Colonial Downs Analysis – August 10th, 2023 – By Michael Domabyl

It’s officially Arlington Million week and for the first time the race shifts its tack to the Commonwealth of Virginia. While it’s unfortunate the circumstances that brought this illustrious turf racing festival eastward, hopefully it provides similar excitement as it did during its time in Chicagoland and all horses and jockeys come back safe and sound this week.

Follow me on Twitter: @mdomhokie


  • Race 1: 7-6-4-1
  • Race 2: 1-12-3-8
  • Race 3: 5-1-10-4
  • Race 4: 1-5-9-2
  • Race 5: 5-3-9-2
  • Race 6: 7-4-9-6
  • Race 7: 12-6-7-11
  • Race 8: 8-5-11-13
  • Race 9: 2-9-6-1

Colonial Downs Race 6: Mosler Safe (#7)

The class drop might be all that’s needed to get Storm Trappe (#4) into the winners’ circle today, but I’m not sure I’m willing to take too short price on anyone in this spot. While Storm Trappe at least did some running in his allowance try, I’m more against Selecto (#2) who also drops in for a tag today. He didn’t beat much in the maiden claiming race at Tampa and didn’t do any running last time. Now, he’s likely behind the eight-ball trying to tally from off the pace in a race without much pace. I put Mosler Safe (#7) on top in hopes that the return to grass will be just what the doctor ordered for this gelding. It’s been since October of last year since this guy has got a try over the turf, but that race represents an effort superior to his surrounding form at the time. Plus, Trombetta has good numbers with his turf horses coming off layoffs like this. I could throw Steele Money (#9) in as a backup. He’s a little light on figures, but this barn has had some success with dirt-to-turf runners this meet.

Colonial Downs Race 8: By the Sea Shore (#8)

Rebel Posse (#11) is undoubtedly the horse to beat as he drops into this starter allowance after racing against tougher company this year. He was knocking heads with the recent winner of the Troy Stakes in Cogburn earlier this summer at Lone Star before shipping up to Colonial to try allowance company last time. I was left a little cold by his performance back on July 21st and while on paper this looks like a significant drop in class, the second and third place finishers that beat him last time aren’t better than some of his rivals today. When handicapping this race for the body of the field, I originally put Valiant Vinny (#5) on top thinking he could potentially wire this group. He was very impressive two starts back blitzing a field on the front end at Pimlico and lost al chance at the start last time out when breaking in air. Unfortunately for this gelding it looks like he’ll have even more company on the front end as Boat’s a Rockin (#13) drew in from the also eligible list. Therefore, I’m calling a slight audible and putting By the Sey Shore (#8) on top thinking he can sit off a potential pace battle. I liked his win two starts back when overcoming some trouble at the 1/2 mile pole to still get up in the final strides. Last time out, he was rallying in the lane, but the pace just didn’t materialize enough for him. I think he gets the right trip today for connections that have set their sights on the meet titles from an owner, trainer, and jockey perspective.

Colonial Downs Race 9: Ensign Skip (#2)

Schmear (#9) is the horse to beat coming off a very good effort at this level last month in a race where he made the move to break it open before getting run down right at the wire. Although he didn’t win that day, part of me feels like last time was meant to be the time for him and now he’s likely to be a relatively short price in an evenly-matched field. I’m using him prominently, but not as my top pick. Ensign Skip (#2) exits a July 20th race that I feel is a stronger affair overall than the July 13th race Schmear comes out of. The reason for that belief is because a few competitors from those two affairs met last Saturday in the Colonial Downs nightcap with the 7/20 crew easily getting the better of their slightly more freshened rivals. There’s two things to point to as to why this guy will show up with an improved performance today. The first is how much money Ensign Skip took that day being bet down to 2-1 against a formidable favorite that eventually aired. The second is the flip-flop in post positions last time versus today. While he wad forced to race without cover his entire journey last time, now Ensign Skip is cozily drawn in the 2-hole.



Meet Statistics

Top Pick: 99-26-19-13 (26%, $1.29); Featured Horses: 41-5-9-5 (12%, $0.59)

Share this

Leave a Reply

Further reading