Colonial Downs Analysis – August 18th, 2023 – By Michael Domabyl

Colonial Downs bettors are greeted with yet another pick 5 carryover this afternoon as the early pick five pool starts with nearly $30,000 already in the pot. The Friday card almost featured a carryover in both pick five pools as only 4 of the 12 runners in Thursday’s nightcap were covered, but one of those ultimately pulled through.

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

Colonial Downs Race 2: Alter the Stars (#11)

The day’s second race features one of the larger fields for a dirt race so far this meet with eleven runners signed on. Bettors seems likely to default to the morning line favorite Love Knot (#5) who goes out for one of the circuit’s top barns in Michael Stidham. While this filly has tactical speed, has been bet in all her races, and now drops in class, she will be trying a new surface as she races on dirt for the first time. That’s enough of a question mark for me to look for an alternative. The most logical of which would be Push (#2) who makes her second career start off nearly a year layoff. This barn points to the Colonial meet and she showed speed in her debut while running a speed figure as a mid-season 2YO that would compete here. With any routine improvement coming back as a 3YO, she’ll be dangerous, but also no bargain in terms of price. I landed on a different second-time starter who I think has slightly more hidden form. Alter the Stars (#11) debuted on a slightly tougher circuit at Ellis Park last month and while she was soundly defeated, she’s likely to improve with a race under her belt and this extremely sharp drop in class. Furthermore, the Ellis Park racing surface this summer has not been kind to horses closing from off the pace, so her margin of defeat might have been exaggerated after losing position at the break.

Colonial Downs Race 3: Baytown Bama Girl (#10)

Yet another maiden claimer for juveniles fillies is on tap in the third and it’s another case where the favorites are logical, but likely to be overbet. Fluffy (#1) returns on just one week’s rest as she tries to do one better after rallying for second at a slightly higher level last time. While the pace was hot that day, the winner was still able to go wire-to-wire and this filly was certainly moving best of all through the lane. The negative for her is that she was 12-1 that day and now you’re likely to have to stomach less than 3-1. Boomin’ Belle (#2) was bet off the board last time all the way down to 8-5 favoritism off an 8-1 morning line, but it was her performance that gives me a bit of pause. She ran right with the eventual winner through most of the race before being discarded and tiring to a non-threatening third. This field isn’t the toughest so she still can win with some slight improvement, but I didn’t want to put her on top. I’m interested in Baytown Bama Girl (#10) shipping in from races at Horseshoe Indy. She showed a much improved effort when getting on the turf in her second start while still showing some greenness of a young 2YO. She put some of that to bed in her last start, but I wonder if the two-turns proved to be just outside her scope. Now she turns back to a 5.5f distance that could hit her right between the eyes and has that route foundation to lean on.

Colonial Downs Race 5: By the Sey Shore (#9)

This race becomes playable if the pair of Javier Contreras trainees take money in this spot. Neither of the two WV-Breds he brings in have ever raced over the turf and don’t look overly bred for it either. If they don’t replicate their dirt form over the new surface it makes By the Sey Shore (#9) a very likely winner at what could become a playable price. I liked what I saw from this gelding in his first two starts of the year overcoming some trouble to win three back then rallying stoutly into a slow pace in his next start. His last start came just eight days ago over this course and distance where he closed well against a wire-to-wire winner. The field he faced that day in that starter allowance was tougher than the VA-Restricted allowance company he meets today and this owner/trainer combination is extremely potent in turf sprints across the Mid-Atlantic.

Colonial Downs Race 7: Play the Music (#6)

If Gun Boat (#13) somehow gets into this field, she will be extremely tough to handle, but I wonder if the connections will forego shipping down from Saratoga because of the uncertainty surrounding her participation. Without her as a player, this race becomes extremely wide open. I’m not sure I get Sol Hope (#4) as the shortest price on the morning line within the body of the race. Sure, she looked good winning off the bench last time over this course and distance, but this represents a significant jump up in class. Her form was flattered when the second-place finisher from her July 13th score came back to win yesterday, but she still needs to take another step forward to win here. On paper, Caroline Krystyna (#8) is the horse to beat. All three of her lifetime starts were solid with a facile debut win followed by a game effort against stakes company. Last time out, she got run down late after getting to the lead, but that was a good field with the winner Z First coming back to take an N2X on last Saturday’s card. My only concerns with her are that there’s other speed in here and she was a vet scratch on August 3rd. I’m drawn to Play the Music (#6) as my top pick in this spot and think she can get a perfect stalking trip behind the speed. This filly showed some promise as a juvenile with a resounding win on debut at Kentucky Downs. Two turns on dirt proved not to be her game, then she was forced to cut out fast fractions against stakes company up at Woodbine in her final start as a 2YO. While there’s a part of me who thinks this might be a prep, she appears to be working well for her return and I like the fact she might get out-footed early and can come running in the lane. The meet’s leading trainer (M. Casse) and jockey (A. Gallardo) in her corner doesn’t hurt the cause either.



Meet Statistics

Top Pick: 137-34-27-24 (25%, $1.40); Featured Horses: 57-6-11-11 (11%, $0.57)
Percent of Races Won By: A’s: 43%; B’s: 27%; C’s: 23%; X’s: 7%

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