The Defending Champ is Back at Charles Town

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By Emily Shields

The $600,000 headliner at the Hollywood Casino and Charles Town Races Friday night is the Charles Town Classic (G2), a 1 1/8 mile contest for older males. A strong field of 10 have gathered, including the likes of Tenfold, Math Wizard, Mr. Money, Plus Que Parfait, as well as local hero and defending champion, Runnin’toluvya.

Runnin’toluvya won this race last year when it was conducted in April (it was postponed this year due to COVID-19). The popular six-year-old gelding has won 14 of 22 starts, with all 14 wins coming over this track. Timothy Grams trains the gray horse, who is three for four at the distance and kicked off 2020 with a win. He was fifth last out going seven furlongs.

Math Wizard shocked the racing world when he won the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby over Mr. Money, War of Will, and Improbable last year at 31-1. He was fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and has not won since but he was most recently second in the Monmouth Cup (G3). He earned a career highest speed figure for that race, and looks to be rounding back into form for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr.

Mr. Money was a top runner last year for trainer Bret Calhoun, winning the Pat Day Mile (G3), Matt Winn (G3), Indiana Derby (G3), and West Virginia Derby (G3). He ran second, beaten a neck, in the Pennsylvania Derby, but has not come close to that form since. His effort in the Blame Stakes at Churchill Downs two back wasn’t bad when he finished fourth, but was sixth in allowance company sprinting at Keeneland last out.

Plus Que Parfait puts blinkers on for this. The four-year-old son of Point of Entry has earned over $1.6 million thanks to his win in the 2019 UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan. He was eighth in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, and has been running in allowance races in 2020 without a win. Brendan Walsh trains.

Tenfold has earned over $1 million in a career that includes a win in the 2019 Pimlico Special (G3). The son of Curlin has not won since, but was fourth in the 2019 Pacific Classic, and third in the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita last out. That was June 6; the Steve Asmussen trainee has not raced since then.

War Story, Forewarned, Mo Don’t No, Sleepy Eyes Todd, and Multiplier complete the field. Awesome D J has drawn as an also eligible trying to get into the field. Catch all the Charles Town action with TVG.


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