We close out the third week at Colonial Downs with a rare card that is absent a two-year-old race. While the juveniles might not be on display, it did not stop the parade of full fields that has been a mainstay at this meet so far. Three of the races comprising the late pick five have more than 12 entrants.
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- Race 1: 3-4-1-2
- Race 2: 3-1-4-7
- Race 3: 1-8-3-5
- Race 4: 2-11-1-10
- Race 5: 9-12-11-4
- Race 6: 1-3-9-5
- Race 7: 4-5-3-1
- Race 8: 12-9-3-13
- Race 9: 3-9-2-5
Colonial Downs Race 1: Midnight Swap (#3)
A competitive bottom-level N1Y is on tap to kick off the Wednesday program and the majority of the field is exiting a prior race at this Colonial meet. Of those, the one that figures to get the most play is Briar Jumper (#4). He’s the most consistent of this bunch and probably ran the best last race. However, at 1/40 lifetime, he always seems to be able to find one better and his lack of tactical speed could pose a problem in this compact field. That is why I’m turning to Midnight Swap (#3) as the top choice. He was a part of a scorching hot pace last time out and had to chase three-wide the entire way. He was coming off a seven month layoff and understandably backed up after contesting those grueling fractions. There isn’t as much speed signed on for this affair so I’m anticipating him getting right to the front and being able to take them flag-fall to that’s all just like he did over this course in a claiming event last summer. If one of the other seven entrants goes on a suicide mission to duel with the top choice, look for Circle Away (#1) to outrun his odds. He was the beneficiary of that aforementioned hot pace last out, but that was the only fortunate aspect about his trip. Despite, being sent off at nearly 70-1 he actually did quite a bit of running in the final furlong after getting badly squeezed back at the start.
Colonial Downs Race 5: Taskinas (#9)
A full field of 14 is signed on for the opening leg of the late pick five and while the bulky field of cheap N2L claimers can often lead to a spready ticket, I think there’s over half a dozen entrants in here that can be eliminated right off the bat. The morning line favorite is El Zopilote (#11) and while he is certainly eligible to win right back off the blowout maiden score last week, I think his odds on the tote will be lower than his chances in reality due to the inflated margin of victory in his last start. The field he dusted was a weak group and he’s going to have to take a step forward to repeat. Of the short prices on the morning line I much prefer Grey Invasion (#12). This gray colt ships in and gets a turnback in distance to one turn which I believe will suit him well. He also gets back to trainer Michael Lecesse’s barn for which he ran his career best race three-back at Finger Lakes. However, my top selection is Taskinas (#9). This gelding ran very respectably off the layoff in a much tougher turf spot and signaled that he’s back in good form. He has a race as an early season three-year-old that already represents the fastest lifetime Beyer in the field and he’s liable to build on that effort with maturity. In a big field like this, there are often a few runners vying for the lead and although the raw value is nothing special, Taskinas does possess the best TimeformUS late pace rating. The 10-1 morning line seems like a bit of a stretch, but I’d even be willing to take half of that on this runner due to the back numbers.
Colonial Downs Race 6: Venezuelan Talent (#1)
A group of lightly raced maidens take center stage in the sixth race. Shug McGaughey could be sending out a live one in firster Flying Fortress (#3) who is sure to take her fair share of play at the windows based on her connections. The beautifully bred daughter of Uncle Mo is a full-sister to graded stakes winning turf router Enola Gay and sports an eye-catching worktab for a Shug trainee. The only downside is whether 5.5f is going to be the right distance for this one in the long run. Because of that I’m willing to take a small shot against her with a runner that is more proven to be suited to the one-turn grass races. Venezuelan Talent (#1) has her own strong pedigree as a half-sister to Venezuelan Hug who has racked up roughly a quarter of a million dollars on the lawn. The Bruno Tessore trainee gets back to the turf for only the second time in her career after seeing two of her other starts washed off that surface. Despite being in maiden claiming company, that one turf start was a solid one, posting a speed figure much higher than any other runner in the field has to date. This trainer doesn’t often ship into Colonial, but has good numbers overall with turf sprinters and moves from dirt to turf. If the favorite is in need of a start or more distance, Venezuelan Talent has good early foot and will be in prime position to take advantage.
Colonial Downs Race 9: Honor My World (#3)
Similar to most days so far at the Colonial meet, we close out the card with a full field of maiden claimers on the grass. Normally I look to find a longshot to highlight that can spice up the exotics, but in this case there’s a logical runner who I think is a very likely winner. Honor My World (#3) and Jestful (#2) exit the same maiden claiming event on July 20th. While Jestful finished ahead of Honor My World, he did so as the beaten favorite for the fourth consecutive outing. Furthermore, this was certainly a tale of two trips. While Jestful was able to angle out unencumbered and rally down the lane, Honor My World had to slam on the brakes heading into the lane and when finally clear he was veered into by another rival and force to take up slightly. Once he regained his momentum, he was finishing fastest of all down the lane. There’s even a decent chance he floats up a bit off the 4-1 morning line due to the low percentage connections. The new face that could be dangerous at a price or complete a solid exacta with the top choice is Analyzeyourvision (#9). This runner goes out for Kathleen O’Connell who hits at nearly 20% and saddled a winner on the Tuesday Colonial card that was much the best. His last is a bit of a concern after being pulled up, but I trust he isn’t being sent back out if unsound in any way. His prior five efforts, especially the four at Tampa, all came against stronger competition than he meets here and he has a little tactical speed to put him in the game early.