Colonial Downs Analysis – September 6th, 2023 – By Michael Domabyl

The final week of the Colonial Downs meet has one extra day as this Wednesday card is scheduled to make up for one of the two days we lost in late July due to a heat wave. The card also includes a carryover of over $12k in the early pick five.

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

Colonial Downs Race 3: Oso (#7)

Although there’s an early pick five carryover today, the payoff for that bet could still be extremely small as the early portion of this card looks very chalky. After reluctantly selecting the heavy favorite in each of the first two races on the card, I’ve found an option to take a small shot against the third race’s horse to beat. Tidbit (#6) is a favorite that’s likely to get bet for the wrong reasons, but is still the race’s most likely winner. He was a well-beaten second in a slow maiden claiming event on turf last time and now switches to dirt for a top barn in Michael Stidham. His work over the dirt track on August 3rd appears to have been a good one and his pedigree suggests he’ll like this surface switch. I’m going to take a shot with Oso (#7) thinking that the class drop will be what the doctor ordered. To date, he hasn’t been given a chance to run in races that he’d be competitive, but I like the fact that in his last start he was able to set the pace in an open maiden special weight event signaling there’s at least some ability there. He gets to cut back a half furlong and this barn has been live enough this meet.

Colonial Downs Race 6: Annie’s Kingdom (#11)

This maiden claiming affair is about as wide open as a race can get and I would be hard-pressed to tell who eventually will go off favored. The morning line makes it seem like the betting will be centered around Storm Creed (#2) and Gather the Facts (#7), but neither one of those are ones I want any sort of short number on. The former is dropping in class, but didn’t really do much running at 81-1 last time. The latter has had plenty of chances at this point and I’m not too keen on the fields she comes out of. Maybe the first-time starter Lady Raven (#3) has some talent being by Mendelssohn out of a mare that banked nearly six-figures, but I find it a negative the connections are offering her up for $16k and this isn’t a barn known for unveiling successful debutantes. Nothingmakesense (#10) has had 13 starts, but her best race came in her only start on the lawn. She’s an interesting alternative in here, but ultimately sided with others due to just how much she was with the race flow in her one turf effort. The opposite was true of Annie’s Kingdom (#11) who was cooked by a fast pace against tougher competition last time. If she can get back to her effort in maiden claiming company from earlier in the meet, she can score at a price, but will have to overcome a less than ideal post. Initially, my top pick was College Try (#9), but since she’s scratched, I’m more than willing to upgrade Annie’s Kingdom to the top pick.

Colonial Downs Race 7: Classic Vinyl (#8)

A couple of these runners scratched out of the Camptown Stakes last Saturday in favor of this seemingly easier VA-Restricted allowance event. Among those is the morning line favorite Caroline Krystyna (#2) who possesses a speed figure edge over this field. This 3YO filly has a ton of early speed, but in a bulky field like this, she could be softened up on the front end. Another one who scratched out of the Camptown is Chickahominy (#3) and she is one who would really benefit if the pace boils over. She actually ran pretty well in her debut to narrowly miss a coveted stakes placing and then absolutely dominated a field of maidens in her most recent start. When the Karen Godsey barn gets them heading in the right direction, they often maintain their good form, but she’ll need to take another step forward to win here. Bode’s Heritage (#11) is intriguing on the turnback in distance. She ran alright going a route of ground in the Brookmeade Stakes on the opening Saturday of the meet and possesses the best TimeFormUS Late Pace Rating should the race come apart at the end. However, I wanted to find a runner who could be a little more tactical and get first run on some of these deep closers. I landed on Classic Vinyl (#8) as my top pick and find it interesting that Graham Motion chooses this spot for her return. There’s a chance he’s using this turf sprint as a prep for something down the line, but with this being the last week of racing at Colonial Downs, this is her last chance to run for a lucrative purse against VA-Restricted company. He must think that the shorter distance will work for her and I tend to agree. Her pedigree is definitely tilted towards sprinting by Maclean’s Music out of a Jump Start mare whose progeny have been better going one turn. She showed enough talent in her juvenile season that if she can capitalize on routine improvement as a 3YO, she can take this race at a price.

Colonial Downs Race 8: Spinzar (#10)

I’m not trying to beat likely favorite Spinzar (#10) in this maiden special weight and view him as perhaps the most likely winner on the card. I’m hoping that the minor layoff will dissuade some people, but ultimately think this horse would be worth a wager at anything above even money. Shug and Forest Boyce are a potent connection at Colonial Downs and horses from this barn often come over ready to run. This new gelding put forth a very solid effort last time out when attempting to close into a glacial pace set by Mondego who went on to finish 3rd in the G1-Belmont Derby. I like the elongated route distance for this son of Tapit which helps alleviate any concerns that come with his outside post. Outside of Spinzar most of this field is exiting either a maiden claiming race or a VA-Restricted maiden special weight event which leads me to the opinion he’s a very likely winner. Since Motion scratched Kicks Like Tucker (#3), maybe that’s a sign he’s high on his debut runner Winfield (#9) who becomes my second choice in the race. This is certainly a turf route pedigree, but Motion doesn’t have the greatest numbers with first time starters going long on grass.



Meet Statistics

Top Pick: 210-57-43-33 (27%, $1.60); Featured Horses: 86-15-18-14 (17%, $0.98)
Percent of Races Won By: A’s: 49%; B’s: 24%; C’s: 20%; X’s: 7%

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