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US Racing Track Guide: Charles Town

Betfair now offers Exchange markets on a whole host of tracks in the United States. US racing handicapper Dean Keppler is here with the skinny on Charles Town...

What kind of racecourse is it?

The main dirt track is six furlongs in circumference. There is no turf racing. This small tracks "bullring" design is unique in that it has a small perimeter, tight turns and a short stretch.

Official Charles Town Website



Tell me something I don't know about this track

Charles Town Racetrack was the first track in the Northeast to offer winter racing. The track was on the verge of closing on two different occasions - In 1979, the tracks obituary was printed in the local paper and horseman were told they had two weeks to exit the premises. A month later, however, a deal was struck to permit Sunday racing and the track re-opened. It's now a thriving and successful year-round racino.


When do they race?

Mainly Wednesday-Saturday evenings November-December, starting at 12:00amGMT


Best Ever Race

The (Grade 2) $1,250,000 Charles Town Classic April 19, 2014

The Charles Town Classic usually features the top horses in America's handicap division. In the 2014 edition, Imperative scored an astounding upset victory over returning 2013 winner Game On Dude. Owned by KM Racing Enterprised, Inc. and trained by George Papaprodromou, the son of Bernardini and past $50,000 claimer returned $55.00 for every $2.00 win bet, making him the longest shot to ever win the Charles Town Classic.

With such accomplished runners such as Acclamation, Commentator, Game on Dude, Commentator, Shared Belief and Tizway having taken part, the Charles Town Classic has proven popular with fans as well and is responsible for the seven largest single card handles in track history, including the record-setting 2015 program.


Most Popular Jockeys

Montano, Jose
Bocachica, Arnaldo
Lopez, Antonio

Most Popular Trainers

Runco, Jeff C.
Brown, Ronney W.
Figgins, III, Ollie L.


How to find winners at Charles Town...

Early-speed types that get to the rail in sprints is usually a winning combination at Charles Town. Trainer Jeff Runco and jockey Arnaldo Bocachica win nearly 30% with their first time starter debut runners. Trainer Jim Casey excels with his first, second and third off the layoff runners.

Proven prior success over this racing strip is essential. The 'horses for courses' angle is of foremost importance. Many shippers do not handle the track's perimeter and tight turns effectively.


Draw Positions

It should come as no surprise that with the tight turns and 'bull ring'-style perimeter that the inside post positions are usually best at Charles Town-- especially when slotted with an established front-runner. Overall, however, post 1-7 are evenly distributed winning their fair share of races in sprint events. Post 8-10 are at a slight disadvantage. In route races, post 1-6 are ideal while post 7-10 are somewhat up against it and the stats back those inclinations up.


Running Styles

In 4½ furlong races, horses that have speed have gone on to win over 50% of the carded races on the lead. In route races speed is still good, but horses that are stalkers or pressers usually win their fair amount or close to 25% of the events.


When betting Charles Town look out for...

Early speed-types on the rail going 4½ furlongs. The jockey/trainer combos of Arnaldo Bocachica/Jeff Runco and Jose Montano and Ronney Brown are quite lucrative. Trainer Ollie Figgins excels with new barn acquisitions. His first and second off the claim numbers are both close to 30% winners overall.