Colonial Downs Analysis – August 11th, 2021 – By Michael Domabyl

It was bombs away in the last race at Colonial Downs on Tuesday with a 84-1 debut winner for trainer Alison Escobar ridden by Maria Scaldaferri. This was just the second win in the United States for the Argentinian jockey and both have come at long odds in Colonial Downs nightcaps. The result also prevented anyone from hitting the pick five yesterday which happened for the third time this meet in just 10 offerings. Though note that Colonial pays out the entire pool to 4/5 rather than producing a carryover.

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

Colonial Downs Race 4: Street Tapper (#5)

I am not trying to beat first-time starter Street Tapper (#5) who looks super well-meant for the Bret Calhoun barn. Street Boss is a top turf sprint and debut sire and this one has been working swiftly for a capable first-out trainer. One of her main rivals Senson (#2) features a sales price as a two-year-old in training less than the first-crop sire Arrogate’s stud fee which is always a negative sign for me in these baby races and I don’t see the pedigree for why she will be any more suited for turf. My creative idea would be to pair up Check the Grade (#6) in exactas with the top pick. She set blazing fractions in her debut effort before faltering late. It’s always advantageous to be forwardly placed in these flat 5f turf dashes and with a bit more experience this filly can perhaps harness that speed a bit better and hang on for a piece.

Colonial Downs Race 6: Rough Night (#5)

This starter optional claimer kicks off the late pick four and you can reasonably make a case for any runner in the eight horse field save maybe the outside entrant who would really have to move up on the grass to compete. That’s why I wouldn’t want to take a short price on the morning line favorite Other Things Equal (#6) who can certainly win, but will take money off his superior dirt form. I’m not convinced he’s any better than this field on the grass which caused me to look elsewhere. Lucky Ramsey (#3) and Make Mo Cents (#4) both exit a race at roughly the same level from opening week and while the former got the job done that day, he was claimed and moves out of a high-percentage barn. The latter got a perfect trip and would have to get the same level of fortuitousness here again to make the trip to the winner’s circle. I’ve landed on Rough Night (#5) as my top pick going out for a Derek Ryan barn that has been sending out nothing but live ones this meet. This gelding ran too good to lose last time out before being run down in the last stride by the even-money favorite. Although it isn’t noted in the short comment, Rough Night lost a lot of ground throughout that affair while racing three-wide around both turns. Despite that he still earned the best last-race Beyer in the field and with a better trip can score at hopefully around that 5-1 ML. I’d also throw in Toss (#2) who is a longer price on the morning line than he should be due to the last running linw. However, you can draw a line through that one as he lost all chance due to the trouble he was subject to entering the first turn. His prior races are at a higher class level than this and Paco ends up here despite being the first-call rider of the ML favorite’s trainer Jamie Ness.

Colonial Downs Race 7: See the Pyramids (#8)

The seventh features the chance to see a one-turn 8.5 furlong dirt race at the only other North American track besides Belmont Park to feature that configuration. It’s also a must-play from a betting standpoint if Corrado (#4) is anywhere close to that 2-1 ML. Despite his breeding skewing towards turf influences, the three-year-old son of Distorted Humor has actually seen moderate success over the dirt. However, the horse is coming off a dull effort at Pimlico and none of his three efforts to date put him remotely in the mix of being fast enough to contend here. While there’s always the chance he takes a step forward, he’ll be way over-bet at the windows based on his human connections. With Parx closed for a couple weeks, we see high-percentage trainers Michael Pino and J. Tyler Servis shipping down to try and steal a lucrative N1X purse with Mr Thrifty (#2) and Runningforhome (#6). I prefer the former as his last few efforts are some of the best in the field, but he does usually find one or two that step up and beat him. In this race I’m hoping that title falls to the outside runner in See the Pyramids (#8). If you pick apart this one’s form a bit, you’ll see that he does his best running over dry dirt tracks. His three one-turn mile races at Churchill are the best three efforts on his page and he gets a similar configuration today. The most recent of those three he had the misfortune of running into Runnin’ Ray who ran off the screen and has since came back to validate that effort by taking a salty starter allowance at Saratoga. Michelle Lovell’s barn has been firing especially in the last couple weeks of this Colonial meet and this grey gelding’s odds will be higher than deserved based on the sloppy and turf efforts clogging his form.

Colonial Downs Race 8: Color Crush (#10)

This starter allowance features a very competitive field of twelve with runners coming from all different directions. A few of them are exiting a July 21st race at this level and while she was able to have it her own way on the front end, I think No Down Days (#2) is still the one you want out of there. Why Not Tonight (#1) surprised at long odds to beat that rival on the square in a maiden claiming race Preakness weekend at Pimlico and validated that effort with a strong close into a slow pace last out at Monmouth. She lost valuable position early on in that race and is well-drawn here and can perhaps be a bit more forward. While I’d use both those two, I’m going to look to two recent maiden winners to build on their prior efforts. Fox Force Five (#12) will try to get to 2/2 after a much-the-best maiden score last out at Pimlico. Despite racing greenly for some of the stretch, she really leveled off at the end of that race and put the field to bed. She will have to take a step up in class, but Jane Cibelli hits at a high percentage overall. However, I’ve landed on the runner who produced of the most eye-catching bursts down the lane in a Colonial race this meet. While most of this field broke their maiden for 16k, Color Crush (#10) absolutely buried a field of 25k maiden claimers back in opening week and did so with a devastating turn of foot. Due to the fact the close happened rallying into a slow pace, she received the highest TimeformUS speed figure of anyone in field assembled today. Furthermore, the fourth place finisher of that event came back to win at this meet and improved on that strong speed figure. The fact she has shown an affinity for the local sod gives her the tiebreak in my mind versus the Cibelli runner posted on the far outside.

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