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Apr 22, 2011

Duke of Mischief supreme in Charles Town Classic


Charles Town, WV (Sports Network) - Duke of Mischief, bet down to 9-2, overtook Game On Dude to capture the third running of the $1 million Charles Town Classic at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races Saturday night. The time for the 1 1/8-mile race was 1:51.13.on a sloppy track.

Racing on Charles Town's six-furlong track were 10 older horses, including Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude, Hollywood Gold Cup champ Awesome

Gem and 7-2 post-time favorite Rule.

Setting the pace as the field went under the wire for the first time was 4-1 second choice Tackleberry. He was followed by Game On Dude, Rule and Tizway.

As the field entered the final turn Game On Dude went past Tackleberry for the lead as Duke of Mischief and jockey Joe Bravo circled the field to join the leaders.

Duke of Mischief, 8-1 in the program, went by Game On Dude for the lead at the top stretch and registered a 2 1/4-length victory over the 7-2 morning-line favorite. Tizway held on for third followed by Tackleberry, Gone Astray, Awesome Gem, Inherit the Gold, No Advantage, Rule and Acclamation.

Trained by co-owner David Fawkes, Duke of Mischief adds $576,000 to his bankroll which now stands at more than $1.6 million. The five-year-old chestnut horse has won seven of 21 career starts, including his previous victory in last year's Iselin Handicap at Monmouth Park.

In two starts this year, Duke of Mischief kept losing to Tackleberry. He was second in the Sunshine Millions Classic and fourth in the Gulfstream Park Handicap.

Fawkes avoided sending the five-year-old to the Oaklawn Handicap, a race he won last year, for a specific reason.

"We were ducking Misremembered," the trainer noted, "and it might not have mattered because he got beat anyway. This race (the Charles Town Classic) looked like it might suit him a little better and it's a million dollars and it's $350,000 over there."

Duke Of Mischief returned $11.40, $6.20 and $4.20. Game On Dude paid $7.00 and $4.20, and Tizway paid $4.00 to show.

Two-time defending winner Researcher was unable to start when he drew one of the 'also eligible' posts.

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