Charles Town, WV (SportsNetwork.com) - Leading thoroughbred Game On Dude will face six rivals Saturday night in defense of his crown in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic.
The 7-year-old gelding, partly owned by Joe Torre, will start from post 3 in the 1 1/8-mile race with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith again in the saddle. Last year he won the event by a half-length over Clubhouse Ride and was second in 2011 behind Duke of Mischief.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Game On Dude is coming off a second straight win, third overall, in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 8.
Game On Dude began 2014 with a fifth-place finish in the San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 8. The San Antonio was his first race of the year following consecutive defeats in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic and Clark Handicap.
The gelding has earned more than $6.1 million with 16 wins in 31 starts.
Last year's runner-up Clubhouse Ride drew the rail post with Tyler Baze riding. The 6-year-old chestnut horse lost by just a half-length to Game On Dude in 2013.
Trained by Craig Lewis, Clubhouse Ride is winless in three starts this year and has not won since claiming the Californian last June at Hollywood Park. Owned by Six-S Racing Stable and Nikolas Petralia, the 6-year-old has earned $1,038,882 with four wins in 35 career starts.
Here is the field in post position order: Clubhouse Ride, Tyler Baze; Moreno, Joel Rosario; Game On Dude, Mike Smith; Ruler of Love, Jose Montano; Long River, Irad Ortiz Jr.; Lucy's Bob Boy, Arnaldo Bocachica and Imperative, Kent Desormeaux.
Post time for the Charles Town Classic will be approximately 10:30 p.m. ET.