08/16/2012 12:42PM

Charles Town: Russell Road tries Gall again

Mike Montgomery
Russell Road, under Luis Perez, wins the Confucious Say Stakes.

The millionaire Russell Road has been a dominant presence among West Virginia-breds at Charles Town. Except when it comes to the Frank Gall Memorial, that is.

Although the 6-year-old gelding Russell Road won the 2009 running of the seven-furlong Gall at 1-10 odds, he was sixth at 1-10 in 2010 and third at 3-10 in last year’s race. Russell Road, 21 for 35 with earnings of $1.2 million, is back for his fourth crack at the $50,000 Gall on Saturday night. He comes into the race off a fourth-place finish against open company in the $100,000 Wild and Wonderful on June 30.

Black Belt and Son of a Bear are viable alternatives for those who fear Russell Road may fail again at a short price.

The 5-year-old Black Belt is back in with statebreds for the firsts time since finishing two lengths behind Russell Road in last fall’s 1 1/8-mile West Virginia Breeders’ Classic. Black Belt was second by a neck in last year’s Gall and won the race in 2010.

Son of a Bear, fifth in the 2011 Gall, is in peak form after winning an allowance by five lengths on Aug. 3. He was second to Russell Road in the seven-furlong Confucius Say in April, runner-up to Russell Road in a 1 1/16-mile allowance last September, and second, beaten just a half-length by Russell Road, in last year’s Confucius Say.