Opening week at Colonial Downs concludes on Wednesday with a nine-race card. We got some momentum going in the nightcap on Tuesday with highlight play Stringfella ($17.40) getting a beautiful ride from the outside post by Denis Araujo to get up over Dreamin of Seville to complete a cold $35 exacta for $1.
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- Race 1: 6-2-3-1
- Race 2: 9-4-3-5
- Race 3: 6-3-7-5
- Race 4: 3-8-1-5
- Race 5: 3-6-4-7
- Race 6: 6-4-12-2
- Race 7: 13-10-2-12
- Race 8: 6-1-8-9
- Race 9: 1-10-9-11
Colonial Downs Race 3: Casanova Queen (#6)
A rare dirt race at Colonial Downs is the site for my first highlight play on Wednesday. One could argue this field is crying out for a new face so I imagine many handicappers will gravitate towards the two first time starters who are listed as the favorite and second choice on the ML. Of those I prefer Sacred Sunday (#3) who sports a speedy work over the local surface, but it’s worth noting that trainer Michael Tomlinson is on a long cold streak with his debut runners. Mose Definitely (#7) makes some sense getting back to dirt and one turn after a failed turf try last out, but she really hasn’t shown much of anything in either of her races to date. I like Casanova Queen (#6) quite a bit in this spot. She showed the kind of speed you like to see with a young horse in both her first two starts. She definitely took a step forward in that second second when switched to dirt, setting a swift pace that saw the horse 1-2-3 early finish last, second-to-last, and third-to-last. She did not show her customary speed in her last start and was relatively dull throughout, but its possible she just did not take to the sloppy surface. She now gets the cut back she needs to six furlongs in a field devoid of early foot. Furthermore, she sports a 5f bullet work over the local surface just 8 days ago.
Colonial Downs Race 6: Taskinas (#6)
This N2L turf sprint has a formidable favorite in Street Silence (#4) who looks to be the speed-of-the-speed and that is always dangerous in these sub-6f turf dashes. Although he has an apparent class and speed figure edge, he does have a penchant for giving it up late in the stretch and he’s going to have to negotiate an extra half-furlong here. Best Chance Yet (#2) is supremely logical after running a respectable 5th coming off a 17mo layoff. I think he will be bet off the trouble line in his PP’s, but he never really lost any momentum in the stretch. If you pick apart the form of Bold Trek (#12), his turf sprint races put him right in the mix at a square price. I’ll be using him, but my top pick is a little more creative. Taskinas (#6) is coming off a 382-day layoff, but could see some natural improvement from 3 to 4. Trainer Karen Godsey points to this Colonial meet each year and has won three races here over the past two years from a very limited number of starters. What the Beep is responsible for two of those wins, both turf sprint stakes, and just happens to be Taskinas’s half sister. He ran a speed figure on dirt early in his 3-yr old campaign that line up well with these and he could improve on turf with this pedigree and intent.
Colonial Downs Race 8: Lady Dominance (#6)
This penultimate race on the Wednesday card features a field of nine where more than half of those runners will look to be forwardly placed. That could set up for a closer coming down the long Colonial Downs stretch and I’ve landed on Lady Dominance (#6). She looked good breaking her maiden three-back and the race two-back was a complete throw out after she reared at the break. Last out she was in too tough, but still showed a nice finishing kick to pick off a few horses and only get beat 3.5L for all the money. A similar kick in the stretch this go around could result in a trip to the winner’s circle as I imagine the front runners will be looking for a place to land late. The rider switch to Paco Lopez doesn’t hurt the cause one bit. I’d also use Lazy Summer Day (#1) in this meltdown scenario as she has faced some tough fields in her career and if she returns to the promise her original connections saw for her back in her two-year-old year, she could be dangerous at a bit of a price.
Colonial Downs Race 9: Scar the Man (#1)
Bombs away in the nightcap as none of my top 4 choices are under 15-1 on the ML. The favorites don’t inspire any confidence and a chaotic result could be in store for this 5.5f bottom level maiden claimer. I’m not sure if we’ll get the full 20-1 ML on my top pick Scar the Man (#1), but I feel he’d still be interesting at even half that price for a trainer that can win with a horse on debut at a price. Can the Man has gotten off to a promising start as a sire with turf stakes winners like Spectacular Gem, Beer Can Man, and T D Vance in his first three crops. This gelding is also a half brother to Temple who was the winner of the Gio Ponti Stakes at Aqueduct for Mike Maker. Midnight Rider (#10) is an interesting option for a trainer that does well with his turf sprinters. Tempting Moment (#11) has races over the course and distance when he was last in this trainer’s barn that stack up with the shorter prices. Finally, I’d be remiss if I left out Fashionable (#9) after singing the praises of the Godsey barn and how they point to this meet.