Updated on 04/21/2015 9:44AM

Moreno steals show in Charles Town Classic

Barbara D. Livingston
Moreno pays $16 as the surprise winner of the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic.

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - While Shared Belief was pulled up on the backstretch of the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic on Saturday with an apparent stifle injury, Moreno was storming home a two-length winner in track-record time.

Shared Belief's injury took the focus off Moreno but does not diminish his accomplishment. Moreno took the early lead, relinquished it to 80-1 shot Warrioroftheroses, retook command with a half-mile to go and finished strongly without being seriously threatened.

"I knew when we and that other horse, Warrioroftheroses, separated from the pack early that we were okay," trainer Eric Guillot said. "I knew that other horse would come back to us."

Moreno earned a winner's share of $852,000. And since Moreno is a previous Grade 1 winner, Guillot and owner Mike Moreno also will split a $50,000 participation incentive written into the conditions of the Classic.

Shared Belief injured during Classic

Shared Belief was eligible for a $100,000 bonus under the race conditions for winning the Pacific Classic last summer. Unfortunately, the conditions state that the bonuses will be paid to a horse that "starts and finishes the 2015 Charles Town Classic." Since Shared Belief didn't complete the course, he apparently loses the bonus.

Jim Rome, the sports talk show host and a part owner of Shared Belief, said on his Twitter account at 7:50 p.m. Saturday, that "Shared Belief is up and walking around in the barn. He is off in his behind. Vets have been w/ hi. Does not appear to be life threatening."

Guillot, in the winner's circle after the race, said he planned to freshen Moreno and then point him to the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga, a race he won last year. Guillot said he might run Moreno first in the Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 13. The Foster is a Win and You're In for the Breeders' Cup Classic this fall at Keeneland, a race that also is on Guillot's radar.

Moreno, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, paid $16 to win as the third betting choice in the nine-horse field behind Shared Belief and General a Rod, who finished fifth.

Imperative, who won the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic last year, finished second to Moreno, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of third-place finisher Page McKenney. Vyjack finished another length back in fourth. Warrioroftheroses tired to eighth.

Moreno was timed for the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.81, breaking Researcher's track record of 1:49.76 by almost a second. Researcher set the record three weeks before he won the inaugural Charles Town Classic in 2009.

Moreno, a 5-year-old son of Ghostzapper, has now won 4 of 26 starts. He won his maiden in his 10th career start and then took the 2013 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park in his next start. After a number of near-misses against top company, Moreno won the Whitney last August at Saratoga.

That Shared Belief didn't finish in the top three triggered huge show payoffs as $621,000 of the $692,000 in the show pool was wagered on him. Moreno paid $23.20 to show; Imperative paid $41.60 to place and $71.20 to show; and Page McKenney paid $45.60 to show.

The Charles Town Classic was an appealing spot for show plungers because Shared Belief was a very heavy favorite and because West Virginia is one of only a few states that has a miminmum show payoff of $2.20. The majority of states pay $2.10.

