CHARLES TOWN – Talented West Virginia-bred racehorse Lucy’s Bob Boy has returned to training following a disappointing last-place finish last month in the $1.5 million Grade 2 Charles Town Classic, his trainer said.
Sandra Dono said the 5-year-old chestnut gelding will be pointed toward reprising his role this summer, and also later this fall, as one of the state’s best thoroughbreds in training. Dono said it is likely that Lucy’s Bob Boy will embark on a campaign similar to last year, where he raced against both open stakes company and also in contests restricted only to West Virginia-bred horses.
Dono said she is eyeing an ultimate return for him in October to the West Virginia Breeders Classic, a 1 1/8-miles race restricted to state-breds that carries a $500,000 purse. Lucy’s Bob Boy won the West Virginia Breeders Classic in 2012 as a 3-year-old.
On Tuesday, Lucy’s Bob Boy was entered in a six-furlong allowance race on May 11 at Mountaineer Park in Chester, W.Va., along with two-time former West Virginia Breeders Classic champion Russell Road.
Last month against some of the best horses from across the country, Lucy’s Bob Boy ran with the early pacesetters for the first half-mile, but lost steam down the back stretch before being eased around the final turn by jockey Arnaldo Bocachica.
Imperative, a 26-to-1 longshot, defeated defending champion and odds-on favorite Game on Dude by 1 1/2 lengths to take the $1 million winner’s share of the Charles Town Classic. Lucy’s Bob Boy, the first West Virginia-bred horse to run in the six years of the Classic, finished seventh, beaten by 30 1/4 lengths.
“He came back OK,” Dono said. “There are couple things I probably would have done differently. A little bit different with preparing him for the race.”
Dono said she thought Lucy’s Bob Boy might have been unsettled from his regular routine while being sequestered in a stall outside his normal barn prior to the race, as is standard industry security policy for such high stakes events.
Lucy’s Bob Boy has generated a record of 17 wins from 24 lifetime starts, amassing more than $664,000 in purse earnings. He has only raced twice at tracks other than Charles Town, both resulting in defeat.
“We really don’t have a plan right now,” Dono said. “We’ll keep him in training and if a race comes up here, we’ll probably run him back here in a little softer spot and make sure everything is OK with him.”
Last year, Lucy’s Bob Boy won five of his first six races before running uncharacteristically poorly while trying to defend his title in October in the West Virginia Breeders Classic.
He finished ninth during that effort, beaten 8 1/4 lengths by Fred High, before Dono discovered an abscess on one of his hooves.
Lucy’s Bob Boy responded four weeks later with an impressive 8-length victory while going nine furlongs in the A Huevo Stakes in November.
Earlier on, Lucy’s Bob Boy also defeated open stakes company in September in the Wild and Wonderful Stakes covering seven furlongs, a month after winning the Frank Gall Memorial Stakes for state-breds going the same 7/8 of a mile distance.
“We’ll definitely be training him and heading him in that direction,” Dono said.