Daily Staff Report - firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- After starting his day in Southern California, three-time Santa Anita Handicap (G1) winner Game on Dude touched down in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia on Tuesday afternoon as the popular 7-year-old gelding looks to defend his title in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (G2) coming up at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on Saturday night.
The Bob Baffert trainee was one of 19 horses boarding an early-morning flight in Ontario, Calif., that made a stop in Lexington, Ky., before touching down in Martinsburg, W.Va., a little before 2 p.m., on Tuesday.
Accompanied by Baffert's assistant Jim Barnes, Game on Dude was joined on his cross country journey by fellow Charles Town Classic probables Clubhouse Ride and Imperative. Clubhouse Ride -- winless since last year's Californian (G2) -- finished second behind Game on Dude in the 2013 Charles Town Classic, while San Antonio (G2) runner-up Imperative will be making his first career start outside of California.
After dropping off most of the flight's contingent in Kentucky, the three Classic bound horses were joined by 2013 Dwyer (G2) winner and Travers (G1) runner-up Moreno before continuing on to West Virginia. Moreno had previously vanned up to Lexington from Hot Springs, Ark., where he was scratched from Saturday's Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and pointed instead to the Charles Town Classic.
Entries for the Charles Town Classic card will be taken and drawn today with post time for Saturday's first race set for 5 p.m. The Charles Town Classic itself is scheduled to go off at 10:30 p.m.