Walter More than 1 year ago
Any current update on the SB injury?
tommy More than 1 year ago
He's out for the year!!!! It really is a shame because now I can't bet against him to make more money!!!!!!!
mike More than 1 year ago
Bob More than 1 year ago
Racing luck or no luck is part of the game. Twice he had hard luck races now. This humbles you real fast. I still haven't seen a Cigar or Zenyatta and Shared Belief won't be one of them. Not even a Holy Bull.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
tommy, give us all some more laughs on ur delusional "vo2 max theory".
tommy More than 1 year ago
I feel sorry trying to educate you!!!!!!! Let's talk about the kentucky derby and how much they will pay me !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
I cant believe you made the Hall of Fame article a PLUS. You absolute IMBEC"LES. Way to keep fans away from an important article on the sport. NO OTHER sport would do something like this to their fans. OH and by the way, when your useless bloggers "journalists" have a moment, how about an article on the passing of Elusive Kate??
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
and dont charge for it.
tommy More than 1 year ago
The track steals money!!!! How can Moreno pay more to show than win??????????????????????????????
C Bisquit More than 1 year ago
you didn't press play did you. I am doing you a favor tommy!!!! Recording tommy ...take 1 "Shut the F up!!!!" Stop recording... This is my gift to you. Whenever you think you will be saying something stupid which is often just hit the playback button.
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Go play in traffic, and when you're done, I'll explain.
tra More than 1 year ago
I had a bad feeling about this race because he never traveled outside of California. Good time to bet against.
Scott More than 1 year ago
First, I want to congratulate Moreno's connections. I've never seen him run this good. He's not a horse that likes to come from behind (even if the horse who took the early lead from him was an 80 to 1 nag). It was a fine performance. Second, I'm very happy that Shared Belief's injury doesn't appear life threatening, but boy does this muddy the older horse Division. Let's take a quick look at the year we were hoping to see and how it's fared so far: Bayern - He won the BCC (even if it deserved an asterisk) and I was really looking forward to seeing him run this year. I continue to wait. He's aiming for a start at Churchill soon, but once again will be making his bid for HOTY based solely on a second half of the Season type resume. It's Horse of the YEAR!!! Still, I hope he can give us a few thrills and soon! Toast of New York - I didn't expect him to run much in the States, but he hasn't run anywhere yet this year. He's on the shelf right now with a soft tissue injury. He was supposed to run in the Dubai World Cup, but the injury prevented that. California Chrome - He's ran and while he hasn't won this year, I can't say I'm disappointed with his performances on the track. Losing by about 1 1/2 to Shared Belief in your first race out of the gate when the rest of the field was no where to be seen certainly isn't anything to be ashamed of and then coming in 2nd in the Dubai World Cup again is nothing to be ashamed of. The big problem for the US fan base and people who actually thought this horse had a shot at HOTY is that the Eclipse Awards aren't International, so running overseas pretty much removes CC's name from the ballot. Maybe we'll see him again in the States after the reality of how much better European Turf horses are than US hits his connections, but like Bayern, his stateside resume will amount to half the year when all is said and done. Shared Belief - Short of one of the stud 3 year olds winning the Triple Crown, he seemed like a mortal lock for HOTY. Now, we have to wonder how soon or if he'll ever race again. If he does, then will he be the same star. Palace Malice - Still waiting for a start. Supposedly, he's training forwardly, but I'm of the mind that I'll believe it when I see it from this guy. And again, you're looking at another who will try for votes with only a 6 month type resume. The bottom line is an older Division that looked loaded with stars and great future racing, suddenly looks even worse than it was last year. Who'd have thought the best race of the year in the older Division would happen in a Grade 2 in February.
C Bisquit More than 1 year ago
SCOTT!! if you want your own column get hired by DRF first. This is a comments" section. Not your personal space to try out your high school writing skills.
stockmann9914 . More than 1 year ago
Your so evil Bisquit! I suggest he spend ten million on yearlings and race his horses every week.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Who cares what you think!!!!!!!!!!!! Live with it!!!! Live with my comments!!!!!! I will do more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Since you don't like it ; ) !!!!!!!!!!!!!
C Bisquit More than 1 year ago
