2017 Charles Town Classic Preview, Entries & Odds

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Dave Bond | OTB Writer

OffTrackBetting.com - Hollywood Casino At Charles Town Races in Ranson, West Virginia will play host to the G2 Charles Town Classic on Saturday, April 22. A nice purse of $1.25 million will be on the line for horses four years old and upward willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Charles Towns' dirt track.

A strong field of eight have been confirmed for the Charles Town Classic - race 11 on Charles Town's Saturday schedule. Post time is 4:35 PM. Let's take a glance into the past performances of all eight combatants for this intriguing G2 stakes

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2017 Charles Town Classic Entries at Charles Town Races

Stanford - defending champion in this race, Todd Pletcher trainee has six wins and five runner-up finishes in 15 career starts. He was last seen winning the minor Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay March 11 by 3 1/4 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion after a second in the minor Poseidon Handicap at Gulfstream Park January 28 and a good win in the G3 Harlan's Holiday Stakes on that track in gate-to-wire fashion December 17. Other results include a troubled eighth in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park in June, a terrific gate-to-wire win in the 2016 Charles Town Classic April 23 and consecutive runner-up finishes - the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap March 5 and the G3 Fred W Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream Park February 6. He also had a nice win in the minor Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park July 11 and a respectable second in the G2 Louisiana Derby in March, 2015. Stanford has placed in six of his last seven starts overall and has won two of his last three ahead of this weekend. He hopes to keep the run going and for the repeat in this race when he leaves from the rail with John Velazquez aboard.

Imperative - defending fourth place finisher in this race finished second behind Dortmund in the 2015 Charles Town Classic as well - he won this race in 2014 at 26-1. He has been up and down lately - a ninth place finish last time out in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap March 11 followed a win over Stanford in the minor Poseidon Handicap at Gulfstream January 28, a sixth in the G2 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar November 27, a nice win in the minor Big Bear Stakes November 3 and a sixth in the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August. A year ago Imperative had three straight runner-up finishes - a nose behind Hoppertunity in the G2 San Antonio Stakes February 6, in the G2 San Pasqual Stakes January 9 and in the G3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar November 28. Imperative has certainly been up and down but will be searching for his first graded stakes score in three years Saturday in what has become his favorite race. Javier Castellano gets the call from post 5.

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Sunny Ridge - Jason Servis trained gelding has five wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 13 career starts. He enters on a nice two race win streak - the minor Stymie Stakes March 12 and the minor Jazil Stakes January 14 - both at Aqueduct. Before that was a third in the minor Queen's County Stakes on that track December 17 and a sixth in the G3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct in November. He won the G3 Wither Stakes at Aqueduct to start his 2016 campaign and the minor Sapling Stakes in 2015 and was second behind Exaggerator in the 2015 $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot as well. Sunny Ridge has shown some serious form in the past and on the heels of two straight stakes scores could be in the mix. He tries to make it three straight wins Saturday from gate 2 with Manuel Franco aboard.

War Story - has placed in his nine of 19 career starts - four wins, three seconds and two third place finishes and enters off consecutive fifths - the G3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes last time out March 4 and the G1 Pegasus World Cup January 28 - both at Gulfstream. Before that was a good win in the minor Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct December 17, a fourth in the G1 Cigar Mile on that track November 26, an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Classic and an OK second in the minor Pa Derby Champion Stakes at Parx September 24. He also finished eighth in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. War Story has been good in the past but has failed to place in four of his last five starts overall. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione will try to change all of that around from gate 6 Saturday.

Cautious Giant - Jeffrey Radisevich trained gelding has four wins, a second and six third place finishes in 24 career starts. He has been just OK lately - a runner-up finish last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita March 2 followed a sixth in the minor Damascus Stakes on that track in November, a fourth in the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship in October and a seventh in the G1 Triple Bend Stakes June 25. Before that was a third in the G2 Kona Gold Stakes at Santa Anita May 21 and consecutive fourths - the G3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn Park April 10 and the G2 San Carlos Stakes in March. Cautious Giant will be chasing his first stakes score Saturday and enters in so-so form from the outside gate 8. Jacob Radosevich rides.

Matt King Coal - lightly raced Linda Rice trained colt has placed in seven of eight career starts - four wins, two seconds and a third place finish. He arrives on the heels of a nice two race win streak - the minor Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes at Laurel Park March 18 and an Allowance Optional Claiming on that track February 18. Before that was a second in an Allowance optional Claiming at Aqueduct in November, a fourth in his only graded stakes action to date - the G1 Wood memorial in April, 2016 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score last March. Matt King Coal has won four of his last six starts overall and shoots for a first graded stakes in good form. Horacio Karamanos will be in the reins from gate 4.

Gangster - lightly raced Doug O'Neill trainee has two wins and a second place finish in nine career starts. He made his stakes debut last time out and finished eighth in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap March 11 after a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming February 4 and a fourth in a similar race January 2 - both on that track. He had an Allowance Optional Claiming score before that at Del Mar in November but failed to place in his three previous starts. Gangster has been decent but still hopes to make a major statement Saturday. Mario Gutierrez rides from post 3.

Bodhisattva - Jose Corrales trainee has six wins, two seconds and five third place finishes in 26 career starts. He finished eighth in the 2015 Preakness Stakes and has been up and down since. Last time out was a sixth in the minor Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes which followed a career-best win in the minor John B. Campbell Stakes on that track February 18 and a second in the minor Native Dancer Stakes on that track January 21. He has five graded stakes starts - he placed in just one - the G3 Greenwood Stakes at Parx in September, 2016. Bodhisattva has been OK against lesser competition and hopes for a first ever graded stakes score from post 7 Saturday. Xavier Perez will be in the irons.

2017 Charles Town Classic Odds & Entries

Race 11 on Charles Town's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:35 PM.

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Stanford 8-5 John Velazquez Todd Pletcher
2 Sunny Ridge 6-1 Manuel Franco Jason Servis
3 Gangster 10-1 Mario Gutierrez Doug O'Neill
4 Matt King Coal 8-1 Horacio Karamanos Linda Rice
5 Imperative 3-1 Javier Castellano Robert Hess, Jr.
6 War Story 5-1 Tyler Gaffalione Jorge Navarro
7 Bodhisattva 15-1 Xavier Perez Jose Corrales
8 Cautious Giant 20-1 Jacob Radosevich Jeffrey Radosevich

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OTB Schedule - Tuesday, Mar 20

Race Tracks Time (EST)
Australia A 8:59 PM
Australia B 10:20 PM
Australia C 11:13 PM
Australia D 4:33 AM
Birmingham Eve 8:15 PM
Clonmel (IRE) 10:20 AM
Daytona Beach Eve 7:25 PM
Dover Downs 4:40 PM
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Ladbrokes Park Hillside 4:17 AM
Laurel Park 12:37 PM
Louisiana Downs 2:07 PM
Mahoning Valley 12:55 PM
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Mardi Gras Mat 5:00 PM
Monticello Raceway 12:59 PM
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Naples-Ft Myers Twi 2:36 PM
Newcastle (UK) 1:43 PM
New Zealand 7:32 PM
Northfield Park 6:00 PM
Parx Racing 10:12 AM
Pocono Downs 7:00 PM
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Sarasota Mat 12:32 PM
Shelbourne Park (IG) 3:40 PM
Sunland Park 2:35 PM
Tralee (IG) 2:56 PM
Turf Paradise 4:33 PM
Vaal (SAF) 7:03 AM
Western Fair 6:15 PM
Wetherby (UK) 10:09 AM
Will Rogers Downs 2:08 PM
Yonkers Raceway 6:50 PM

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