Return of Runnin’toluvya heads Charles Town card

by | Mar 21, 2020 | Breaking, Racing, Top Stories, West Virginia, WV Racing

Runnin'toluvya
Runnin’toluvya outfought Diamond King to win the 2019 G2 Charles Town Classic. Photo by Allison Janezic.

Amid the fluid situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, Charles Town is set to resume live racing this weekend with a solid card slated for Saturday night that will feature the return of Grade 2 Charles Town Classic winner Runnin’toluvya.

He is among the compact field of five state-bred, older runners that will convene for a $32,500, seven-furlong allowance set to go as the seventh race. He makes his seasonal debut following a disastrous end to his previous campaign, when he got fractious in the gate prior to the start of the West Virginia Breeders Classic, cut his left stifle and eventually finished last.

“He’s doing great,” said trainer Tim Grams. “He had the entire winter off and came back stronger and now he’s ready for a big race. This is like a must-win situation for me. It’s not about the money, by any means. It’s just that his last couple of races were so tough. He didn’t break well in the Gall and then the Classic was almost a disaster. But he came back really great and now he’s ready to run a big race.”

Grams and his wife Judy, as Grams Racing Stable, also own Runnin’toluvya, a six-year-old Fiber Sonde gelding who was bred by Leslie Cromer. Runnin’toluvya won three of six starts in 2019 and banked over $950,000 while being named last year’s champion West Virginia-bred older male and co-horse of the year along with Anna’s Bandit.

Runnin’toluvya will have four quality rivals to face on Saturday night, including Jeff Runco trainees North Atlantic and Penguin Power. North Atlantic has won once in two starts this year and boasts a 16-14-9 slate and over $560,000 banked from 43 career tries, including a pair of second-place finishes in the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic. Penguin Power, who brings a seven-race win streak into this event, including wins in the Frank Gall and A Huevo Stakes for Runco, makes his seasonal bow after being named champion West Virginia-bred sprinter.

“That North Atlantic has been here all winter,” Grams said. “He’s tough. He never misses a race and he’s very consistent. I have seen Penguin Power work a few times, and he looks good. I’m expecting him to run a good race.”

Another contender in the seven-furlong allowance is Mean Bean, an eight-year-old Garnered gelding owned and trained by Glenn Harrison. Mean Bean has won both of his starts this year and owns 10-12-6 and over $250,000 banked from 38 career outings.

One race earlier in a two-turn allowance, Hero’s Man, an allowance winner here on January 22, will seek his second straight score for owner-breeder-trainer James W. Casey. Hero’s Man owns a solid 6-2-2 slate and $125,000 banked from 11 career tries and he shared co-champion state-bred three-year-old male with Loving Touch, the Grams-trained full brother to Runnin’toluvya. Boaster, who sports six wins and $120,000 banked from 16 career tries for Runco, makes his seasonal debut in this spot.

Another Runco trainee who will garner plenty of attention early on the card is Muad’dib, the three-year-old full-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Late Night Pow Wow. Muad’dib has won both of his starts and will likely be the odds-on choice in the second race, a two-turn allowance for state-bred sophomores. Muad’dib won easily at first asking on Feb. 5 then virtually repeated that effort on Feb. 28 in his first try against winners.

Post time for the card is 7:00 p.m.

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About The Author

Ted Black

Ted Black, a Maryland native, has covered racing — flat and harness, in West Virginia and in Maryland — since 1987 and is now in his fourth decade on the beat. He is president of the Maryland Racing Media Association. Follow him on twitter @tblacksomds1.

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