Colonial Downs Analysis – September 7th, 2023 – By Michael Domabyl

It’s the final Thursday card of the meet at Colonial Downs and the highlight of the day is a very competitive late pick five sequence. In addition to my analysis below, be sure to check out my appearance on the In the Money Media Network as Peter Thomas Fornatale and I broke down that sequence. Listen to it here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow me on Twitter: @mdomhokie


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

Colonial Downs Race 3: Take Your Point (#7)

Horses like Landofhopesandreams (#4) and Corinth (#6) might take some money off their respectable efforts in two independent races over this course and distance back on August 11th, but I think they are going to find the waters a bit tougher here as the former is coming in off a VA-Restricted maiden special weight event and the latter was in for the $40k tag last out. Of the horses that have run thus far, I’m most interested in Ariel Moon (#8) who goes out for the meet’s leading trainer Michael Trombetta. Her first turf effort was a good one as she fought off the pacesetters to open up a clear lead in the lane before tiring late. Late Nite Lizzie (#1) is an intriguing first-time starter for Michael Stidham who has solid numbers (8/31 26%, $2.15 ROI) with 2YO FTS in turf sprints. However it’s a different first-timer that I’m making my top pick and that’s Take Your Point (#7) for Shug McGaughey. This barn is has only brought live runners to Colonial Downs with nearly 50% of the starters finding the winner’s circle. This filly has a monster pedigree for turf sprinting being by Hard Spun out of the mare Fair Point who took the G3-Sen. Ken Maddy Stakes on the undercard of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita. Shug’s barn is known to be more patient, but he can win with a first-time starter and does well when teaming up with jockey Forest Boyce.

Colonial Downs Race 7: Lady Ensign (#5)

I’m excited to play this race due to the presence of a morning line favorite and second-choice that I want no part of. Both Girvinized (#6) and Moonshining (#7) are dropping sharply in class off an allowance race on August 18th that makes their ability look better than reality. Girvinized won the softest of maiden claiming events at Tampa Bay two back versus a field that has hardly come back to flatter her form. Last time out these two were 20-1 and 90-1 respectively and got carried along to career top figures despite finishing 8th and 9th by being part of a tough field on turf. There are two runners that I much prefer and they are going to be 2-3 times the price of the favorites. The first of which is my top pick Lady Ensign (#5) who goes out for Colonial’s top turf sprint trainer in Michael Trombetta. Although this filly got the win last time, it’s actually her first turf start that makes me excited to back her in this spot. That field she faced back in June at Laurel was better than what she’s facing today and I liked the fact she showed she has some positional speed. She won her last race in spite of being bumped at the break, so perhaps that slow figure could have been higher if she was able to utilize her preferred running style. I also want to use Murph (#8) who I can make some excuses for her last couple of starts. I thought she lacked room at a critical point in her last race which exaggerated the margin of defeat going a distance shorter than her best. Two back, the trouble was a little more subtle and likely didn’t cost her as much but it wasn’t ideal to be shuffled back like she was early in the race. She might just be off form at this point, but she had plenty of efforts from earlier in her career that would drown this field. This is a bit of a spread race for me in any pick sequence and since I’m against the favorites, I could afford using the outside four runners as my primary backups.

Colonial Downs Race 9: Financial District (#1)

The Thursday nightcap is a maiden special weight for juveniles and two runners are likely to dominate the wagering. Morning line favorite Legendary Phantom (#9) goes out for potent connections in Michael Trombetta and Live Oak Plantation after showing turf is his preferred surface last time out. I wonder if the bettors will go a bit overboard with the short comment on his last race noting the rider “eased up” but I don’t think that actually cost him much at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if Shards (#3) ends up going off favored as the Danner barn has been on fire with their juveniles and he’s exiting an extremely live race from August 5th. The winner is entered in the Rosie’s Stakes on Saturday, third-place finisher Cigale won an open maiden special weight at Saratoga, while the 4th and 6th place finishers improved their figures 20+ points on the TimeFormUS scale in their next starts. Also coming out of that race is Maintain (#4) who finished fifth that day at 42-1, but I wouldn’t completely discount his chances this afternoon. He flashed good early speed in that race and now could have a little more foundation to improve at second asking for connections that can win with a price at this meet. I’m getting a little more creative with my top pick and landed on the debut runner on the rail in Financial District (#1). I mentioned Cigale who won at Saratoga last Friday and this colt comes from the same barn. There’s no clocker report available for Westhampton Farms where this guy has been training, but both Cigale and Financial District worked there on August 19th and August 26th with the latter going two seconds faster each time. Cigale probably should’ve won on debut over this course and distance, so maybe this colt can exact revenge for his stablemate and score for us at a big number.



Meet Statistics

Top Pick: 220-60-45-36 (27%, $1.57); Featured Horses: 90-16-18-15 (18%, $0.98)
Percent of Races Won By: A’s: 49%; B’s: 25%; C’s: 19%; X’s: 7%

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