It’s Virginia Derby Day Eve as there are 10 races slated for Friday at Colonial Downs. While all the stakes races are slated for tomorrow’s card, there’s still plenty of full fields and fun betting races to attack this afternoon.
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- Race 1: 10-8-3-2
- Race 2: 6-2-1-5
- Race 3: 4-1-3-6
- Race 4: 9-4-10-3
- Race 5: 9-3-2-4
- Race 6: 3-4-6-1
- Race 7: 6-5-2-7
- Race 8: 1-7-11-5
- Race 9: 2-11-4-1
- Race 10: 8-2-4-3
Colonial Downs Race 4: My Boy Blue (#9)
Rebel Posse (#10) is likely to be a heavy favorite in this spot as he looks to win his first race this meet in his third try. He ran well last time at a slightly higher starter allowance level and that race returned a solid speed figure. However, I think the public may go overboard betting this horse like he’s a sure thing and he’s meeting a pretty competitive group. I think Silardi (#4) is dangerous due in large part to the abundance of early speed he possesses. When able to get his own way on the front end, he’s easily good enough to take down a rival such as Rebel Posse and will be 3x the price. I’m thinking that both the jockeys of these two runners know they have the other to beat and it could set it up for someone else to run them down at a huge number. My original top pick Putin Online (#8) is a scratch, so I’ll elevate My Boy Blue (#9) to top pick status. This guys is in raging form right now for the Kurtinecz barn and almost made it 3/3 this meet in a race at a similar level last Friday. I think he’ll get the pace he needs to close into and the field he beat back on July 20th is a decent group.
Colonial Downs Race 5: Little Baby Girl (#9)
I’m against the morning line favorite Run Around Slew (#6) quite a bit in this spot if she ends up going off near that 5-2 price. She ran an improved effort last time out, but got a perfect trip to do so. I couldn’t find much of a reason for her to have lost to Abstract Moment (#3) two back, so I actually view that filly as much the horse to beat. Abstract Moment did a lot of the dirty work near the front end in a race that was won from off the pace. While Run Around Slew was 24-1 in that August 3rd meeting, Abstract Moment was sent off at just 9-2 which is by far the shortest price of the four runners who meet back up here today. I’ll use her prominently, but my one concern is that she’s vulnerable if the pace gets too hot up front. For my top pick, I was looking for a filly that can close from off the pace and will be a price and Little Baby Girl (#9) fits that bill. This is a second-time starter that ran well in her debut against open maiden special weight company at Laurel last time and now will face just VA-Certified runners today. This daughter of Oxbow also had some subtle trouble in that race that is not mentioned in the short comment line. After breaking from the rail, she moved up inside horses down the backside before having to take up and got shuffled back to last. I like that she still was able to out-finish the rest of the field for fourth that day and was her form was flattered when the third-place finisher from that race came back to win an open maiden special weight at Delaware Park.
Colonial Downs Race 7: Fondre (#7)
This maiden special weight event for VA-Certified juveniles is what I call a “No X” race where I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these eight horses crosses the wire first. In cases like this, I still try to see if I can zig when others are zagging and hone in on one specific runner to focus most of my play. I like Fondre (#7) quite a bit in this spot and think the lone filly in the race is far and away the most likely winner. Arnaud Delacour’s barn has unveiled quite a few 2YO winners at this meet and this is yet another one who might improve at second asking. She showed plenty of speed in her debut, but caught another filly who hooked her in a speed duel. Fondre won the battle, but lost the war tiring to fifth (beaten 5L) while her pace rival was another 7+ lengths back in 7th. Fondre was also was live on the toteboard for her debut getting bet down to 2-1 into the teeth of a 3-2 favorite. This Demarchelier filly gets a 3lb weight break from her male counterparts which can only help her chances of wiring this field.
Colonial Downs Race 10: Science (Ire) (#8)
The Friday nightcap is an absolute war of a turf sprint with twelve relatively evenly matched rivals set to contest this $16k claimer. Class Wizard (#2) and Pico d’Oro (#4) have knocked heads in both of their last two starts and while the latter has finished ahead of the former on both occasions, there’s reasons to believe the tables could turn today. In the July 20th race at Colonial, Class Wizard blew the break and was still able to get within a neck of Pico d’Oro who was setting the pace. Last time out at Laurel, Pico d’Oro has the race flow in his favor as the pace completely held together. In a bulky field like this, I foresee the pace heating up and one of the midpack types getting the job done. However, it’s yet another runner out of that August 20th race at Laurel that I’m making my top pick. Science (Ire) (#8) was also against the flow in that race and was able to make up more ground in the lane than Class Wizard did. He was just 4-1 that day vs the 2-1 that his more fancied rivals went off at and is likely to be 3-4x the price of them this afternoon. While I don’t think he’s the most likely winner, he’s the best option from a value perspective.
Top Pick: 229-63-47-38 (28%, $1.55); Featured Horses: 93-16-19-16 (17%, $0.94)
Percent of Races Won By: A’s: 50%; B’s: 24%; C’s: 19%; X’s: 7%