$1.2m is up for grabs at the Charles Town 'bull ring'
Preview: USA, Saturday 10.36pm BST
Charles Town: Charles Town Classic (Grade 2) 1m1f | dirt | 4yo+
By some measure the most notable thing about the Charles Town Classic is the prize fund – a cool $1.2 million is on the table at the idiosyncratic West Virginia track.
Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Diversify (Rick Violette/Irad Ortiz) heads a field of seven older horses chasing the loot around three turns of the ultra-tight 6f circuit, known as a 'bull ring' in the States.
Such venues habitually favour front-runners, and the five-year-old gelding made all for his career high in the Jockey Club at Belmont last October and was said to be sore after a lacklustre effort back in Grade 1 company at Churchill Downs seven weeks later.
Plans to contest the world's richest race, the Pegasus World Cup, in January were duly shelved with connections deciding to wait for Charles Town instead.
Rivals include Pegasus fourth Fear The Cowboy (Efren Loza/Luis Negron), last year's third War Story (Jorge Navarro/Javier Castellano) and the speedy Afleet Willy (Claudio Gonzalez/Jomar Torres), who has won a pair of stakes at Laurel Park in impressive fashion.
Also on Saturday
Keeneland: Elkhorn Stakes (Grade 2) 1m4f | turf | 4yo+ (10.30pm BST, live on ATR)
Brazilian legend Jorge Ricardo, the world-record holder for career victories with 12,867 winners to his name, makes a rare trip outside South America to partner Some In Tieme (Kenny McPeek) in this $250,000 event. The six-year-old is Brazilian-bred and -owned.
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