RESEARCHER WINS CHARLES TOWN CLASSIC PREP

Saturday night, Rutledge Farm’s Virginia-bred Researcher, making his second start of the year, toyed with five foes in an open allowance test that served as the local prep for the Charles Town Classic. Mark Russell’s Russell Road (a product of the VTA stallion auction), a nine-time stakes winner at Charles Town, finished second also making his second start of the year.

Researcher, a 6-year-old Virginia-bred gelding by Two Smart out of the Apalachee mare Wild Magnolia, won the 1 1/16-mile event in 1:45.21 on a fast track. He defeated Russell Road by 6 1/2 lengths under Luis Perez.

Trained by Jeff Runco, Researcher won last year’s Charles Town Classic.

“We expected him to run his race,” Runco told Charles Town officials after Researcher’s March 27 win. “Now, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that he comes out of it well, and get ready for the race in three weeks.”

Hermen Greenberg, who owned Rutledge Farm near Middleburg, Va., died in February at age 89.