09/15/2016 11:16AM

Nine stakes races support $300,000 Oaks

Coady Photography
Rise Up ran away with the Robert Hilton Memorial in his only appearance at Charles Town.

Rise Up, whose five career stakes victories include the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot as a 2-year-old, and Grande Shores, a top-three finisher in a trio of Grade 3 stakes last winter at Gulfstream Park, are the two most intriguing runners in a six-horse field for Saturday night’s $100,000 Wild and Wonderful Stakes at Charles Town.

The seven-furlong Wild and Wonderful is among nine stakes supporting the $300,000 Charles Town Oaks on a 13-race card with a special early post time of 5 p.m. Eastern.

The 5-year-old Rise Up, based at Churchill Downs with trainer Tom Amoss, romped by 10 3/4 lengths in his only previous appearance at Charles Town in the seven-furlong Robert Hilton Memorial in 2014. He will be cutting back from a mile after easily winning an optional $50,000 claimer at Ellis Park in early August.

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“It’s no secret that he’s a horse that needs to be on the lead,” Amoss said. “His last work at the Churchill Downs training track was very good. It’s a similar configuration to the track at Charles Town, and that’s what we did before his win in the Robert Hilton. So, he’s coming into it as well as we could hope.”

Grande Shores, an 8-year-old who has been training at Churchill for trainer Mark Casse, has won 15 races and $618,499 in his career. The winner of the Claiming Crown Rapid Transit in 2014 and an overnight sprint stakes at Gulfstream last year, Grande Shore’s fastest race came when he missed by a neck in the Grade 3 Fred Hooper in February 2015, earning a 105 Beyer Speed Figure.

His lone victory in eight starts this year came in the $100,000 Sir Shackleton going seven furlongs at Gulfstream in April.

Saturday’s field also includes Old Upstart, freshened since winning a $50,000 claimer going seven furlongs at Saratoga on July 30.

Elsewhere on the undercard:

◗ Charitable Annuity, who won last year’s West Virginia Breeders’ Classic as a 3-year-old, will have his final prep for the $500,000 race on Oct. 8 in the $30,000 Roger Ramey Handicap at 1 1/8 miles. Charitable Annuity will face just four rivals when he seeks his fourth win in his last five starts.

◗ Racings My Game, a romping winner over open company two starts ago at Thistledown, will face statebreds for the first time in the $50,000 Henry Mercer Memorial for 2-year-olds going 4 1/2 furlongs. The race is a prep for the 6 1/2-furlong Vincent Moscarelli on Oct. 8.

◗ Scottish Denis, an easy winner of her career debut last month, looks fastest among eight 2-year-old statebred fillies in the $50,000 Rachel’s Turn at 4 1/2 furlongs. It’s a prep for the 6 1/2-furlong Triple Crown Nutrition.

◗ Hidden Canyon, making his first start since a runner-up finish in last fall’s West Virginia Breeders’ Classic, and In the Fairway, exiting a dominant win in the $100,000 Northern Panhandle at Mountaineer, will clash in the $50,000 Frank Gall Memorial for statebreds going seven furlongs. The race will produce starters for the seven-furlong Onion Juice.

◗ Greenway Court, 5 for 5 last season, including the Dash for Cash on the West Virginia Breeders’ Classic program, but winless in two starts this year, will try to regain his form in the $50,000 It’s Only Money at 4 1/2 furlongs.

◗ Cuppa Mocha Mojo and Red Hot Diva, the one-two finishers in last year’s $135,000 Cavada, will meet Navy Ribbon, who lost for the first time in eight career races last month, in the $50,000 Sadie Hawkins. These statebred fillies and mares going seven furlongs are prepping for next month’s Cavada.

◗ Dimples, beaten a neck as the 6-5 favorite in last October’s 1 1/8-mile West Virginia Breeders’ Classic Distaff, will tune up for that race in the $30,000 Ann Hilton for fillies and mares at nine furlongs.