WHOSE PICTURE IS NEXT?
(HEY, WE MADE IT BEFORE POST TIME)

Take a look at today’s compelling fields at Colonial.  First race, 14 entered, choice 5-2; 2nd race, 8 entered, choice 2-1; 3rd race, 14 entered, choice 7-2; 11 entered, choice 7-2.  I can make a case to go deep in today’s fields and comfortable reach for longshots.  This composition of racing is working for Colonial, at least it’s what I want from racing in Virginia.  The early meet cards even had larger fields.  Overlay these competitively-correct races over the players in them and it’s must-bet TV.

    
Players like the jockeys competing to fill the void left by Rosemary Homeister.  Sheldon Russell leads in the standings and won the early big race at Colonial Downs.  His Colonial Turf Cup win reminds me of Horatio Karamanos’ win in the 2007 Virginia Derby aboard Red Giant.  Russell undoubtedly will have a big mount in this year’s Virginia Derby.  Luis Garcia won last Saturday’s feature and could get the mount on Watch Me Go as he had in the Tampa Bay Derby triumph.  Forest Boyce and apprentice rider Sarah Rook are getting solid wins.  We are learning about Alfredo Clemente’s talents.
Trainer Michael Pino saddled the Ross colors to a stunning 9 wins in 17 starts.  One week ago, trainer Ferris Allen and jockey Eric Camacho blitzed 4 wins in 5 starts.  William Phipps has 4 wins in his 6 starts, (no relation to Odgen Phipps by the way).  Motion has started 5 here.  Who you see headed to the winner’s circle is as intriguing as the races they win.
QUOTE OF THE DAY

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“There is no secret so close as that between a rider and his horse”. -R.S. Surtees, English sportswriter in the 1800s.

RACING OF YORE VIRGINIA
In 2007, the leading jockey at Colonial Downs, Horatio Karamanos went off at 37-1 aboard the longest shot in the Virginia Derby field and found a nostril more horse aboard Red Giant than Roman Dominquez could find aboard Strike a Deal.  Favorite Kentucky Derby starter Circular Quay (1.9-1) finished sixth in the ten horse field.   For Karamanos, the then $1 million purse of Virginia Derby made the triumph aboard the Todd Pletcher trained colt the largest of his career.  “Special K” also delivered a Virginia Derby and Colonial Downs record time at 1:59.62.  Red Giant would go on to set a world record on the turf at 1:57.16 in the Clemente Hirsh at Santa Anita.  That summer, Karamonas won almost $1.6 million in purses and nearly eclipse the win tally by almost 2-1 with 62 wins at Colonial Downs.

MAKING RACING HAPPEN…
 is stakes coordinator, Shane Burke.  On the day where next Saturday’s Colonial Turf Cup nominations are released, Shane is manning the stakes desk as he has since Colonial’s grand opening in 1997.  Shane graduated high school in January of his senior year so he could work in racing.  Once working for D’Wayne Lukas at Los Alamitos, the Washington state native rode thoroughbreds and quarter horses including “Dash for Cash”.   His favorite Richmond restaurant is Havana69 in Shockhoe Bottom.

KNICKERING NICK’S
EXOTIC PLAY OF THE DAY

RACE 4
$.50 PIC 4
4,9,10,11 with 4,6,8 with 5,10 with 2,3,8
COSTS $36