Charles Town Classic Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks

If you're playing only to win, go with my top longshot pick Sleepy Eyes Todd (10/1)

Post Position and Odds – Charles Town Classic

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Charles Town Classic at Charles Town!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
S Diaz Jr. U St. Lewis
L Batista S Asmussen
3 MO DONT NO 15/1
W Ho J Radosevich
C Hiraldo S Joseph Jr
A Lopez T Grams
6 MR. MONEY 6/1
G Almodovar G Motion
TBD M Silva
R Latchman B Walsh
J D Acosta E Dobles
A Bodachica P Miller
11 AWESOME D J – *AE 15/1
F Peltroche J Corrales

Best Bets for the Charles Town Classic

Here are my plays ($36 in total)

$4 Exacta box – Sleepy Eyes Todd, Mr. Money, and War Story = $24

$2 Exacta box – Sleepy Eyes Todd, Runnin’toluvya and War Story = $12


Sleepy Eyes Todd 10/1

A full field of ten older males, led by Grade 1 winner Math Wizard, are set to contest Friday night’s $600,000 Charles Town Classic. The Grade 2 affair, run at 1 ⅛-miles on the main track, is the signature event of the season at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

A surprising winner of the million-dollar Pennsylvania Derby last September, the 4-year-old Math Wizard will make his first appearance at Charles Town. Trained by Saffie Joseph, Jr., the son of Algorithms comes in off a sharp second-place effort last time at Monmouth Park. Friday night’s big race, though, is far from a one-horse event.

This year’s edition of the Charles Town Classic looks to be wide open with five horses ranging from 3/1 to 6/1 on the morning line.

Among them is the winner of over $3 million in earnings, War Story, who finished second in this race two years ago; Multiplier, who just missed in the Big Cap at Santa Anita a few months back; Tenfold, who accounted for the Pimlico Special last season; as well as Mr. Money, the romping hero of the West Virginia Derby last August.

How to watch the Charles Town Classic

Charles Town Classic Race Information
What Charles Town Classic (G2)
Where Charles Town
When Friday, August 28 — 10:18 pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $600,000

Race Analysis

Math Wizard

Last year’s upset winner of the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) will likely be the favorite in here despite being 0-for-4 since that big victory. His last race, a rallying runner-up finish in the Monmouth Cup (G3) behind Global Campaign showed plenty of life after looking rather dull in his first two starts of the season. If he can repeat or even improve off that effort then he certainly rates a big chance in here. Having said that, you might think twice about jumping on a favorite whose only win in his last ten starts came at odds of 31/1. He also has to rally at a track where it is often difficult to do so. I respect him but will take a shot against this time.

War Story

Like Math Wizard, he also prefers to come from behind, but unlike the morning line favorite, he has demonstrated the ability to stay a little closer to the pace if needed. He also has the advantage of being well versed in the tight turns found at Charles Town. In fact, he’s run in this same race the past three seasons and finished in the money each time, with two thirds and a second-place finish. Now, 8-years-old, there is the concern of eventually slowing down, but his only race this year was quite solid when he finished third in the Pegasus World Cup (G1). He’s been away since, but I trust the veteran will know what to do when he returns for a fourth shot at the Charles Town Classic.


Despite not having won a race in a long time, he turned in a career-best effort when he finished just a neck shy of the win in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) back in March. He’s had four chances since then without a victory, but none of those efforts were bad. While his races this year are good enough to compete in here, I don’t like the fact that he doesn’t seem to want to win. That coupled with his relatively low odds and his outside draw, gives me a good reason to play against him on Friday night.


Two races at Pimlico — a close third in the 2018 Preakness and a victory in the 2019 Pimlico Special — have been the highlights of the career for this 5-year-old son of Curlin. Since that victory 15 months ago, he has kept a strong company but has not been able to come too close to winning. Is this the class level where he can finally run his best again? It’s certainly possible, but there are just enough good performances in his last eight races to get excited about him at 5/1 on the morning line.

Mr. Money

Picking Mr. Money as the winner of this race would have been a lot easier last summer when he was a streaking 3-year-old. The easy winner of four consecutive graded stakes was passed late in the rich Pennsylvania Derby last September and has not come close to finding the winner’s circle in four subsequent starts. In three starts this year he never looked like a winner but did show enough in the Blame two starts back to merit serious consideration. He exits a sharp sprint last time and should find himself forwardly placed. All in all, this could be a good spot for him to show what he has left.

Sleepy Eyes Todd

A winner of 5-of-10 for his lifetime on dirt, this looks like a nice opportunity for him to earn his biggest career victory. He’s got excellent tactical speed to either control the early pace or sits just off the lead if need be. That is a good talent to have at Charles Town, even running at 9 furlongs. He comes in with a good form, having raced every other month of late and also shows enough back class to believe he fits with this group. In a very wide-open affair, I believe he offers the best overall value.


There are two obvious reasons why to respect this gray 6-year-old. First off, he is the house horse, having put together a sparkling 14-of-20 lifetime record at the West Virginia oval over the last few years. Secondly, he is the defending champion of the race which was the last run in April of 2019. You can certainly question whether he has been as good a horse since that big win, but with a couple of 7-furlong preps over the track, he should be ready to make another good account for himself over a track you know he loves.


The Ohio-bred was upset by Mo Dont No last time as a heavy favorite at Thistledown. He is probably better than that, having competed reasonably well with some heavy hitters in the past, but I’m not sure his first trip to the tight turns of Charles Town is going to be his cup of tea. Without much speed and drawn on the rail, this looks like a tough spot for a horse without a victory yet in 2020.

Mo Dont No

On the bright side, he did easily win his last start quite easily and against stakes competition. Unfortunately, that was a 10-furlong race restricted to Ohio-breds. It promises to be a pretty big jump up in class this time against open company. He is a nice horse, who certainly knows his way to the winner’s circle, but this will probably prove just a little out of reach for the son of Uncle Mo.

Plus Que Parfait

The winner of the rich UAE Derby in March of 2019, he has not won in seven subsequent races back in America. Compounding the problem, he is a horse without a lot of speed, and generally speaking, that makes it tougher to win at Charles Town.

Awesome D J

Did not draw into the main field and as an also-eligible will only run if there is a scratch. If he does get into the Charles Town Classic he is tough to recommend off his form racing against much cheaper at Laurel Park.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]