Home state hero Runnin'toluvya upsets Charles Town Classic

April 20, 2019 05:51pm
Home state hero Runnin'toluvya upsets Charles Town Classic
Photo: Coady Photography

Runnin’toluvya scored an upset for the home team Saturday, with the West Virginia-bred confidently handled in his move to open company, where he won the Grade 2, $1 million Charles Town Classic.

The 5-year-old gray entered on an eight-race local winning streak, the last four of those stakes victories.

Under jockey Oscar Flores, he pressed Diamond King through half the 1 1/8-mile race, poked a head in front up the back stretch and out-dueled the co-favorite in his state’s richest horse race.

"I know this sounds corny," said Tim Grams, who trains and owns the winner, "but this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me besides me meeting my wife 18 years ago. This is just unbelievable.  Especially for a country boy that didn’t have anything. It means anybody who walks through this gate here has a chance and that’s why this business is so great.”

Behind Diamond King, War Story, twice on the board previously in this race, ran third with Rally Cry, who took most of the money along with Diamond King, fourth in the full field of 10.

The final time was 1:50.56 after Diamond King led the first time past the wire, going the opening fractions in 24 and 48.25 seconds. Three-quarters of a mile in, Runnin'toluvya, pressing to the outside, gained an advantage in 1:12.48 and was never headed again as they drove through the third and final turn.

“My horse when he had the lead in the stretch, he always gave me another gear," said Flores, the jockey. "Whenever I asked, my horse just responded again. Every time I asked, he gave me more.”

Runnin’toluvya, by Fiber Sonde, was off at 9-1 and returned $21.20.


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