A Battle of the Big Boys in the $1,500.000 Charles Town Classic

CT Classic, Purse $1,500.000 G2, 1 1/18, Dirt for 4+

This is a big one and all of the big stables have come out to play.   MB has employed his usual strategy and entered four in the big money races to try and maximize his return, will it work in this race…..only time will tell. Here is how the field lines up!

#1-Hardline (Downwind Stables)- One of the best horses from 2014 is set to make his second start of the year of a nice little break. Owner Downwind stables has to be happy that Hardline did not draw outside, but can Hardline use his natural speed and get clear of any potential traffic problems that can be caused from the inside post…..I think so. Hardline has to be one of the favorites for this race.

#2-Xmas Diamond (MB Stables)- Xmas Diamond is coming in on a three race win streak, and most recently an impressive win in the Donn Handicap. MB seems to have a way to turn around old horses that were once cheap claimers and Xmas Diamond is a prime example of this. MB also has to be thrilled with a good post position. Can this old boy run with some of the younger superstars……Based upon the last run of races and work times you have to think he can.

#3-No Trippin (MB Stables)-Another one of MB’s old boys coming out to run that is on a three race win streak. This horse was the topic of conversation earlier this year when it was placed in an allowance race at PM. I have to believe that MB thought this horse was cooked and that he placed the horse there but was pleasantly surprised that this 8 year old still had something left in the tank. No Trippin really proved that in his last start the G2 New Orleans Handicap. That 136 flat mile work on 4/6/15 shows that he belongs in this race.

#4-Visa Vice (MB Stables) You may as well just hit the repeat button as here is another one of MB’s old horses that is coming into the race in good form with a two race win streak. The last race was a dead heat win with Hardline in the San Antonio Stakes. Visa Vice is also coming off the same break as hardline…so it will be interesting to see which of the horses comes off the layoff in better form.

#5-Irish Flu (Sanny Village)- I spoke with Sanny Village about this horse and he told me that he felt like taking a long shot with Irish Flu in this big money race. Sanny felt that the horse had some back dirt class and felt it could show back up in this race, and I agree with him. Sanny has to be thrilled with the post position with this horse. Don’t sleep on this horse with some back class on the dirt.

#6-Niagra (DJC Racing Stable)- What needs to be said about the reiging horse of the year, and in this writers opinion the best horse in the game that hasn’t been said before. Niagra has started the 2015 season with two races and two narrow defeats (a 2nd and a 3rd) to some top flight horses all three of which are in this race. To me it looks like this horse is moving forward and that 135 an 3 bullet work on April 1st is what really shows me this. I think DJC Racing Stable has to feel very confident going into this race, and I would too. For me Niagra is the favorite and is going to be tough to beat.

#7-Halleluja (Eastern Equine)- Halleluja is not coming in with the same type form as some of the others in this race, however he is still a G1 winner and multiple graded stakes winner.   The closing 4th in the Santa Anita Handicap has make owner Easter Equine very happy and shows that this horse is in the right company. Can the horse overcome not winning since September; I think it may be a bit too much to ask against this group.

#8-Kavorka (Jerry Garcia Racing)- This 4 yr old is coming off a nice win in the Santa Anita Handicap, where he beat Niagra. Is this horse for owner Jerry Garcia Racing starting to grow and come into his own as a 4 year old? It looks like that may be happening as the horses 6F work times look very good. My question is will this horse revert to his three year old form after a big win? I know owner Jerry Garcia Racing hopes not….but I think he may be up against to much in this race to repeat but look for him to be closing in the end.

#9-Chonburi (Emerald Racing Inc)- Emerald Racing Inc has the winner of the 2014 Sundland Derby placed in a difficult spot in my opinion. This has been a very good horse for Emerald Racing Inc and has hit the board recently in a couple of G2 races but the horse has not been able to get over the hump and get a big win. I feel this is a tough group and think Chonburi may have to much to do to try and win the race.

#10-Shadow of a Doubt (Maverick Racing)- Maverick Racing is taking a shot with a Mare in this big race. This was a big purchase from Blushing Meadows over a year ago and the purchase seems to have paid off for Maverick with the horse winning a G2 and G3 race.   It looks to me live Maverick entered into the race hoping for a sloppy track that will hopefully even the playing field against the best colts in the game. If it’s a sloppy track….you never know.

#11-Make Change (Night Rider Stables)- A 50 claim to a G2 winner for owner Night Rider Stables…..but that was on turf. Make Change has never won on dirt and finshed 13th in the Santa Anita Handicap. I think Night Rider Stables is also hoping for the sloppy track here and hoping that it is the great equalizer….even if it is sloppy I feel this horse still may not have enough to get the job done.

#12-George Washington (Spankys Barn) –Spankys Barn is taking a shot with a multiple graded stakes winner in a big spot. George Washington looks to have some class, but feel that Spankys Barn entered George Washington based upon that last win in the slop in the razorback handicap. I think the outside post works against this horse, but if the track comes up off you never know what could happen.

#13-Mister Major (Sanny Village)- Sanny Village has to be disappointed in the post position for this horse. This multiple Graded Stakes winner will need a lot to go right for him in order for him to win this race. Mister Major is coming into the race without any recent published works so its hard to say if he is moving in the right direction or not……but knowing Sanny Village and how he places horses you have to assume that Mister Major is moving in the right direction. (Late Scratch of this horse)

#14-Forever Steel (MB Stables)—-Scratched

#15-Suns Out Guns Out (PP #14) (Wolfs Den)-The lone also eligible draws into the race….and for that Wolfs Den……you get the outside post. While Suns Out Guns Out has a great name, I feel that he is just in over his head.   Suns Out Guns Out has hit the board in a couple of G2 stakes but has not won any graded stakes up to this point. That coupled with the extreme outside post I think means it may be a rough ride for Suns Out Guns Out.

I feel this is going to be an ultra competitive race as there are many top flight horses entered. I like it finishing 6-1-2-5. Until next time may all your photo finishes be winning ones!


Categories: Grade II

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