Colonial Downs Analysis – August 5th, 2023 – By Michael Domabyl

A fun Saturday card is on tap as we close out another week of racing at Colonial Downs. The highlights include two juvenile stakes races on dirt and a very intriguing turf sprint allowance that attracted a stakes-quality field.

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

Colonial Downs Race 4: Cheatin Song (#7)

Ben’s Hero (#2) is likely to take a ton of action off his back-to-back runner-up finishes at Delaware as the Steve Klesaris barn looks to continue its hot streak to start the meet. You have to at least be cognizant of the surface switch, but being by a turf sprinter in Bucchero and out of a dam who raced primarily on grass, I don’t see why he won’t handle it. He’s logical, but I found some other runners more interesting. It’s tough to separate who ran a better race on July 22nd between Kamikaze Fox (#3) and Theolovesawinner (#4). The former was a part of a fast early clip that caused pace rival Rennie (#1) to back up through the field and set it up for the closers. The latter was getting a dream trip until the rider couldn’t get through on the inside and it halted his run down the lane. While they both make sense, I wonder if my top pick isn’t coming out of stronger races. Cheatin’ Song (#7) was ambitiously placed on debut in against some veteran turf sprinters and was not entirely disgraced only missing fourth by two lengths. The connections tried to stretch him out in his last start, but the trip was all wrong. He was squeezed back at the start and had tons of problems entering the lane when the real running began. The barn obviously though highly of him to enter in that stakes race first out, so I like the fact we can take him today now that his form is a bit dirtied up.

Colonial Downs Race 5: Determined Kingdom (#3)

While there are two stakes races on Saturday’s card, the race I’m most excited to see is this turf sprint allowance event that drew a salty field. Go Bears Go (Ire) (#8) will be a deserving favorite in this spot as he drops out of stakes company for the first time in his career. He’s been competing at the top class of the turf sprint division for the last three years, so it’s understandable that many bettors will just concede the race to him on class alone. However, he’s playing a road game and the home team has a pretty strong hand. My top pick is Determined Kingdom (#3) who put forth a awe-inspiring performance last time that makes me think he’s ready to tackle a graded stakes-quality opponent. He’s got more positional speed than his main rival and I can envision him getting the same stalking trip he used to produce his open lengths victory last month.

Colonial Downs Race 7: Surfboard (#4)

King Kontie (#1) looked like an absolute rocket ship in his debut blasting off by five lengths early and only extending that margin throughout the race before being eased up near the wire. It appears he’s trained forwardly on the dirt all along, so maybe the switch to the main track will be a non-issue, but it’s somewhat of a concern on a runner who’s going to be such a short price. I’m more against the other short price on the line, Going Up (#3), who also has to deal with a surface switch. He might get bet due to his 3rd place finish in a stakes race last time, but that was a four-horse field. I think it’s interesting that Wild West Justice (#7) debuts here. The colt had been training in Kentucky even posting two bullet workouts at Keeneland in the process and now shows up in a stakes race first time out. As a Virginia-bred it makes sense to try a take down a lucrative purse, so encouraging to see them ship in for this. I’ll use him, but my top pick is Surfboard (#4). This gelding lost all chance at the start last time with a brutal stumble, but still ran on well to finish third. I like what we saw in his debut as he was able to take back and pass horse through the lane which he will likely have to do today as well. This potent barn has plenty of juveniles that could have run here, so I find it a good sign they chose to enter this one.

Colonial Downs Race 8: Lita (#6)

Quite a few of the major contenders in this field are coming out of a July 14th race at the meet. I liked Momentous Miss (#10) that day and thought she ran the best race of those who now show up today, but since a 15-1 shot won in a mediocre time, I have some questions about the overall quality of that field. Meetmeatthebeach (#7) seems like the most likely winner in this spot. Her one turf start was her highest TimeformUS speed figure and these runners that Mark Casse has dropped in for a tag have all been performing well at this meet. Another I like is Ace Up Her Sleeve (#9) getting back on turf. That looked like her preferred surface during the back half of last year. I’m willing to forgive the effort two-back due to the tough competition and her maiden win last out lets me know she’s still in decent form. However, my top pick is going to be Lita (#6) as I think this filly’s form is better than it looks on paper. Both of her last two turf starts have featured a dearth of pace leading to wire-to-wire winners in both affairs. This NY-bred filly doesn’t have much early speed, but was further hampered by trouble at the start of her turf races this year. If she can get some pace, she’ll come running and look no further than her solid maiden victory for evidence of that. Like I mentioned earlier, the Klesaris barn has been hot to start the meet and it doesn’t hurt to pick up Mychel Sanchez for the ride.



Meet Statistics

Top Pick: 90-22-19-13 (24%, $1.16); Featured Horses: 37-5-8-4 (14%, $0.65)

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