Week number 4 continues at Colonial Downs on Tuesday with the first all-turf program. Competitive fields of 11,8,11,11,13 comprise what is sure to be a healthy paying late Pick Five.
Follow me on Twitter: @michaeldomabyl
- Race 1: 5-7-4-3
- Race 2: 7-1-4-6
- Race 3: 5-2-6-3
- Race 4: 4-6-9-1
- Race 5: 5-9-6-1
- Race 6: 8-5-4-3
- Race 7: 4-11-1-7
- Race 8: 6-5-8-11
- Race 9: 1-6-7-10
Colonial Downs Race 2: Clouds of White (#7)
The conversation around this VA-Restricted maiden claiming turf sprint for juveniles has to begin with the rail horse Capt. Candy (#1). He took a ton of money in his first local start and made a strong rally into a fast pace to cross the wire first at this level last out. However, he was disqualified for interference around the turn and placed second. The eventual winner came back to disappoint at short odds in a stakes race last week, but did improve his speed figure. I prefer him to Wish Me Home (#4) who faded in the lane, but has the propensity to improve second time out for a barn that normally doesn’t have them cranked up to win first out. However, I’m taking a shot with a filly taking on the boys here in Clouds of White (#7). I think the two-year-old fillies have been ahead of their male counterparts in terms of development at this meet. I believe the race Clouds of White comes out of was the strongest juvenile maiden race of the meet so far as evidenced by it receiving the highest TimeformUS speed figure of any two-year-old maiden race at the meet with an 89 and the top two runners from that race coming back to once again complete the exacta in a stakes race last week while improving their speed figures 7-8pts. Clouds of White is kin to a three other Trombetta runners who have raced at this Colonial meet including N2X winner Street Copper. Clouds of White got off slow and ran in spots in her last start signaling that the addition of blinkers could really help plus first-call rider Julien Pimentel hops aboard this one instead of the more fancied runner on the morning line to her inside.
Colonial Downs Race 5: R V Treasure (#5)
It is a pretty wide open non-winners of two lifetime to kick off the late pick five. The logical choice is Cold Hearted Cat (#9) as she has run consistently well-enough to get the job done at this level in each of her last four starts, but always seems to be able to find one or two better. Odalea (#6) is also interesting if close to her morning line of 10-1 coming out of a stronger race down at Gulfstream after a facile maiden score, but money tends to disproportionately flow to those lightly raced runners in spots like this and these connections get bet. I am going to take the old “class on the grass” angle and land on R V Treasure (#5) for whom I actually think we can get that 8-1 ML. He last race simply adds to dirty up her form with a dreadful off-the-turf effort and many might be scared away with the 1/12 lifetime record and the poor last couple efforts. However, this is the first time in a reasonable spot for this barn that hits at a good percentage and her maiden win and subsequent NYRA form last fall produced speed figures good enough to win this.
Colonial Downs Race 7: Flanigan’s Cove (#4)
The most exciting race on the Tuesday card comes in race 7 with a bulky field of 11 maiden special weight fillies going long on the grass. Some strong connections show up here led by the morning like favorite Fortuna (#1) for top trainer Graham Motion. The filly is well-posted to the inside and certainly has the class and speed figures to handle this field, but seems to be a bit camera shy even with some fortunate trips. Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey holds a strong hand with two runners in this race, the more fancied of which will undoubtedly be Pruning (#11). This well-bred daughter of Uncle Mo took all the play at the windows in her debut at Delaware and it was a useful effort that she’s sure to build off of as these Shug runners normally get better with more experience. However, she is posted on the far outside and is certain to be a short price and needs to take that step forward second out, so I’m willing to take a chance with the other Shug runner. Flanigan’s Cove (#4) is an impeccably bred daughter of top turf sire Kitten’s Joy out of multiple graded stakes winning dam Hungry Island who raced for these same connections. She got a run over the local sod on Opening Day and while the running line leaves a little bit to be desired, I think she was a bit too close to a pace that completely fell apart in the late stages. She stayed on well through the lane and I think the blinkers will help her stay focused throughout. While it’s unfortunate that first-call rider for this barn Forest Boyce opts for the outside runner, Joe Rocco Jr is more than a suitable replacement as the leading rider at the meet so far.
Colonial Downs Race 9: Hit a Homer Honey (#1)
As has been the case most days at Colonial Downs this meet, a wide open field of lightly-raced maiden claimers on the grass concludes the program. Bringthewine (#8) is the favorite on the morning line dropping in class out of a second-place finish in a maiden special weight earlier in the meet, but I’m willing to take my chances against her at a short number as that event was probably the weakest MSW of the meet so far and probably weaker than some races at this level. The short price on the morning line I’d be willing to use would be Still Doing Time (#6). She sports the best speed figures in the field, has early speed, and enough turf pedigree for a high-percentage barn. However, I’m not as keen on taking a short price in a race this wide open which is why I landed on Hit a Homer Honey (#1). This Jamie Ness runner took a fair amount of play for her debut, but lost all chance when blowing the start and getting caught behind a slow pace. Although she didn’t do much running that day, I think the switch to turf will wake her up for high-percentage connections. This More than Ready dam has produced two six-figure earners that both could handle the grass and Vronsky is a versatile influence on the top-side. I’d also throw in Debbie’s Treasure (#7) who is also bred for the surface switch second-out for a high-percentage barn and Skip Town (#10) who exits the aforementioned strong Cavalier Cupid race and the barn does well with its second out runners.