Three-time Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Game On Dude arrived in West Virginia April 15 ahead of his expected start in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II) April 19, when he will bid for a repeat victory in the race at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Game On Dude was one of 19 horses boarding a Tex Sutton flight in Ontario, Calif. at 5:00 a.m. PDT that made a stop in Lexington, before touching down in Martinsburg, W.V. a little before 2 p.m. EDT.
Owned by Diamond Pride, Lanni Family Trust, Mercedes Stable, and Bernie Schiappa, Game On Dude was accompanied on his journey by trainer Bob Baffert's assistant Jim Barnes.
The 7-year-old Awesome Again gelding was joined on his cross-country trip by fellow Charles Town Classic probables Clubhouse Ride and Imperative.
Six-S Racing Stable and Nikolas Petralia's Clubhouse Ride is winless in seven starts since capturing last year's Californian Stakes (gr. II). The 6-year-old son of Candy Ride checked in second, a half-length behind Game On Dude in the 2013 Charles Town Classic. KM Racing Enterprise's San Antonio Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Imperative, a 4-year-old Bernardini gelding, will be making his first career start outside of California.
After dropping off most of the flight's contingent in Kentucky, the three Charles Town Classic-bound horses were joined by Southern Equine Stable's 2013 Dwyer Stakes (gr. II) winner and Travers Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Moreno before continuing on to West Virginia. The 4-year-old son of Ghostzapper had previously vanned up to Lexington from Hot Springs, Ark. where he was scratched from the April 12 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) and pointed instead to the Charles Town Classic.
Entries for the Charles Town Classic card will be taken and drawn on April 16, with post time for the first race set for 5:00 p.m. EDT. The Charles Town Classic is scheduled to go off at 10:30 p.m.