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Charles Town Classic – Shared Belief Continues His Romp Towards Greatness

Posted by on 4/16/2015 8:49:31 PM

The Grade-2 Charles Town Classic is one of the biggest races in the United States for older horses as thoroughbreds aged four years and older go head-to-head for a purse of $1.5 million. Saturday's race takes place at Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia.

This is a very solid field of betting options, but it looks like one horse stands apart from the rest as Shared Belief looks to keep his incredible record going.

What : Horse Betting

When : Saturday, April 18th, 2015; post time TBA

Where : Charles Town Races & Slots, Charles Town, WV

Pick : Shared Belief

General A Rod is coming off a win at the non-graded Challenger Stakes in March, his first finish in the top three in five starts, although three of those came in the Triple Crown races and he managed to finish fourth at the Preakness Stakes. He is capable of competing with the top horses, but this four-year-old might need to find an extra gear.

Imperative hasn't finished in the money for a race since August 2014, a span of five races, but he is returning to defend his crown at the Charles Town Classic. All five of those races were Grade-1 events, but his four-year-old campaign was slightly disappointing and coming off an eighth at the Santa Anita Handicap, his five-year-old campaign isn't off to a good start.

Looking Cool will be a longshot as eight of his last ten starts have come in allowance or claiming races, and he finished eighth in both of his graded-stakes starts. He hasn't finished in the money in a graded-stakes race since winning the Grade-3 Iowa Derby in June 2013, so don't expect a lot from this five-year-old.

Moreno finished third in this race last year and has won once since then, at the Grade-1 Whitney handicap last August. He wrapped up 2014 with a tough 14 th-place performance at the Breeders' Cup Classic, but has opened 2015 with a second at the Santa Anita Handicap and a third at the New Orleans Handicap, both in March. He could offer decent odds to finish in the money on Saturday.

Page McKenney is intriguing as he has finished in the top three in each of his last eight starts, but none of them have been graded-stakes events. Four of those have been wins, but this five-year-old has never faced a field as good as this and it will be a huge test to see where he is at in regards to the top older horses in the United States.

Shared Belief is one of those top horses and should be considered as the favorite after rolling to the win at the Santa Anita Handicap. Out of his 11 starts, ten have ended with Shared Belief in the winner's circle as he has been absolutely perfect outside of a fourth at the Breeders' Cup Classic last year, and he should be looked at as a favorite for the 2015 event as well. It'll take a lot for someone to end the reign of this four-year-old.

Street Babe has made just two starts in his career, breaking his maiden on his first try and then winning the Grade-3 Mineshaft Handicap in February. He does look impressive so far, but, Street Babe will run up against what is easily the best field he has ever seen and like Page McKenney, this race might be more to see where he stands in regards to the big horses.

Vyjack has been inconsistent over the last year with three top-three finishes in his past eight starts, including a win at the Grade-2 Kelso Handicap in September, but he has also finished ninth or worse on two occasions and he opened up 2015 with a fifth at the non-graded Stymie last month. This five-year-old has shown glimpses at times in his career, but he likely won't be able to run at the front of this race.

Warrioroftheroses last started a graded-stakes race in February 2014, finishing eighth at the Grade-3 General George, winning two allowance races along the way, but he also has a third and an eighth in two more allowance events. He also has a ninth at the non-graded Richard W. Small Stakes along the way, so this six-year-old shouldn't be too high on your radar.

How It Will Play Out

This is a very good field from top to bottom, with a few interesting options. However, Shared Belief has always been ahead of the pack and he should stay that way on Saturday.

Charles Town Classic Betting Pick: Shared Belief

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