War Story can earn redemption in Charles Town Classic

The Grade II, $1 million Charles Town Classic is set for Saturday at Charles Town racecourse. The 1 1/8-mile handicap heat drew a field of 10 with one also-eligible. Post time for the Charles Town Classic, Race 11 on a stakes-laden 13-race program, is 5:37 p.m. Eastern.

#9 WAR STORY (7-2, morning-line favorite) has hit the board in two prior attempts in the Charles Town Classic, including a heartbreaking loss by a neck to SOMETHING AWESOME in last year’s renewal. WAR STORY’s experience over this bullring course gives him the leg-up on those who’ve yet to try it. His tactical speed will prevent him from falling behind early, which helps with Charles Town’s short stretch. WAR STORY has some of the best speed figures in the field, and the extra rest he received going into this start (unusual for him) may aid his cause. Kendrick Carmouche ships in for the assignment.

#3 DIAMOND KING (4-1) had an up-and-down sophomore campaign, winning the Federico Tesio and placing in three Grade IIIs while missing the board in both the Preakness and Ohio Derby. But DIAMOND KING’s four-year-old debut was an eye-catcher, as he beat allowance/optional claiming horses at Gulfstream by open lengths. If he can build on that start under new pilot Javier Castellano, he’ll be involved late for sure.

#10 UNBRIDLED JUAN (15-1) could potentially spice up the exotics under new jockey J.D. Acosta. He’s failed to win his first three starts (all stakes) of 2019 but hit the board twice. His 2018 record was 6-3-2-1, with stakes victories at Delaware and Laurel. UNBRIDLED JUAN is 7-1-4-2 at the 1 1/8-mile distance.

The play: $3 exacta box 3/9, $2 exacta 3,9/10 ($10)

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