Colonial Downs Analysis – August 26th, 2023 – By Michael Domabyl

It’s Travers Day at Saratoga and while the focus of the racing world will certainly be at The Spa, that doesn’t stop you from being able to sprinkle in a little Colonial Downs action along the way.

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

Colonial Downs Race 4: Haint Blues (Fr) (#6)

Blue Hour (#2) and Naa Dudette (#4) are projected to vie for favoritism in this $40k maiden claimer and I think the former is extremely vulnerable. Blue Hour has disappointed at short prices in both lifetime starts and based on how he’s tired badly in the stretch both times, I’m hesitant to be too excited about the prospect of an additional 5/16 of a mile. Naa Dudette is a much more likely winner since she’s proven over a route of ground and ran pretty well last time against a dominant Shug McGaughey trainee. She was forced to launch a wide bid through the far turn due to the lack of pace in the early portion of the race. My only knock on her is that the field behind her hasn’t exactly come back to flatter the overall form of the race. I’m going to try Haint Blues (Fr) (#6) in this spot hoping that the class drop is enough to get her over the top. She didn’t run terribly against a much tougher field last time out and I’d expect her to keep improving with today being her third lifetime start.

Colonial Downs Race 6: Odinson (#7)

One could argue that the feature on today’s card is this $100k overnight handicap for 3YO’s sprinting on the grass. Sir Lancelot (#4) is listed as a clear favorite on the morning line and while I agree that he’s the horse to beat and most likely winner, I wouldn’t say he’s completely invincible. He ran really well in the Hamilton Stakes last time given that was a fast pace, but did ultimately lose the speed duel. Based on his first two starts, he shouldn’t have a problem returning to sprint races, but it’s fair to have concerns on a favorite who has never sprinted on the turf. I couldn’t find myself latching onto the other shorter prices on the morning line. Smooth Like Mike (#1) is dangerous, but I’m dubious about the switch to turf. Where Is Mike (#2) ran pretty well last time, but needs to take another step forward and won’t be any sort of short price with Brittany Russell listed as the trainer. Ultimately, I landed on the longest shot on the morning line since I don’t think much separates this group as a whole. Odinson (#7) finally put it all together last time out scoring a game victory in an allowance at Laurel. I like the fact he was able to show improved early speed and that could suit him well today as he drew an advantageous outside post. Madison Meyers is an underrated trainer who’s best category is arguably turf sprinters, so I’m willing to take a shot with this gelding especially if he’s the longest price in the race.

Colonial Downs Race 9: Suerte (#11)

Often times I am looking for a longshot in these nightcaps with large fields, but I’m not trying to beat morning line favorite Suerte (#11) in this spot and am hoping the bulky field size leads to a decent price on him. He has already won a race at this level back at Tampa Bay in the spring, but since the purses there are so low, he’s eligible for this spot as well. This Mike Maker trainee looks to be clear as could be on the front end and the extended route distance of this race should be no problem as this is probably the most renown barn for long distance grass horses. I would try to link him up with two others who are longer prices on the morning line. Tiz a Giant (#1) is coming out of a claiming, but since it was at Saratoga that was probably an even tougher spot than this allowance. He drew a cozy spot on the rail and could get a good stalking trip in the pocket. Mr. Shades of Gray (#6) has had all sorts of trouble in his three starts this year which has dirtied up his form greatly. He experienced rankness in his seasonal debut, then trouble at the gate and a wide trip two-back, and another poor break last time followed by traffic trouble in the lane. If he can get a clean journey, this Motion runner can spice up the exotics.



Meet Statistics

Top Pick: 173-48-35-29 (28%, $1.57); Featured Horses: 72-12-15-12 (17%, $0.87)
Percent of Races Won By: A’s: 48%; B’s: 24%; C’s: 22%; X’s: 6%

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