Grams Racing Stable's winner of the West Virginia Breeders' Classic Stakes made history this Saturday by becoming the first West Virginia-bred horse to win the G2 Charles Town Classic. Runnin'toluvya, a gelding by Fiber Sonde, covered 1 1/8 miles over the fast main track in 1:50.56. Ridden by Oscar Flores and sent off at odds of 9-1, Runnin'toluvya was conditioned by trainer Timothy Grams.
Co-favorite Diamond King ran second by a half-length, while War Story outfinished Rally Cry for the show.
After running mostly in West Virginia bred company throughout his career, Grams tried his 5-year-old in the state's marquee event after stringing together eight straight wins around the track's six-furlong configuration. Runnin'toluvya responded in the way he's always seemed to according to his trainer
“I'm just lucky to own a horse like this who steps up and seems to always do what we ask him to. We've put a lot of challenges on him but he's stepped up and really surprised us.”
The top two finished well clear of War Story who checked in third, just ahead of Rally Cry who rounded out the superfecta.
For Grams, the win was sweet for him personally, but also for the program he has been a prominent part of for years.
“It just means so much to me to be able to represent the West Virginia program like this. I really wanted him to represent us well and I think he did a lot better than that today.”
And on a personal level, the victory in the Charles Town Classic that boosted Runnin'toluvya's career earnings close to the $1 million mark, there's only been one thing that tops it.
“I know this sounds corny 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.”
“My horse when he had the lead in the stretch, he always gave me another gear,” said Flores. “Whenever I asked, my horse just responded again. Every time I asked, he gave me more.”
Bred by Leslie G. Cromer, Runnin'toluvya has now won 12 of his 16 lifetime starts. The gelding has not lost for nearly 11 months, and his overall earnings now stand at over $900,000. The Charles Town Classic was his first graded stakes victory.
Additionally, the card was an overwhelming success from a business standpoint as Charles Town shattered its previous single day wagering record with $5,720,375 put through the windows today. The previous high of $4,847,106 was recorded on Charles Town Classic day in 2015.
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