Father Time can’t catch Casey or his thoroughbred Castle Bound
CHARLES TOWN — Do things ever change at the annual West Virginia Breeders’ Classics races that are marketed to place the state’s thoroughbred racing industry in the limelight?
At four score and nine, Taylor Mountain Farm owner and trainer James W. Casey is still at it — winning three of the nine stakes races contested last Saturday at the local track, including the heralded $300,000 Breeders’ Classic at nine furlongs.
For decades, the 89-year-old Casey has been atop the podium that lists the all-time winners of any Breeders’ Classic race. His number has flowed over the 30-win mark and he shows no real sign of slowing down other than a walker he uses to reach the winner’s circle.
Casey has trained such luminaries as Russell Road and Greenway Court but never before has he seen the unlikely finish his Castle Bound gave him last Saturday.
Casey had never sent out an entry with the long odds Castle Bound showed on the tote board.
His odds were 68-1. And no thoroughbred trained by Casey had ever been that overlooked by the wagering public.
When Castle Bound rushed up through the short Charles Town stretch and poked his nose in front at the finish line, Casey had his third champion of the nine-race evening.
Gustavo Larrosa was Casey’s jockey in the memorable upset performance.
Boundtobebad gave the legendary conditioner his first win of the night in the $75,000 Triple Crown Nutrition Stakes at 6.5 furlongs. The lightly raced two-year-old filly was guided by jockey Christian Hiraldo and was a spicy winner at 11-1 odds.
Casey nearly always has two-year-olds ready to compete (and win) on Breeders’ Classics night. Boundtobebad was no different in that regard.
She was a homebred at Taylor Mountain Farm in Jefferson County, where Casey has been the driving force since 2000.
Even in the ninth and final event on the card, Casey had B’s Wild Cork primed to win the Roger Ramey Stakes at nine furlongs.
That race was for fillies and mares, 3 year-olds and up. The purse in the night’s finale was $75,000.
Antonio Lopez was B’s Wild Cork’s rider and gave the venerable Casey his third success on the card.
The Blue Ridge Mountains as seen from the track’s Terrace dining area are famous. So is the six-furlong racing oval. And so is the casino and the dining areas adjacent to them.
But the face of the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has long been trainer James W. Casey. And last Saturday, he added even more glossy facts and data to his already bulging racing dossier and portfolio.