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Homeracing

How to bet the 2019 Charles Town Classic

Profile Picture: Dick Powell

April 19th, 2019

The $1 million Charles Town Classic (G2) will be run on Saturday afternoon at Charles Town. Post time for race 11 is 5:37 p.m. (EDT) so don’t miss it by thinking it is a night race. A field of 10 has been assembled in the nine-furlong dirt race that will start on the backstretch and go around three turns. Despite the configuration of the track, horses can rally from off the pace, but the rider has to have him in a drive before straightening out in the short stretch. #1 MONGOLIAN GROOM has emerged as a decent horse since coming back to the main track after two-turn races. He won a first-level allowance race going a two-turn mile at Santa Anita in decent time then was a good third in the Santa Anita H. (G1) when he ran third in a six-runner field at long odds. He ships east for Enibish Ganbat who once won a Breeders' Cup race and he draws the coveted rail spot with regular rider Geovanni Franco. #2 NANOOSH won three races in a row including a $250,000 stakes race in New Mexico then did nothing in the Razorback H. (G3). Last out, he broke running in a $350,000 stakes race there and held well before weakening. Versatile son of Paynter, winner of the nine-furlong Haskell Invitational (G1), has enough speed to save ground and make a well-timed move for new trainer Jorge Navarro – 24% first start out of his barn. #3 DIAMOND KING won a stakes race at Laurel last spring which earned him a start in the Preakness (G1), where he ran poorly on a sloppy track. After running second in a Grade 3 race at Parx Racing, he missed by a head in the Oklahoma Derby (G3) going this distance. Off for almost seven months, the son of the red-hot sire Quality Road returned with a sharp win at Gulfstream Park last out as the favorite and gets Javier Castellano. #4 RALLY CRY looked like he was going to be a major horse three years ago then off a long layoff, he ran well as a four-year-old. The son of Uncle Mo only had two starts last year and now returns off a 231-day layoff for Todd Pletcher who wins 31% in this spot and the last 352 of then show a flat-bet profit. He has lots of gaps in his schedule but has the co-highest BRIS speed rating on dirt and gets Johnny Velazquez – 37% riding for Pletcher. #5 IMPERATIVE won this race in 2017 and 2014. Now nine years old, the son of Bernardini has done little lately and looks overmatched in here. #6 DISCREET LOVER pops up every once in a while to pull off a shocker and it’s not like he shows his hand before he does. He was a good third on a speed-favoring sloppy track in the Whitney (G1) last year then after running poorly next out, bounced back to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at 45-1. He could not overcome post 13 in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) but at least shows up today off some fast workouts at Parx Racing. #7 SOMETHING AWESOME won this race last year despite racing wide the last five furlongs of the race. He could not finish better than 10th in two starts this year but is working well for his title defense. #8 RUNNIN’TOLUVYA is a horse-for-the-course that has won 11 times here in 14 starts including the last eight in a row. He finished up last year with a two-length win going this distance then won a prep race here by over three lengths. As much as he loves this track, he has yet to run fast enough to consider him today. #9 WAR STORY just missed in the photo-finish last year to Something Awesome. He came into last year’s race off a five-length win and now returns off a 169-day layoff for Jorge Navarro who wins 32% in this spot. Without a prep race but this circled on his calendar, he has eight workouts to be ready for today. #10 UNBRIDLED JUAN just missed going this distance two starts back in fast time at Laurel then came back there with a similar effort. That should have him fit for this but don’t see how this pace presser can overcome post 10. ANALYSIS I can chip away at various contenders in here but #3 DIAMOND KING looks ready for a big effort. He had the perfect prep for this and after showing some class as a three-year-old, John Servis has him ready for a big effort with Javier Castellano in the irons. WAGER Win #3 Exacta #1, #2, #4 with #3   2018 Charles Town Classic finish (c) Coady Photography

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