Aylor Jr. (5).

· The universal birthdate for thoroughbreds is Jan. 1, but the Kentucky Horse Park will be making a well deserved exception to this rule Wednesday when it celebrates the 30th birthday of two-time Horse of the Year and five-time Eclipse Award winner John Henry.

The gelding earned over $6.5 million and registered 30 stakes wins among his 39 career victories in 83 starts.

John Henry raced from 1977-84 and has lived at the Kentucky Horse Park ever since.

Chris McCarron, who rode John Henry in his final 14 starts, will be among those attending the birthday bash. A large crowd is expected for the festivities.

John Henry is doing extremely well for a horse of his advanced age. Thirty years old for a horse is roughly equivalent to an 80- to 85-year-old human.

According to Kentucky Horse Park officials, John Henry still likes to charge his stall gate and to take nips at visitors from time to time.

Larry Yanos is sports editor of The Daily Mail. He covers horse racing for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131 ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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