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Apr 15, 2011

Big 'Cap winner comes to Charles Town Classic


Charles Town, WV (Sports Network) - The third running of the $1 million Charles Town Classic at Charles Town Races and Slots on Saturday night will have a full field of 10 older horses featuring Santa Anita Handicap (Big 'Cap) winner Game On Dude. The 1 1/8-mile race will be conducted on Charles Town's six-furlong oval which limits the size of the field.

Game On Dude gets back into racing action for the first time since claiming the Big 'Cap in early March. David Flores is getting the riding assignment on the four-year-old gelding for the first time and will break from the far outside post.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Game On Dude has banked $702,658 with wins in half his eight career starts. His victory last month was controversial because the stewards refused to change the order of finish after race favorite Twirling Candy, who finished off the board, was bumped around between the 14-1 longshot winner and 25-1 runner-up Setsuko.

"I think the stewards made the right call," Baffert said about the decision. "Once you're out of horse, it doesn't matter. It was a tough call, but after watching the replay, I knew he had a chance to stay up."

Awesome Gem, runner-up last year in the race, also has but one start this year coming into the Classic. The eight-year-old will start next to Game On Dude with Travis Dunkelberger riding.

Trained by Craig Dollase for West Point Thoroughbreds, Awesome Gem was third earlier this month in an allowance race at Golden Gate Field. The chestnut gelding has won seven of 40 lifetime starts, including 13 seconds and five thirds for nearly $2.3 million.

Starting from post two will be Gulfstream Park Handicap champ Tackleberry. Trained by owner Luis Olivares, the four-year-old will have Javier Santiago in the saddle.

Tackleberry has won his last three starts including the Sunshine Millions Classic and Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship. The gelding, second behind Game On Dude in the current NTRA National Poll, has won eight of 12 career starts for $757,225.

Here is the full field for the Charles Town Classic in post position order: No Advantage, Manuel Chaves; Tackleberry, Javier Santiago; Tizway, Rajiv Maragh; Acclamation, Christian Santiago Reyes; Rule, John Velazquez; Inherit the Gold, Eddie Castro; Gone Astray, Cornelio Velasquez; Duke of Mischief, Joe Bravo; Awesome Gem, Travis Dunkelberger and Game On Dude, David Flores.

Post-time is set for 10:30 p.m. (et).

The Classic drew 14 entrants, including two-time defending champ Researcher who did not draw one of the first 10 posts. The gelding is one of four 'also eligibles.

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