07/10/2010 11:00PM

Class Bopper cruises in Ferguson hurdle stakes

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Class Bopper capitalized on the absence of morning-line favorite Slip Away to score an easy front-running victory in Sunday s Grade 3, $68,000 David Zeke Ferguson Memorial Hurdle Stakes at Colonial Downs.

A 5-year-old Virginia-bred trained by Lilith Boucher, Class Bopper ($11.60) had been racing on the flat in his first three starts this season. Back in a steeplechase for the first time since leading from start to finish in the AFLAC Supreme Hurdle at Pine Mountain, Ga., last November, Class Bopper was left as the lone speed after the early scratch of Slip Away, a Grade 3 winner who won last year s Ferguson.

Unchallenged for much of the 2.25-mile race, Class Bopper, under Richard Boucher, was in front by three lengths with one fence remaining and widened his margin to 10 lengths at the finish while completing the course in 4:05.58.

It was the fourth win in five hurdle races for Class Bopper and his third straight steeplechase score since November 2008.

The 9-year-old Dr. Bloomer, fifth in this race two years ago, finished second at 22-1 while making his first start in 14 months. He was 4.25 lengths clear of Dark Equation, who got up by a head for third over Divine Fortune, the co-favorite at 9-5.