North Atlantic seeks revenge vs. Runnin’toluvya in stakes
The $50,000 A Huevo Stakes at Charles Town on Saturday night will rematch the top four finishers from the $300,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic at the same 1 1/8-mile distance.
The West Virginia Breeders Classic was bet as a two-horse race with Runnin’toluvya, who was making his first start beyond seven furlongs, the even-money favorite and North Atlantic, who was beaten a nose in the 2017 Classic, the 7-5 second choice.
Runnin’toluvya was allowed to dictate the Classic pace while under only token pressure, first from 38-1 Rocket Road and then from 14-1 Via Leone. When North Atlantic came calling on the third turn of the race, Runnin’toluvya had plenty left to turn him back by 2 1/2 lengths.
If the outcome of this race is going to be different, North Atlantic, who does have speed, will have to test Runnin’toluvya during the early stages.
Runnin’toluvya was 2 for 5 in 2017 as a 3-year-old, but has upped his game this season and is 7 for 8, with his lone loss coming by a neck in his second start of the year. The son of Fiber Sonde has likely already locked up West Virginia horse of the year for his owner and trainer, Timothy Grams.
Overall, Runnin’toluvya is 9 for 13 in his career with earnings of $298,526. Twelve of his races have been at Charles Town.
Oscar Flores, who has ridden Runnin’toluvya 11 straight times, will be back aboard.
North Atlantic, a 5-year-old son of Ghostzapper, was bred and is owned and trained by Jeff Runco. He is 13 for 31 in his career with earnings of $413,120. He lost a heartbreaker a year ago when Charitable Annuity nosed him out in the Classic, but he came back in his next start to score the lone stakes victory of his career in the A Huevo.
Arnaldo Bocachica, who has all but locked up his first Charles Town riding title, has ridden North Atlantic in all of his starts dating back to October 2016.
Weekend Liberty, who is owned and trained by Runco, came from far back to be third in the Classic. Awsome Faith ran evenly for trainer Jeff Allen to finish fourth.
The field also includes longshots Little Big Sime and Siente El Viento.
Runnin’toluvya wins the West Virginia Breeders Classic at Charles Town on Oct. 13.