Yearly Archives: 2021

Virginia-Bred Chess Chief Edges Happy American in the Tenacious Stakes at Fair Grounds

The following appeared in the Daily Racing Form was written by Marcus Hersh. Chess Chief, bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm, was making his 30th career start. With the stakes win, the 5-year-old Into Mischief gelding’s bankroll rose to $810,338.

Something – a dazzling spell, a sense of lightness and well-being – must descend upon the 5-year-old horse Chess Chief whenever the horse trailer in which he’s riding crosses into Orleans Parrish and makes its way onto the Fair Grounds backstretch. 

In 20 starts outside New Orleans, Chess Chief never has won. Zero, zilch, nada. But at Fair Grounds, his beloved Fair Grounds, Chess Chief ran his record to five wins from 10 starts with the slimmest of scores over Happy American in the $100,000 Tenacious Stakes on Sunday.  

Chess Chief, in the post parade of the Blue Grass Stakes in 2019.

Chess Chief got a sweet ride from Reylu Gutierrez and was home by a head-bob over Happy American, who came flying up the inside after lagging in last much of the Tenacious under James Graham.  

“I was worried. That horse really came running in the lane. What a battle,” Gutierrez said.  

Pirate’s Punch, who disputed splits of 23.75 and 47.20 with Ebben and Warrior in Chief, both of whom faded out of contention, gamely held third. Chess Chief was timed in 1:43.39 over a fast dirt track and paid $22.20. 

Chess Chief broke well from post 10 but wound up pulling a stalking trip that found him in heavy traffic for much of the backstretch run.

Chess Chief (inside) edges Happy American (#12) in the Tenacious Stakes (Hodges Photography).

“It was tight on the backside; I had to point my way into the clear,” Gutierrez said. In the homestretch, Chess Chief loomed on the far outside as Happy American, finishing with a flourish, hit holes on the inside, looking like a winner at the sixteenth pole. In live action, it appeared Happy American had gotten his head down on the wire, but it was Chess Chief who had the fortunate bob at his favorite racecourse. 

Dallas Stewart, born and raised in New Orleans East and long ago a valet at Fair Grounds early in his racing career, trains Chess Chief for the Estate of James Coleman Jr. Chess Chief, a 5-year-old son of Into Mischief and Un Blessed, by Mineshaft, won the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic this past March and was dropping in class Sunday from a pair of Grade 1s and a Grade 3.  

“He ran against the best trying to win a Grade 1,” Stewart said. “Maybe we’ll try again next year.” 

Halo Again glows in turf debut  

Less than a half-hour after winning the Tenacious on dirt, Reylu Gutierrez steered Halo Again to a front-running upset in the $75,000 Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes on turf.  

It was the third win on the Sunday card for Gutierrez and his second on the day for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.  

“It means the world to me,” said Gutierrez, riding his first Fair Grounds meet.  

On paper there were other speed horses in the Diliberto, but Gutierrez came out firing aboard Halo Again, a Canadian-bred who had run well on synthetic surfaces but never had raced on turf. Halo Again made a comfortable lead, going his half-mile in a manageable 47.96 seconds and, after taking a deep breath from the five-sixteenths to the quarter pole, Halo Again spurted clear in upper stretch and never came close to being caught.

Pixelate, a half-length behind the winner, won the photo finish for second, beating out Mike Maker-trained stablemates Monarch’s Glen and Forty Under for the place. Big Dreaming, surprisingly favored at 9-5, got a good trip just behind the speed but had no finish, checking in fifth. 

Halo Again, a 4-year-old son of Speightstown and Halo’s Verse, by Unbridled’s Song, finished last of 14 in the 2020 Queen’s Plate and then went more than a year between starts. Solid facing graded stakes competition in a pair of post-layoff Tapeta stakes runs at Woodbine, Halo Again, owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing, took to turf in his first try. 

“He ran well before on the synthetic,” assistant trainer Scott Blasi said. “It just worked today.” 

Gutierrez, too, had it working.

Six-Pack of Virginia-Bred Horses Reach Winners Circle with Holiday Season Scores

Congratulations to six Virginia-bred horses who won pre-holiday races at tracks around the country in mid-December.

