Trainer Runco’s Slip the Cable smashes Classic field
Two months had slid by since trainer Jeff Runco’s Slip the Cable had last been entered in a race. And that was at only seven furlongs.
Runco was asking his chocolate-colored thoroughbred to negotiate a mile-and-one-eighth when the full field went to the post in the 30th running of the West Virginia Breeders Classic over a water-filled, sloppy track last Saturday at Charles Town.
Slip the Cable had never run farther than seven furlongs.
The racing surface . . . the extended distance . . . the enormity of the $500,000 purse . . . none of it seemed to make any difference as the front-running colt literally swamped the field in winning by fully 71/2-lengths with jockey Arnaldo Bocachica keeping things in hustling order all the way through the finish line.
Slip the Cable’s success in the “big race” gave Runco three wins on the night.
His other victories came with Spa Creek in the Distaff and unbeaten Bullets Fever in the West Virginia Lottery. Bullets Fever has won all eight of his career starts.
Finishing second in the Classic was last year’s winner of that event, Charitable Annuity, trained by the masterful James W. Casey.
Winning the $150,000 Cavada Stakes was Candy Man’s Girl, conditioned by Mr. Casey of Taylor Mountain Farm in Kabletown.
The ultra-successful Casey, like Runco, had three winners on the annual nine-race card.
Greenway Court, the 8-5 favorite, prevailed with a late rush through the sloppy stretch in the Dash for Cash for another of Casey’s victories.
Also winning for the silver-haired, one-time educator was Scottish Denis in the Triple Crown Nutrition Stakes.
Runco’s Slip the Cable, a homebred at his Coleswood Farm on Leetown Pike, roared out of the gate and immediately injected himself into the race as the leader after 200 yards. He maintained at least a two-length lead until midway through the backstretch when he moved away by four lengths entering the last turn.
In the stretch, Bocachica kept his mind on business with a hustling ride to the wire, where he was never threatened by runner-up Charitable Annuity.
Runco had used the two months away from racing to imbue his thoroughbred with the added stamina needed to go two more furlongs than he had ever tried.