Charles Town hosts West Virginia Breeders Classics

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Ted Black

October 9th, 2015

One week after the Mid-Atlantic region was deluged by rains from a n'oreaster and spared the brunt of Hurricane Joaquin, Charles Town racing fans should see clear skies tomorrow night when the track hosts the 29th edition of the West Virginia Breeders Classics.

While all of the age groups and both genders will be covered tomorrow in state-bred stakes, the centerpiece on the card is undoubtedly the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic, a nine-furlong event for three-year-olds and upward that is the penultimate race on the card.

Perhaps the initial thinking was the Classic would be a match race again between defending champion Russell Road and longtime local nemesis, Lucy's Bob Boy, the runner-up last year. But both will have another talented local runner to contend with tomorrow night since Hidden Canyon bypassed being 2-5 in the Onion Juice at seven furlongs to contest the three-turned affair for the first time.

Hidden Canyon has won nine of 13 starts and been second three times in defeat - his lone genuine setback came courtesy of a post-race medication violation - and he was a solid second to Pants On Fire in the recent Wild & Wonderful Stakes here. But Hidden Canyon will concede plenty of route race experience to his older peers, Russell Road and Lucy's Bob Boy.

Russell Road prepped for the Classic by winning the Roger Ramey Handicap here, while Lucy's Bob Boy had an unfortunate beginning to the Wild & Wonderful, a race that should probably not be held against him. Both Russell Road and Lucy's Bob Boy will vie for favoritism here, but the presence of Hidden Canyon perhaps improves the chances of Russell Road of repeating and taking down his fourth such Classic title.

One race earlier on the card the fillies and mares will clash in the $150,000 Cavada Stakes at seven furlongs and this two-turn affair also garnered some intrigue this week.

Harlan's Destiny, who won all three of her starts over the track last fall at age two, has yet to hit the board in three tries against much tougher elsewhere this year. But she shipped into trainer Jeff Runco's barn last month and had worked well for her return. Nevertheless, Harlan's Destiny is the lone three-year-old filly in the group and several of her older rivals appear on target for a score.

Both Cuppa Mocha Mojo and Red Hot Diva finished second in their respective preps for this event, but both ran winning races and they could be one-two in here. Cuppa Mocha Mojo has won five of seven starts and only been defeated in stakes, while Red Hot Diva sports a solid 10-6-0 slate from 22 starts for trainer Ollie Figgins, III, of Dance to Bristol fame.

Two races earlier on the card older boys will again be in the spotlight in the WVBC Dash for Cash. Defending champion Greenway Court should rule as the slight favorite, although Just Fuhr Real will make his presence known. Mr. Ripken often plays the bridesmaid in these events, but is always close at the wire and merits upset chance.

One race prior to that the two-year-old fillies will go postward in the Triple Crown Nutrition BC, contested this year at the two-turn distance of 6 1/2-furlongs for the first time. Stoweshoe, who beat the boys in the Henry Mercer in her prep, is the favorite but has yet to travel two turns. John Casey trainees Romantic Cork and Jackys' Notion, both exit a fast maiden special weight event at the distance and both have upset potential.