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W.Va. Breeders Classics set for Oct. 20

September 02, 2007|By LARRY YANOS

Sam Huff, CEO of the West Virginia Breeders Classics, said things are going well in preparation for the 21st renewal of the prestigous thoroughbred horse racing event.

Breeders Classics XXI will be held Oct. 20 at Charles Town Races & Slots. It will offer a total of $1,750,000 in purses.

The evening of racing is restricted to West Virginia-bred-or-sired horses and the two main events will be the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic for 3-year-olds-and-up at 1 1/8 miles and the $350,000 Cavada West Virginia Breeders Classic for 3-year-old-and-upwards fillies and mares at 7 furlongs.

"It's a great night to showcase horse racing in West Virginia," the NFL Hall of Famer said. "It takes a lot of work from the Classics board of directors, the horsemen and management to make this thing work ... and it has worked for many years."

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Thanks to simulcasting and on-track coverage by ESPN, the entire country gets an opportunity to view racing from Charles Town.

"The state has come a long way and the breeding programs are getting stronger every year," Huff said. "The fans will see some outstanding horses compete for big bucks."

It is Huff's intention to make those "big bucks" even bigger in the future.

"The $500,000 feature is great but, hopefully, one day that figure will be $1 million," Huff said. "We're working toward increasing the purses as well as adding more Jefferson County, state and national sponsors."

Here's the the lineup for Breeders Classics XXI:

· $100,000 2-year-old fillies at 4 1/2 furlongs.

· $100,000 2-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs.

· $100,000 3-year-old fillies at 7 furlongs.

· $100,000 3-year-olds at 7 furlongs.

· $100,000 3-year-old-and-up at 4 1/2 furlongs.

· $100,000 3-year-old-and-up colts and geldings at 7 furlongs.

· $350,000 3-year-old-and-upwards fillies and mares at 7 furlongs.

· $500,000 3-year-old-and-up West Virginia Breeders Classic at 1 1/8 miles.

For information, check the event's Web site at WVBC.com.

Something for everyone

While thoroughbred racing highlights the Breeders Classics weekend, Huff says there's something for everyone.

"The Gala Dinner-Dance on Thursday, the Celebrity Golf Tournament on Friday and the Breakfast of Champions on Saturday all get the community of Charles Town and surrounding areas involved," he said.

"I enjoy them all, but I think the public likes the Breakfast of Champions," Huff said. "There's the regulars (such as Bobby Mitchell, Sonny Jurgensen, Sonny Randle, Pat Fischer, Brig Owens, Charley Taylor and Huff) but people also enjoy the guests. Last year, we had Pat Day. This year I've invited Frank Gifford and Billy Kilmer. I hope they accept the invitation."

Labor Day card

Charles Town will offer a special holiday racing card Monday.

Post time for the Labor Day program is 1 p.m.

This Saturday, two stakes races will be held at Charles Town: The $45,000-added Cinderella Stakes for 2-year-olds at 4 1/2 furlongs and the $45,000-added Henry P. Mercer Memorial Stakes at 4 1/2-furlongs.

Larry Yanos covers horse racing for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at larryy@herald-mail.com

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