read all the response. Use your gift from me and press play!!!
tommy More than 1 year ago
Moreno can win horse of the year and older male horse of the year!! Moreno is on top for older male horse of the year !!!!
tommy More than 1 year ago
Horse of the year , Moreno!!!!
Scott More than 1 year ago
Tommy, I'm guessing you're making a joke, but it's not nearly as far fetched as you think. I know you like a few 3 year olds that will surely disappoint you, but when you look at History it's not uncommon for the best 3 year olds to fade badly or just retire prior to the end of the Season. What happens if the top 3 betting choices fail to fire in the Kentucky Derby? (While you don't agree and will choose to bet differently, the top 3 picks ARE going to be American Pharaoh, Dortmund and Carpe Diem). Suddenly, the 3 year old Division can get muddy in a hurry and with the sudden lack of a true superstar in the older Division, the HOTY award suddenly goes up for grabs. Moreno is a solid (if not spectacular) horse. He hasn't won a lot of races up to this point, but with the top horses in the older Division (Shared Belief and California Chrome) suddenly not in his way who's left? Bayern hasn't raced yet this year, but he and Moreno would do really well to avoid one another. Front runners facing off usually sets up every horse behind them. I don't think either survives to the wire if they run in the same race without interference. Everybody points to Bayern's left turn eliminating Shared Belief's chances in the BCC, but the real critical horse that was taken out of the race was Moreno. If Moreno is able to avoid Bayern (or he just isn't the same horse this year or ends up retired), then I could see him winning out, especially if the 3 year old Division falls apart. Note: It might seem far fetched right now, but we've had plenty of years where the 3 year olds had us all excited and injuries or reality bites us all and disappoints. American Pharaoh - by Pioneer of the Nile...his sire went into the Derby as the favorite, lost by 7 lengths to a 50 to 1 longshot, ran in the Preakness, got injured and was retired. POTN's sire Empire Maker...disappointed as the Derby Favorite losing ironically enough to another gelding, redeemed himself in the Belmont Stakes and came out of a 2nd place effort in the Jim Dandy injured and was promptly retired. Fragile runs in the family is the point here. Dortmund - by Big Brown...went into the Derby as the favorite, didn't disappoint, won the Preakness 2 weeks later and seemed a lock to win the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes. Instead, he was pulled up. He did redeem himself by winning the Haskell Stakes and then the Monmouth Stakes (on Turf), but his hoof issues sent him to the shed row early. Another stud horse who couldn't stay healthy all season. Carpe Diem - He has yet to run a fast race and is by Giant's Causeway. While GC's are bred for distance and success later in their careers, a lot of expectation has been heaped on a horse who really has yet to run a fast race this year. He could be a star or he might end up exposed in the Derby. Materiality - No 2 year old foundation. History says it's a terrible thing going into the Derby, but even if he succeeds on Derby Day, he's by Afleet Alex...I've wasted enough time recapping things you probably know and I loved AA, but it's worth noting that he never raced again after his impressive Belmont Stakes win. He ran in all 3 of the TC races and then retired. We just can't count on a superstar emerging from this class and therefore Moreno might not be that far fetched. Sorry to ramble, but I was so hopeful for the older Division this year and it just hasn't happened the way I wanted.
Tim Sr. More than 1 year ago
Suddenly a horse you couldn't find with a microscope beats a good allowance field (albeit with SB just not showing up) on a speed bias track and your handing him HOY. Got news for you, it wasn't long ago the spring 3 year olds were winning the BCC. In fact it was only two years ago Will Take Charge missed HOY by a nose. I think you are discounting this crop, it is deep, it has a quality, such that we haven't seen in a long time. AP, Dortmund, Materiality, Firing Line, Carpe Diem, Frosted, and that's just the top.......there will be a Tonalist that will surface later. Older male was weak to begin with and CC gone, and SB there isn't a older horse who will run with the joung guns later in the year. HOY will be a 3 year old
Tim Sr. More than 1 year ago
Excuse me, the Charles Town Classic isn't a very prestigious race.......money brought SB, and Guillot would run Moreno at Sunland if the money was right
Scott More than 1 year ago
He should run Moreno at Sunland! That track LOVES the speed horses!
Mary Sivak More than 1 year ago
Dortmund by 11... AP sixth behind firing line ,international star ,materiality,carpet diem,and frosted.
Michael Jacob More than 1 year ago
anyone who bets show is a dope.
stockmann9914 . More than 1 year ago
Anyone who bets $100,000 to show is a dope.