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Charles Town now races three nights a week

By Staff | Jul 1, 2016

Three nights a week. Eight races per night. That’s now the fare at the Charles Town Races.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights in July. Fourteen racing dates in the month.

The next stakes race is scheduled for Aug. 6 with the running of the Bob Leavitt Stakes with a $50,000 purse. Closely following the Leavitt are the August 13 Sadie Hawkins Stakes for $50,000 and the August 20 Frank Gall Memorial, also at $50,000.

What have the casinos in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia done to live thoroughbred racing in the Eastern Panhandle?

The names of the leading trainers and leading jockeys are the same, and so are the distinctive dining areas the track has brought forth over the years.

Ronny Brown has won 65 races with his 233 entries in this calendar year. And that has him ahead of the usual leading trainer, Jeff Runco, who has 57 wins from 254 entries through June 27.

Brown’s money-winning total is $664,136 while Runco has winnings of $1,029,100.

Trainer Kevin Patterson has sent out entries only 48 times but has 21 wins and $251,368 in earnings.

The leading jockey is once again Jose Montano with 89 wins from his 307 mounts. His thoroughbreds have accrued $1,201,236 in earnings. Arnaldo Bocachica has 77 wins from his 299 rides and has amassed $1,048,897 in earnings.

Fewer patrons are coming to Charles Town now that nearby Boonsboro has joined with Rocky Gap near Cumberland, casinos in Baltimore, a shopping mall in Anne Arundel County and on the Potomac River just downstream from Washington, D.C.

Virginia has legalized casinos and Pennsylvania hasn’t lost sight of the gambling dollars that augment strained state budgets these days.

Can anything be done to counteract the casinos in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia?

Are any remedies or new legislation available from the West Virginia legislature?

What could Jim Justice do if he is elected governor in November?

What can any elected public servant do to stem the ever-rising tide of competition from out-of-state?

The Charles Town Races have been around since December of 1933.

There are casino games and slot machines in place at the track. Simulcast racing that features the country’s premier thoroughbred and standardbred tracks is shown.

Ronny Brown and Jeff Runco, as well as James W. Casey, are still at the forefront of the trainer’s standings. The same jockey colony is in place as has been at Charles Town for many years.

But casinos in the other states have taken away the ever-present gambling dollars from Charles Town.