In one of the most dazzling displays for a 3-year-old early in the 2012 season – if not the most dazzling – Virginia-bred Bodemeister powered home to take the 76th running of the Arkansas Derby-G1 at Oaklawn Park by a widening 91⁄2 lengths. The final time of 1:48.71 for the 11⁄8 miles earned Bodemeister a 108 Beyer speed figure, as well as morning-line favoritism in the Kentucky Derby field.
With only six starts in his career, Bodemeister never finished worse than second, as he was runner-up to I’ll Have Another in both the Kentucky Derby-G1 and the Preakness Stakes-G1. He retired to stud at WinStar Farm in 2013 and has since sired 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.
- Claimer turned multiple stakes winner Caixa Eletronica and Javier Castellano pulled away from defending champion Duke of Mischief to take the $1 million Charles Town Classic-G2 for owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher, becoming a millionaire.
Caixa Eletronica was from the second crop of Arromanches, a stakes-placed Virginia-bred winner of 31 races who entered stud at age 10 at Beau Ridge Farm in Charles Town until moved to Indiana for his second season.
- After Russell Road laid down a lackluster 5-year-old finale, owner Mark Russell and trainer James W. Casey gave the West Virginia-bred son of Wheaton a bit of a break. The rest and relaxation officially ended with a dominating victory in his 6-year-old debut, the Confucius Say Stakes on the Charles Town Classic undercard, where the chestnut gelding dazzled onlookers with an incredible burst, drawing off quickly in the 7-furlong test to win by 41⁄2 lengths.
Russell Road raced until he was 10, retiring in 2016 with 31 wins, 14 seconds and five thirds from 62 career starts. He earned $2,001,586.