May 19, 2024

Cornhusker rematch on tap in Charles Town Classic; Hoosier Philly tops CT Oaks

Hoosier Philly ended her losing skid with an easy wire job in the Monomoy Girl (Photo by Coady Photography)

A sudden attack of laminitis recently proved fatal to two-time Charles Town Classic (G2) winner Art Collector, who had been aiming to win the $1 million feature for the third year in a row. On Friday night, the 1 1/8-mile event will instead feature a rematch between the top two finishers in the July 8 Cornhusker H. (G3) at Prairie Meadows.

Winner of the Cornhusker in wire-to-wire fashion was Giant Game, who finished three parts of a length ahead of Skippylongstocking. Giant Game has had one interim start in the Whitney (G1), where he set the pace before fading to fifth. Multiple Grade 3 winner Skippylongstocking has enjoyed success in the Mountaineer State before, having captured last year’s West Virginia Derby (G3).

Also exiting the Cornhusker is Call Me Fast, who hung in the stretch and weakened to fourth after making a move into contention around the far turn. He had previously placed second behind Rattle N Roll in both the Ben Ali (G3) and Blame (G3). Stretching back out is Doppelganger, upset winner of the Carter H. (G1) in April and recently an odds-on victor of the 1 1/16-mile Battery Park S. at Delaware Park.

Several notable fillies and mares have been entered in Classic Night undercard stakes. The speedy Hoosier Philly could find Charles Town’s bullring configuration an asset in the $750,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3), contested around two turns over seven furlongs. The Grade 2 heroine has been in better form of late, finishing second in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) two back before handing Wet Paint a loss in the one-mile Monomoy Girl S. at Ellis Park when last seen.

Trainer Chad Brown has entered two, including recent Saratoga allowance winner Undervalued Asset. Iowa Oaks (G3) runner-up Imonra appears a viable candidate as does Opus Forty Two, a last-out second to Foggy Night in the Delaware Oaks (G3).

The $250,000 Pink Ribbon S. for fillies and mares over seven furlongs might be the most intriguing match-up of the evening, if the field holds.

Steve Asmussen has entered both Grade 1 winner Society, who convincingly captured the Charles Town Oaks (G3) last year, and the Breeders’ Cup-placed Wicked Halo, a multiple Grade 2 winner in her own right. Society, though, is also being considered for the Ballerina H. (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday.

Frank’s Rockette, a mainstay in the national division over the last several seasons, will look to defend her Pink Ribbon title after dominating the race by six lengths a year ago.

The Asmussen-trained Ryvit appears one of the top contenders for the $350,000 Robert Hilton Memorial, a seven-furlong test for three-year-olds. Winner of the Chick Lang (G3) at Pimlico in the midst of a five-race win streak earlier in the season, Ryvit must contend with recent Concern S. winner Prince of Jericho, Wood Memorial (G2) hero Lord Miles, and the stakes-winning Swirvin, who has won three of four lifetime.