Lamp sheds new light on new CT post

August 07, 2005|By LARRY YANOS

Doug Lamp is the new racing secretary at Charles Town Races & Slots.

The West Virginia State Racing Commission approved the appointment last Thursday.

The 61-year-old Lamp is looking forward to the new challenge after spending seven years working in the racing secretary's office.

"He's no stranger to the racing industry and has a great knowledge of the sport," said Richard (Dickie) Moore, Charles Town director of racing. "He has very good management skills."

Lamp has worked in the racing secretary's office from 1972-78 filling various positions.

"I've always been interested in horse racing and this is a great opportunity," Lamp said. "My first priority is to improve the quality of racing at Charles Town. We have greatly upgraded the purse structure but we need to improve and upgrade the quality of racing. The barn areas also have to be re-evaluated."


Lamp already has written his first condition book.

"I tried to write the book, based on the horses available at Charles Town," Lamp said. "The bottom claimer has been increased to $4,000 and that should help things."

Lamp said cooperation between members of the racing secretary's office and owners and horsemen is of the utmost importance.

"We need to work together to make things a success here," Lamp said.

The current racing secretary's staff includes Lamp, assistant racing secretary Duane Sowers, clerk of scales Larry Sanders, paddock judge Mike Elliott, identifier Mark Munden and placing judges Beth Witherspoon, Scott Kitching and John Desmond.

Casey remembered

A memorial service was held Thursday for Eleanor Casey - a thoroughbred horse owner and breeder who died July 28 - in Berryville, Va.

"A great loss," Moore said. "She was a fine lady. I knew her for over 30 years. She was well-respected at Charles Town."

Carol Holden, the executive director of the West Virginia Breeders Classics, added, "Mrs. Casey was dedicated to the business and really loved her horses and racing. She was doing what she liked to do. It's a terrific loss to the entire Charles Town racing community."

Helping hand

The Charles Town Chaplaincy Services will conduct a Shannon Campbell Day at the track Saturday to raise monies for the 34-year-old paralyzed apprentice jockey.

The Charles Town Division/Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and jockey's guild will assist in the endeavor.

Chaplain Rick Mann will head the Chaplaincy program.

Campbell was paralyzed from the waist down after being thrown from her horse in the first race July 9 at Charles Town.

Mann said a donation booth will be set up on the track apron throughout the day, staffed by both jockeys and friends, and one of the races on the program will be named in her honor.

For additional information, contact Mann at 304-283-0036 or 304-725-4028.

Cards or words of encouragement can be sent to Campbell at National Rehab Hospital, 102 Irving Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20002.

Zito's calendar

This week will be a busy one for trainer Nick Zito.

Zito will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Monday.

Then, Zito will ship in at least one of the seven horses he has nominated for the 35th running of the Grade 3, $750,000 West Virginia Derby at the Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort in Chester, W.Va., on Sunday. Post time for the special Derby card is 2 p.m. The Derby is scheduled to start at 5:39 p.m. and will be televised live on ESPN.

Zito's Hall of Fame credentials are undeniable. He has two Kentucky Derby victories, with Strike the Gold in 1991 and with Go for Gin in 1994. Zito also won the 1996 Preakness Stakes with Louis Quatorze and the 2004 Belmont Stakes with Birdstone, giving him four victories in Triple Crown events.

Zito, 57, also has a West Virginia Derby triumph on his resume. That came last year when Sir Shackleton registered a three-length triumph in the 1 1/8-mile event.

Among Zito's nominees for this year's West Virginia Derby are High Fly, who won the Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on April 2, and Andromeda's Hero, who finished second to Afleet Alex in the Belmont Stakes on June 11.

Two others trainers with past West Virginia Derby victories may take another try in this year's race.

Richard Small, who sent Stellar Brush to a nine-length win in 1999, has nominated Legal Control, who won the Maryland Juvenile Champion Stakes at Pimlico last December and won Pimlico's Deputed Testamony Stakes on June 11.

Ben Perkins Jr., who won the 2000 West Virginia Derby with Mass Market, has nominated Smokescreen to this year's running. Smokescreen has yet to register a stakes score, but has two wins in allowance company and finished a strong second in the Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico on May 21.

Beginning with the 2002 running, the West Virginia Derby has maintained a Grade 3 status. It is the only race in the state's history to gain graded designation, which is conferred by North America's Graded Stakes Committee, a group made up of the most prominent thoroughbred racing officials on the continent.

This year's West Virginia Derby highlights a nine-race card with every race slated as a stakes event. The total purse distribution is $1.55 million, an all-time record for any West Virginia track for a single card. It will also be highest purse for any North American track on that day, including Del Mar and Saratoga.

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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