Governmentshutdown won the 2014 Rollicking Stakes at Pimlico. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

Governmentshutdown won the 2014 Rollicking Stakes at Pimlico. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

From a Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races release

Trainer Tom Amoss knows what it takes to succeed in the $100,000 Robert Hilton Memorial, having won the race last year with multiple stakes and 2013 Delta Jackpot (G3) winner Rise Up and with Free World in 2013.  He believes he’s back with the right kind of horse this year that can propel him to the hat trick.

2015CharlesTownClassicLogoAmoss returns to Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races with Control Stake, who comes in off a three-month freshening following a gate-to-wire, two-length victory in January in the Big Drama Stakes at Delta Downs.

That race, like the Robert Hilton Memorial, came in a two-turn, seven-furlong race on a six-furlong track.

The Robert Hilton Memorial, for three-year-olds, is on the undercard of the marquee race in West Virginia, the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic, which this year features Shared Belief, the co-top ranked horse in the world, according to the Longines world rankings.

Post time for the Robert Hilton Memorial is 4:50pm EST.

“His form is similar to Rise Up,” Amoss said. “They’re fast sprinters, and he has speed. Those are the types of horses I like to bring to Charles Town, so we’ll see how he does. He’s done well on the bull ring surfaces like Delta Downs, and his form will transfer to the Charles Town configuration.

Control Stake, by Discreetly Mine, has won three of six starts and finished first, second and third in three stakes tries. He drew post position 3 and will be ridden by veteran jockey Cornelio Velasquez.

Several of the runners in the field of nine have proven their affinity for Charles Town, perhaps none more than Arkaybee (pronounced R-K-B), who races for local trainer Ronney Brown.

Arkaybee, a son of Deputy Storm, has won three of four lifetime starts, all at the track, and his two most recent have been by 10 3/4 lengths and 1 1/4 lengths in allowance races. This will be his first stakes appearance.


“We’ve taken our time with him, trying to get him up to this race here and hopefully to bigger and better things,” Brown said. “He could always run. When I saw him go :33 4/5 [seconds for three furlongs] one morning, I said, ‘This one can run.’ He’s right up there with some of my best.”

Brown, who has racked up enough wins to finish either first or second in the trainer standings at Charles Town in 12 of the past 15 years has leading local rider Jose Montano aboard on Saturday.

Outside of Control Stake, the only other stakes winner in the field is Governmentshutdown, who races for Maryland-based trainer John Robb.

As a two-year-old, Governmentshutdown won the Rollicking Stakes. In the field was Hootenanny, who subsequently traveled to France and finished second in the Grade 1 Darley Prix de Morny and then returned to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).

Governmentshutdown, however, has struggled since, finishing off the board in each of three subsequent stakes starts.  The son of Exchange Rate has Travis Dunkelberger in the irons as he attempts to get back to the winner’s circle.

Charitable Annuity, Estimated Prophet, One More Time, To the Victor, Noteworthy Peach, and Attempt to Dream complete the field.

The Robert Hilton Memorial will be the second leg of the $100,000 guaranteed all-stakes Pick 4 that gets underway one race earlier in Race 9 with the Its Binn Too Long stakes.

[su_box title=”$100,000 ROBERT HILTON MEMORIAL ENTRIES” style=”glass”]
  1. Charitable Annuity, Antonio Lopez, 118, James W. Casey
  2. Estimated Prophet, Jose Montano, 118, Sandra A. Dono
  3. Control Stake, Cornelio H. Velasquez, 123, Thomas M. Amoss
  4. One More Time, Erik Ramirez, 118, John A. Casey
  5. Arkaybee, Jose Montano, 118, Ronney W. Brown
  6. To the Victor, Joel Rosario, 118, Michael Dilger
  7. Noteworthy Peach, Horacio Karamanos, 120, Gary Capuano
  8. Attempt to Dream, Christian Hiraldo, 118, Angel Gonzalez
  9. Governmentshutdown, Travis L. Dunkelberger, 118, John J. Robb