04/19/2014 9:08PM

Rise Up proves uncatchable in Robert Hilton Memorial

Coady Photography
Rise Up, under Leandro Goncalves, regains the good form he displayed as a 2-year-old in the Robert Hilton Memorial.

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - As far as Rise Up is concerned, how he starts is the key to how he will finish.

After poor starts in a pair of graded route stakes at Fair Grounds, Rise Up returned to his sharp-starting, front-running ways, taking control of the $100,000 Robert Hilton Memorial early and cruising to a 10 3/4 length victory in the seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds at Charles Town.

Elevated finished second by 4 1/4 lengths over Interchange.

The win was the fifth from nine starts for Rise Up, a son of Rockport Harbor owned by Paul and Andrena Van Doren and trained by Tom Amoss.

At 2, Rise Up won the Mountaineer Juvenile, the Jean Laffit, and the Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs.

But at Fair Grounds this winter, poor starts compromised Rise Up in the Risen Star, where he finished seventh, and the Louisiana Derby, where he finished 10th.

“I took a good gate horse and turned him into a bad gate horse,” Amoss said from Kentucky. “Fortunately, tonight, he turned it around and he broke sharp and got a good position. He’s a confirmed front-runner. He wants to take it to them early.”

Leandro Goncalves asked Rise Up for run leaving the gate and he found himself fighting with three other horses for the early lead. Rise Up got the lead after an opening quarter in 22.93 seconds. Rise Up opened up down the backstretch, running the half-mile in 46.32 seconds. He was never challenged thereafter running six furlongs in 1:11.40 and covered the seven furlongs in 1:25.00. He returned $3 as the 1-2 favorite.

“He broke good, but it took awhile til he got to the lead. I had to rush him there. I didn’t want to get shut off,” Goncalves said. “When I got to the first turn then he relaxed and then I knew I was in a good spot.”

In other stakes:

* In the Fairway ($4.20), under Jose Montano, took over from the pacesetting Wise Mac entering the far turn and galloped to a 4 1/2-length victory in the $50,000 Confucius Say Stakes for West Virginia-breds.

In the Fairway, a 4-year-old son of Posse owned and trained by Jeff Runco, won for the 10th time in 17 starts. He covered seven furlongs in 1:26.36.

* The 7-year-old mare Down Town Allen put away an early pace challenge from Margaret High and drew off to a 3 1/4-length victory in the $50,000 Original Gold Stakes for West Virginia-bred fillies and mares.

It was the 20th win from 36 career starts for Down Town Allen, a daughter of Windsor Castle owned and trained by John Casey.

Down Town Allen covered seven furlongs in 1:26.84 and returned $3.40.

* Uncle Todd ($11.60) assumed the front shortly after the start under Gerald Almodovar and carried his speed all the way to a five-length victory over 2-5 favorite Immortal Eyes in the $50,000 Webb Snyder Charles Town Dash.

Uncle Todd, a 5-year-old son of Jump Start owned by Robert Cole Jr. and trained by Kevin Patterson, covered 4 1/2 furlongs in 51.21 seconds.

Immortal Eyes was making his 50th start and has a record of 19-14-4, including an 11-3-0 mark from 14 starts at Charles Town.

* Warrioroftheroses ($5.40), a 5-year-old gelding by A.P. Warrior, recorded a front-running, 4 1/2-length victory in the $35,000 Caixa Eletronica Handicap. Travis Dunkelberger rode the winner for trainer Damon Dilodovico and owner Richard Hackerman.