April 16, 2011

$1,000,000 (G3)  4&up, 1 1/8 miles


Owner: Alex & Joann Lieblong, Marilyn McMaster & David Fawkes
Trainer: David Fawkes
Jockey: Joe Bravo 

  Order of Finish            Chart          Video           Picture Gallery

On April 16, 2011, the Grade 3 Charles Town Classic became the first graded stakes race held at Charles Town in the track’s 77 year history. The newly minted grade helped produce one of the year’s strongest races as the 2011 Charles Town Classic was the first non-Breeders’ Cup race in the United States to have 10 or more starters, 100% of which were graded stakes winners going into the gate since the 2006 Arlington Million.

Game on Dude came into the race off a victory in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) while Tackleberry had won a pair of Grade 2’s at Gulfstream over the winter, including the Gulfstream Park Handicap. However, trainer David Fawkes, who’d experienced success at Charles Town in the past with Big Drama in the 2009 Red Legend, saddled Duke of Mischief who took the lead on the far turn and never looked back, defeating Game on Dude by 2 ¼ lengths.

Finishing third, a head behind Game on Dude, was eventual Met Mile and Whitney Handicap winner Tizway. Also in the field was California shipper Acclamation, which meant the Charles Town Classic marked the only time the three finalists for the older male Eclipse Award would face off on the track in 2011.

At $784,267, the handle for the 2011 Charles Town Classic represented the largest single race handle in track history.