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Apr 13, 2012

Charles Town Classic attracts field of 10


Charles Town, WV (Sports Network) - Duke of Mischief returns to defend his 2011 victory in this year's $1 million Charles Town Classic at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. The 1 1/8-mile Classic drew a field of 10 older horses with three also eligibles for the Saturday race.

Trained by co-owner David Fawkes, Duke of Mischief won the 2011 Classic by 2 1/4-lengths over Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude. The six-year-old chestnut horse will start from post seven with Joe Bravo returning to ride.

In two starts this year Duke of Mischief has failed both times to find the winner's circle. He was fourth to Mucho Macho Man in the Sunshine Millions Classic and 11th in the Tampa Bay Stakes behind Roman Tiger. The horse has won seven of 26 career starts for more than $1.7 million.

"He's kind of got off his game a little bit and lost interest over the year, but I worked him with [top sprinter] Apriority, and he has had some dynamite works," Fawkes said. "[Jockey Joey] Bravo said he wasn't himself, but the last two works he was really happy with him. I'm very confident. I think the horse is doing really well right now. He would have been a great bull ring horse."

Tackleberry, second in the Gulfstream Park Handicap, will break from post two with Rajiv Maragh in the saddle. The Gulfstream Park Handicap is the gelding's only start this year after winning half of his six 2011 starts.

"I'm expecting him to run a good race," noted trainer Luis Olivares. "He's a much fresher horse this year than when he went [to Charles Town] last year.

The five-year-old set the early pace in last year's Classic only to finish fourth.

"The horse doesn't have to be on the lead," Olivares said. "I ran him one time at Calder off the pace, and he came back and won the race easy. If he goes too fast up front, it won't be good for him. He can lay second or third. If nobody wants to take the lead, he'll take the lead."

Overall, Tackleberry has earned $866,892 with eight wins in 15 starts.

Here is the full field in post position order for the Charles Town Classic: Tres Borrachos, Kendrick Carmouche, 9-2; Tackleberry, Rajiv Maragh, 3-1; Mister Marti Gras, Julien Leparoux, 12-1; Pants on Fire, Rosie Napravnik, 6-1; Skipshot, Travis Dunkelberger, 10-1; Caixa Eletronica, Javier Castellano, 8-1; Duke of Mischief, Joe Bravo, 10-1; Norvsky, Kevin Krigger, 12-1; Redding Colliery, Alan Garcia, 10-1 and Uh Oh Bango, Aaron Gryder, 4-1.

The three also eligibles are: Norman Asbjornson, J.D. Acosta, 12-1; Cease, Miguel Mena, 15-1 and Eighttofasttocatch, Sheldon Russell, 12-1.

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

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