LUCY’S BOB BOY, RUSSELL ROAD TRY WV BREEDERS’ CLASSIC

(Blood-Horse) Lucy’s Bob Boy looks to defend his crown on the night of Oct. 19 as he takes his spot in a full gate of 10 horses for the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders’ Classic, headline event in the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics XXVII card at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

The 1 1/8-mile Breeders’ Classic is one of nine stakes races on a card that offers nearly $1.2 million in purse money for state-breds having nominated to the West Virginia Breeders’ Classics program. Lucy’s Bob Boy is the 4-5 morning line favorite in the Classic, which is set as race 8 with an expected post time of 10:45 p.m. ET.

There have been very few horses as dominant at a track as Michael Furr’s Lucy’s Bob Boy has been at Charles Town over the past couple years, with the 4-year-old son of Flatter   winning 13 of his last 14 outings over the surface with an average margin of victory of nearly six lengths.

Lucy’s Bob Boy’s trainer Sandra Dono thinks her stable star has come back with a different attitude this season that’s helped him take the next step.

“We can tell that he’s just a lot sharper than he was as a 3-year-old,” said Dono. “His attitude has been different and he can sense when he’s ready to go. With his attitude right now, you can tell he knows he’s coming up to a race.”

After starting his 2013 campaign with an 11-length win over allowance company in March, Lucy’s Bob Boy took the seven-furlong Confucius Say in his next start before posting a pair of easy allowance scores.

At that point, Dono decided to try Lucy’s Bob Boy in unrestricted stakes company for the first time and shipped him to Monmouth Park for the Salvator Mile (gr. III). But he hit the gate at the start and lost all chance. Despite the fifth-place finish up in New Jersey, the connections again tried him in unrestricted stakes company for his most recent start and he responded with a 2 1/4-length win in the Wild & Wonderful on Charles Town’s Sept. 21 “Race for the Ribbon” card.

Despite a little missed training since the Wild & Wonderful, Dono likes the way her horse is coming into the race.

“He missed about a week of training after the Wild & Wonderful but he went to the track four times last week and he’s been on track this week, so we’re happy with him,” she said.

As far as the competition on Saturday, Dono still believes Russell Road, competing in this race for the fifth time, is the top threat to Lucy’s Bob Boy.

“Yeah, I think Russell Road still is the horse we have to worry about the most.  Even though he lost his last race, he’s still an old class horse and you’ve got to be worried about him every time he runs.”

The 7-year-old Russell Road will seek to win the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic for a third time, having taken the 2009 and 2011 editions.  While he came into the race off a win in both 2009 and 2011, Russell Road’s owner Mark Russell doesn’t mind coming into the 2013 Breeders’ Classic off a loss in last month’s Harry Buch Handicap.

To read more click here.

To see the full card for the West Virginia Breeders Classic, click here.

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