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Hopping Henry Becomes First Black-Type Winner for Juba

The 2-year-old gelding won the Henry Mercer Memorial Stakes at Charles Town.

Hopping Henry wins the Henry Mercer Memorial Stakes at Charles Town

Hopping Henry wins the Henry Mercer Memorial Stakes at Charles Town

Coady Photography

Hopping Henry became the first black-type winner for freshman sire Juba Sept. 19 with a 1 1/4-length victory in the $50,900 Henry Mercer Memorial Stakes at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

The 2-year-old gelding came in off a maiden score Aug. 15 at Charles Town at second asking and edged clear late after taking over from pacesetter Uncle Funky in the 4 1/2-furlong dirt race for registered accredited West Virginia-bred juveniles.

Wesley Ho was in the irons for Michael Sterling, who bred, owns, and trains Hopping Henry. The final time was :52.89 on a fast track.

Juba, a winning son of Tapit campaigned throughout his racing career by Centennial Farm, stands at Taylor Mountain Farm in West Virginia, where his 2020 fee was advertised as $1,500. Taylor Mountain is a well-known family farm operated by generations of Mid-Atlantic horsemen. Patriarch James W. Casey, who founded the farm with his late wife, Eleanor, is widely known as the trainer of Russell Road, one of the most successful West Virginia-breds of all time.