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Jeff Nations

Big night in store for John Casey

It could turn out to be a very profitable evening indeed for talented Charles Town trainer John A. Casey, who will saddle a pair of serious contenders during Saturday's Race Hollywood Casino At Charles Town Races' Race For the Ribbon card.

Casey, the son of perennially successful owner/trainer and former longtime James Wood High School coach James W. Casey, who plans to enter his dazzling 3-year-old filly in the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks and field the impressive 2-year-old Mr. Proud Allen in the $100,000 Charles Town Juvenile.

Casey has reason to be confident, considering how that pair has dominated the competition so far this season at Charles Town. Down Town Allen enters as one of the favorites despite facing open-stakes competition which has drawn entries from some of the nation's top trainers. Among them is native son John Servis, most known for winning the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness with Smarty Jones. Servis will saddle the powerful filly Come Sunday in Saturday's race.

Down Town Allen, a West Virginia-bred daughter of Luftikus, is a true home-bred. Luftikus stands at Charles Town's Taylor Mountain Farm, founded and owned by James W. Casey. This season, Down Town Allen has gone 5-for-5 (with two wins against open stakes competition), and won by 13 lengths her last time out under regular jockey Matthew McGowan in the Sylvia Bishop Memorial Stakes on Aug. 30 at Charles Town.
Mr. Proud Allen has just two career starts, but could be the race-time favorite for the seven-furlong Charles Town Juvenile. After breaking his maiden at Charles Town with a nine-length win on June 27, Mr. Proud Allen is coming off a victory in the Mountaineer Juvenile (part of the West Virginia Derby undercard) and will have prized jockey Travis Dunkelberger aboard for the first time.

Here's a recap of Saturday's Race For the Ribbon schedule:

6 p.m. -- Post time for first race
8:45 p.m. -- Post time for the $75,000 Pink Ribbon
9:15 p.m. -- Post time for the $100,000 Miss Shenandoah
9:45 p.m. -- Post time for the $100,000 Charles Town Juvenile
10:30 p.m. -- Post time for the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks

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