10/14/2015 2:43PM

Charitable Annuity has youth on his side

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Coady Photography
Charitable Annuity wins the West Virginia Breeders' Classic on Oct. 10 at Charles Town.

There may have been a passing of the torch at Charles Town last Saturday night when the 3-year-old Charitable Annuity finished strongly to win the $450,000 West Virginia Breeders’ Classic while the 9-year-old Russell Road backed up in the final three furlongs of the 1 1/8-mile race to finish ninth.

Both Russell Road and Charitable Annuity are owned by Mark Russell and trained by James W. Casey.

Charitable Annuity is now 6 for 9 and has won four of his last five races by daylight margins. The Breeders’ Classic was his first start beyond seven furlongs, but he overtook the front-running Hidden Canyon in the final sixteenth and pulled away for a 2 3/4-length victory.

“He wants a mile and an eighth,” Casey said. “We thought he did because he’d been galloping out so strong.”

The win was especially significant for Casey because he stands Charitable Annuity’s sire, Charitable Man, at his family’s Taylor Mountain Farm in Charles Town, W.Va.

Charitable Man, a son of Lemon Drop Kid, won the Grade 2 Peter Pan as a 3-year-old in 2009 and the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont Park at 2.

“That was a big win for my stallion,” Casey said. “Charitable Annuity is from his first crop.”

Taylor Mountain also stands Windsor Castle, Denis of Cork, and Luftikus.

Casey said he might give Charitable Annuity the rest of the year off. The Charles Town Classic against open company is a possible long-term goal.

“We’d take him back to the farm and then put him back in training around the first of the year,” Casey said. “We could look at the big race here next spring.”

Russell Road bled in the Breeders’ Classic, according to Casey.

“He bled pretty good the other night,” Casey said. “We had a vet look at him after the race, and he said on a scale of 1 to 5 that he bled a 3.”

Russell Road, a winner of 30 of 58 starts and more than $1.96 million, was shooting for his fourth win in the Breeders’ Classic. He won the race in 2014, 2011, and 2009 and finished second in it in 2013 and 2012.

“He’s only bled one other time in his career,” Casey said.

Casey said he might bring Russell Road back in the $50,000 A Huevo, a 1 1/8-mile stakes at Charles Town on Nov. 14.

“If he doesn’t fire, we might retire him,” he said. “He’s 9 and looks as good as any horse I’ve seen that old. He looks 4 or 5, but his age might be catching up to him.”