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West Virginia Breeders’ Classic XXVII

2013 West Virginia Breeders’ Classic

Charles TownThis Saturday, October 19th, 2013, Charles Town will host its annual West Virginia Breeders’ Classics XXVII card featuring the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic. The Breeders’ Classic is one of 9 stakes races for the day offering nearly $1.2 million in purse money featuring West Virginia state breds. The West Virginia Breeders’ Classic is the 8th race and will showcase a field of 10 West Virginia bred or sired horses, 3 years old and up set to go 1 1/8 mile. With a $500,000 purse for this race, the Breeders’ Classic at Charles Town draws the best of the best in West Virginia horses.

Lucy’s Bob Boy Defending Title

Lucy's Bob BoyReturning to defend his 2012 title as the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic is 4 year old, Lucy’s Bob Boy. At 4/5 on the morning line, Lucy’s Bob Boy looks like the sure thing to repeat that win here, at least on paper. In the 2012 race, he won the event by 8 lengths. Since then he has won 7 of the 9 races he has entered including his last two outings in the Frank Gall Memorial and the Wild and Wonderful Stakes, both at Charles Town. He won the Frank Gall Memorial by 5 ¼ lengths and the Wild and Wonderful by 2 ¼ lengths. The only real race he seemed to falter on was when he tried to step up to a Grade 3 event in the Salvator Mile at Monmouth Park. In that race he ran 5th out of a field of 8 and only missed it by 4 lengths. In this company, he looks right for the win and will be tough to beat, but you know me and favorites. Let’s see who else could give this horse a challenge.

On the Road to Redemption

Russell RoadAt 6 to 1 on the morning line is Russell Road. Russell Road has won this race twice in the past; first in 2009 and again in 2011. In the 2012 race he ran 2nd behind Lucy’s Bob Boy, a distant 8 lengths behind.  Since then he has had 4 wins and 4 2nd place finishes. In 2012 he followed up his 2nd place finish behind Lucy’s Bob Boy by beating him in the A Huevo Stakes by 1 length. Should Russell Road pull off the victory here, he would be the only horse that has won it more than twice. I feel he is clearly capable of reeling in an upset, but a lot will depend on where jockey, Matthew McGowan places him in the race. Russell Road likes the early front-end lead but is versatile enough to come off of the pace to capture a victory. If he did that, then I feel he stands a good shot of getting there. Timing will be everything, though and he will also need another front-runner like Strawberry Cupcake to wear down Lucy’s Bob Boy to make this happen. If that scenario plays out he will also have trouble with a late rally from Fred High. Fred High is coming out of a 2 ¼ length victory in the Roger Ramey Handicap. Russell Road was second in that race after setting the pace before being passed by Fred High in the stretch. Fred High is a good contender here at 9/2 on the ML and can’t be overlooked. In the end, I think Russell Road will adjust his position from that last outing, stalk the pace and pull the trigger here with Fred High second and Lucy’s Bob Boy a very close third. Good luck everyone!

 

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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