North At­lantic seeks re­venge

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Jim Dun­leavy Fol­low Jim Dun­leavy on Twit­ter @DRFDun­leavy

Run­nin’tolu­vya and North At­lantic have won 11 of 14 starts be­tween them at Charles Town this year. On Satur­day night they will meet for the sec­ond time in the $300,000 West Vir­ginia Breed­ers Clas­sic, the head­liner on a nines­takes card that will of­fer $950,000 in purses.

Run­nin’tolu­vya beat North At­lantic by a half-length in their first en­counter, a state­bred no-con­di­tions al­lowance at seven fur­longs. But the 1 1/8-mile Clas­sic will add a third turn and could tip the scales in fa­vor of North At­lantic, who is 6-4-2-0 at the dis­tance. The Clas­sic will be Run­nin’tolu­vya’s first race be­yond seven-eighths.

Run­nin’tolu­vya will likely be fa­vored. He is lightly raced, hav­ing missed his en­tire 3-year-old sea­son in 2017, and his Beyer Speed Fig­ures are on the way up. He also has more speed than North At­lantic and, as was the case in the Au­gust al­lowance, will not be easy to catch.

North At­lantic will be mak­ing his 31st start, all for his owner, trainer, and breeder, Jeff Runco. The 5-year-old missed by a nose to Char­i­ta­ble An­nu­ity in a thrilling Clas­sic a year ago. Ar­naldo Bo­cachica, the lead­ing rider at Charles Town, will be aboard for the 18th con­sec­u­tive time.

Run­nin’tolu­vya has got­ten bet­ter for owner-trainer Tim Grams since re­turn­ing from a 17-month lay­off in April. He comes into the Clas­sic off a ca­reer-best 86 Beyer in the Frank Gall Me­mo­rial. He won the Vin­cent Moscarelli Me­mo­rial Breed­ers Clas­sic at 2 be­fore go­ing to the side­lines. His reg­u­lar rider Os­car Flores has the mount.

The $125,000 Cavada Breed­ers Clas­sic, a seven-fur­long race for fil­lies and mares, is the most in­ter­est­ing race on the card. It matches the 3-yearold Late Night Pow Wow, up­set win­ner of the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks, against the salty 4-year-olds Moon­lit Song and Anna’s Ban­dit.

Moon­lit Song beat older ri­vals in the Cavada a year ago for Grams as the 3-10 fa­vorite dur­ing an 8 for 11 cam­paign. Although she has not been as dom­i­nant this sea­son – she is 8-4-4-0 – the quick daugh­ter of Fiber Sonde is a fan fa­vorite and sure to be well backed in the wa­ger­ing.

Anna’s Ban­dit, who is based at Lau­rel Park with Jerry Robb, ral­lied from off the pace to beat Moon­lit Song by a halflength in the Sept. 22 Sadie Hawkins. A daugh­ter of Great No­tion, Anna’s Ban­dit is 7 for 17 and 2 for 3 at Charles Town.

Late Night Pow Wow im­proved her record to seven wins from eight starts in the $300,000 Charles Town Oaks and gave trainer Javier Con­tr­eras his first graded stakes win. Like Anna’s Ban­dit, Late Night Pow Wow will likely rally from sev­eral lengths back.

Con­tr­eras’s sec­ond horse in the race, long­shot Ghost Fever, is quick, will be stretching out from 4 1/2 fur­longs, and could keep Moon­lit Song busy on the lead.

◗ Aaron’s Tap, trained by Runco, will be fa­vored in the 4 1/2-fur­long Dash for Cash Breed­ers Clas­sic off his 3 1/4-length vic­tory in the Last En­chant­ment Stakes in Septem­ber.

Un­ride­ab­ull will be mak­ing his first start since last year’s Breed­ers Clas­sics card. Trained by Michael Ster­ling, he is 3 for 4 at the dis­tance.

◗ The seven-fur­long Onion Juice Breed­ers Clas­sic has a com­pet­i­tive field of 10 that in­cludes 9-year-old Help a Brother, 7-year-old Fol­low the No­tion, and 4-year-old Grumpel­stilt­skin.

Help a Brother won this race in 2015 and 2017, fin­ished a close sec­ond in 2016, and a close fourth in 2014. He en­ters off two straight wins, both for own­er­trainer Craig Lewis Jr.

◗ T Rex Ex­press will stretch out to 1 1/8 miles in the Breed­ers Clas­sic Distaff for Runco. She won her only try at the dis­tance in Novem­ber 2017. She has fin­ished sec­ond in Breed­ers Clas­sic races the past two years.

◗ The West Vir­ginia Lot­tery Breed­ers Clas­sic and the Divi­sion of Tourism are sev­en­fur­long races for 3-year-olds.

Jaxbraden­r­ishi, who is based in Mary­land with Clau­dio Gon­za­lez, is the horse to beat in the Lot­tery. He was hooked on the lead in the Gall Me­mo­rial last time out by Breed­ers Clas­sic con­tender Run­nin’tolu­vya be­fore tir­ing to fin­ish third. His top chal­lengers are Opera Night and Owen’s Way.

B’s Wild Cork and See Ya Manana, who fin­ished sec­ond and third to Late Night Pow Wow in the Sadie Hawkins, meet again in the Divi­sion of Tourism.

◗ The Moscarelli Breed­ers Clas­sic and the Triple Crown Nu­tri­tion are 6 1/2-fur­long races for 2-year-olds.

The Moscarelli will re­match the first six fin­ish­ers from the 4 1/2-fur­long Henry Mercer Me­mo­rial. Burnin Ring O Fire, who fin­ished strongly to win the Mercer, should cer­tainly ap­pre­ci­ate the added dis­tance.

The Triple Crown Nu­tri­tion will match six fil­lies who com­peted in the 4 1/2-fur­long Rachel’s Turn Stakes. Bat­tle­ground Star and Parisian Diva were both sent off at 3-2.

Bat­tle­ground Star pressed the pace and went on to win by 5 1/4 lengths. Parisian Diva got up for sec­ond fol­low­ing a tricky in­side trip from post 1 and has a right to im­prove – es­pe­cially if the track is wet, as it was for her 7 1/4-length de­but win.

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