Ladies have their day at Charles Town

October 31, 2005|by LARRY YANOS

It was "Ladies Night" at Charles Town Races & Slots on Thursday.

Female trainers won 7 of 10 races at the West Virginia thoroughbred oval and finished second in another.

Tina Malgarini-Mawing took the second and fourth races; Nancy Tillotta captured the third and sixth races; Renee Schlesinger won the fifth race; Stephanie Beattie the eighth race and Cynthia Weaver the 10th.

Schlesinger is third in the Fall Meet trainers' standings.

"It was a good night for the female trainers," Schlesinger said. "I know I work hard and the others do, too."

Schlesinger came to Charles Town in 1997, but started training thoroughbreds in 1999.

"The purses were small when I came here in '97, but things have changed," Schlesinger said. "I had worked with horses before at Delaware Park, Monmouth Park, Belmont Park, the Meadowlands and the Florida tracks, but now I'm here."


Schlesinger currently has 18 horses in training and rates Cabr's Cutie and Investment Terms as the best two horses in the barn.

"I own most of my horses," Schlesinger said. "In past years, I always had a good percentage of winners, but I didn't have the numbers. Of course, success always starts with good help. I have excellent help here. They do a great job."

The trainer, while enjoying current success, doesn't dwell on her accomplishments.

"There are so many ups and downs in horse racing, you just work hard and do the best you can," Schlesinger said.

Breeders' briefs

Maryland thoroughbred horse racing was well represented Saturday at the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park.

Maryland-based trainer H. Graham Motion saddled three horses, defending Breeders' Cup Turf champion Better Talk Now, Film Maker and Funfair.

- Maryland-based jockey Ramon Dominguez has two mounts: Better Talk Now and Film Maker.

- Besides Motion's starters, the only other horse with local ties was Yolanda B. Too, a 3-year-old daughter of Two Punch who was bred on Maryland's Eastern Shore by Dr. and Mrs. Tom Bowman and Milton Huggins.

The Rick Violette trainee skipped the Maryland Million Oaks for the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Fifteen of the 117 horses pre-entered in the eight Grade I races have raced at Pimlico or Laurel during their careers, including six who competed in the Preakness Stakes.

Pony tales

- The $50,000-added Frank Gall stakes have been rescheduled for Saturday at Charles Town.

- Michael Moran's McDynamo made history with a third consecutive victory in North America's richest steeplechase, the $200,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase at Far Hills Races.

In the process, the 8-year-old son of Dynaformer halted a five-race losing streak and leaped into the race for the 2005 Eclipse Award as champion steeplechaser.

Trained in Pennsylvania by Sanna Hendriks, McDynamo went to the front in the 2 5/8-mile race over 14 fences while being ridden by jockey Jody Petty.

The 8-year-old Kentucky-bred won by nine lengths over the late-running Three Carat. Hirapour settled for third.

McDynamo earned $110,000 for the win and reached the third spot on the career National Steeplechase Association earnings list with $743,104 lifetime over fences.

- Gary Stute hit the jackpot last Sunday at Santa Anita.

A mare Stute trains won a race, and he had the only winning Pick Six ticket worth $124,882.

Stute's horse, Da Svedonya - which means 'goodbye' in Russian - rallied from last to win the claiming race and paid $14.40.

"I was nervous because no horse had won coming from worse than second all day," said Stute, the son of trainer Mel Stute.

It was the second Pick Six he's hit. The first one was at last year's Belmont Stakes, when Birdsong upset favored Smarty Jones.

"It paid $48,000 and I had half," Stute said. "If Smarty Jones had won, it would have paid $700."

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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