Lucy's Bob Boy left odds-on pick Russell Road and the rest behind on the final turn en route to an eight-length romp in the $450,000 West Virginia Breeders' Classic at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races Oct. 20 (VIDEO).
Gustavo Larrosa guided 3-1 shot Lucy's Bob Boy, one of only two 3-year-olds in the field, to victory for trainer Sandra Dono and owner Michael Furr. Larrosa has ridden Lucy's Bob Boy to all eight of his career wins.
Lucy's Bob Boy, on a six-race winning streak, ran the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:51.06 over a fast track in his first start beyond seven furlongs. Russell Road, who was seeking his third win in the West Virginia Breeders' Classic, was second by three-quarters of a length over Allegheny Jack.
"We felt this was the right time," Dono said of Lucy's Bob Boy's big test. "Last time out he galloped out really strong to the three-eighths pole, and we knew it was time to go in the big race. When Gus (Larrosa) dropped his head at the three-eighths pole all I thought was go, go, go! Gus and her are so in sync. They are perfect."
Forwardly placed at the outset from his far outside post in the field of 10, Lucky's Bob Boy pressed Allegheny Jack and Figpenn on a moderate pace of :24.56, :49.10, and 1:14.48, as Russell Road tracked the leaders in the next flight of horses under Luis Perez.
Larrosa gave Lucy's Bob Boby his cue with three furlongs to run over the Charleston bullring and the chestnut gelding quickly spurted to a clear advantage on the final bend, one that he increased through the lane under a hand ride.
"We proved everybody wrong tonight," Larrosa said. "A lot of people doubted us and came up with all kinds of reasons he couldn't win. The plan was to go to lead if it was slow or take back if it was fast. I looked at the quarter first time by the board and saw 24 and took a little hold. He was 100 percent right tonight.
"I want to thank Sandra Dono for riding me tonight. I have been riding races now for close to 30 years and this is my biggest one."
Million dollar earner Russell Road had won 21 of 32 prior starts at Charles Town. the 6-year-old lost for the second time in five starts this year.
Lucy's Bob Boy has made all 10 of his starts at Charles Town and was second in the only two starts he hasn't won. He was coming off a five-length win in a state-bred handicap race for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs Sept. 22. This was his fourth stakes triumph and the winner's share of $225,000 boosted Lucy's Bob Boy's earnings to $396,000.
Carrying 118, the winner received a four-pound allowance under weight-for-age conditions and paid $8.20, $3.40, and $3.20 as the second choice. Russell Road returned $2.60 and $2.20 while rounding out a $20.40 exacta. Allegheny Jack paid $3.60 with Travis Dunkelberger aboard for trainer Chris Grove.
Son of a Bear, Rummy's Command, Fred High, Black Belt, Lively Reparations, Figpenn, and Sea Rescue completed the order.