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Charles Town Classic Preview

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 4/16/2014 9:41:45 PM

About the Race and Track

Charles Town will have its biggest day of racing on Saturday when they offer the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic and although the field is relatively short, it’s sweet.

This track was one of the first venues I worked on when I started on the long road to being a public handicapper. I would get the Racing Form and handicap every single race at places like Charles Town, Liberty Belle and Bowie and would try to make rhyme or reason out of my selections and the results.

Both Charles Town and I have come a long way and this is a lot of money to put up for any track.

Inaugurated in 2009, this 9-furlong test has been won by some nice horses like Duke of Mischief and last year Game on Dude was coming off a win in the Santa Anita Handicap where he earned a 117 Beyer Speed Figure before winning the CT Classic coming from just off the pace to hold on by a half length with a 106 Beyer. Dude won this year’s Big ‘Cap last month with another 117 Beyer.


A Longshot With Some Value:?? Long River

Youngster is making his second start of a layoff and he won in that same situation last October. In the good hands of 25% trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, his versatility makes him a surprise package.

The Pick: Game On Dude (Win)

Game on Dude was disrespected in the Big ‘Cap this year going off at 7-2 but the cagey warrior was on the muscle from the get go and was inching away late getting the mile and a quarter in 1:58.17. The horse that ran second to him last time, Will Take Charge, returned to win the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap with a 103 Beyer. They will need to have to tighten up the racing shoes to beat this runner today.

Suns Out Guns Out seems to be biting off more than he can chew but when they put up this much cash, why not take a shot? The runner was out of the money in his last 3 stakes attempts but did overcome trouble last time in a $100,000 optional at Gulfstream Park.

Imperative only won once last year and it was in a $50,000 optional at Golden Gate. He was just 35-1 when he chased Game on Dude home and he has only won twice in his entire career. Gelding has trained well for this but he appears overmatched.

Moreno has 2 wins under his belt but one was the Grade 2 Dwyer last year with a 100 Beyer. He has one way to go and that’s to the front and then try to increase his margin.

Clubhouse Ride at least has some stakes credentials. He ran second in this race last year and proved it was no fluke when he returned to win the Grade 2 Californian with a 106 Beyer. He was losing a little ground late in last in the Big ‘Cap but he brings a nice stalk and pounce style to the party. Drawn inside today, this runner should sit a nice stalk and pounce trip.

Ruler of Love has only won 3 races in his career and this race is a far cry from beating up on optional claimers at Tampa.

Long Rider ships from New York and he is going great guns now. He has run 5 huge races in a row, has a solid stalking style and just lost by a neck in a Grade 3.

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