Repo Rocks had the biggest win of all — in an $82,000 allowance race at Aqueduct which boosted his career bankroll to $206,071. The 3-year-old Tapiture gelding was best of 11 in a 6 1/2-furlong dirt test. Bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin III and winner of two straight in New York, Repo Rocks is out of the Not For Love mare, Hawaiian Love. From 12 starts in 2021, he has 3 wins, 3 runner-up finishes and 2 thirds with $181,846 in earnings.

Virginia-bred Repo Rocks won an $82,000 allowance at Aqueduct Dec. 10 (Coglianese Photography).

Ready and Rich snagged his sixth career trip to the winners circle with a three-quarter length triumph in a $19,000 claiming race at Penn National. The 5-year-old Super Saver gelding beat seven others in the 6-furlong race. Bred by Chance Farm, Ready and Rich captured his second straight win while his bankroll inched closer to $200,000 — he now has $195,552. It was his 20th career “in-the-money” finish. He is out of the More Than Ready mare, Ready Reply.

Virginia-bred Ready and Rich wins her third career race, a starter optional claimer, at Laurel in June, 2020 (Jim McCue)

Susan Cooney’s Jestful authored a dominant 9-length win at Mountaineer December 14 in a one mile, $18,800 allowance race. The 4-year-old Majesticperfection gelding crossed in 1:41.60 and has now bagged eight straight “top three” finishes between Laurel, Colonial, Pimlico and Mountaineer. Jestful’s ’21 report card shows 2 wins, 5 runner-ups, 2 thirds and $58,754 in earnings. He is out of Sister Graceful by Mr. Greeley.

Strands of Pearls and Ichigo broke their maidens at Penn National within two nights of each other — the former in a 2-year-old filly sprint December 10 and the latter in a maiden claimer for ages 3 & up December 12.

Strands of Pearls, a daughter of Super Saver, went gate-to-wire in her effort and crossed one length the best at 6-furlongs with a $17,000 purse. Bred and owned by Morgan’s Ford Farm, the she is out of the Black Tie Affair mare, Pearls. 

Raleigh Colston Minor’s Ichigo, a 4-year-old Fierce Wind gelding, won handily by 7 1/4 lengths at 1 1/16th miles with Julio Hernandez in the irons. The winner, who Minor also bred, is out of Little Often Anni by Awad.

My Boss Lady’s win at Oaklawn December 12 completed the Virginia six-pack. The 3-year-old filly, bred by Lazy Lane Farms, won a $25,000 claiming race by 1 3/4 lengths as betting favorite. The daughter of Street Boss has 2 wins and 3 seconds from 8 starts in ’21, good for $45,161 in purse winnings. She is out of the Malibu Moon mare, Moonlight Lady. 

Five of the six winning owners will receive a 25% bonus on top of purse earnings as part of the VTA’s Mid-Atlantic Owner’s Bonus incentive program which rewards owners of Commonwealth-breds for wins at any track in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Virginia-certified Baba pushed her bankroll over the $100,000 mark with a claiming win at Aqueduct Dec. 9 (Coglianese Photography)

Among Virginia-certified horses who scored recent victories was Kentucky-bred Baba, who won a $28,000 claiming race at Aqueduct and pushed her bankroll into six-digit range. The 3-year-old filly, bred by Woodslane Farm, previously won a maiden special weight at Aqueduct and a claiming race at Saratoga in 2021. The December 9 win pushed her earnings to $104,920.

Susan Cooney’s 4-year-old gelding Flank Speed also got his picture taken at Penn in a $28,000 allowance race December 10. The Maryland-bred is less than $5,000 away from $100,000 in earnings — $69,100 of that has come this year alone. He is by Midshipman out of Leva Mae by Emancipator.       

Virginia Racing Commission Approves Colonial Downs Expanded 2022 Meet Dates

Fresh on the heels of a record setting thoroughbred race meet in 2021, racing dates for an expanded Colonial Downs presented by Woodford Reserve summer race season in 2022 were approved today (December 15) at the Virginia Racing Commission meeting which was held at the New Kent track. 

The upcoming 9-week campaign will run from July 11 – September 7, an increase in length by two weeks from this summer’s 7-week meet. The number of race days will increase from 21 to 27, and daily average purse monies will rise from $522,000 in 2021 to an expected $600,000 next year. 

The race day schedule itself will mirror the ’21 slate, with racing every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 1:30 PM (EDT).

The highly successful 2021 meet featured 21 race days and an average daily betting handle of $2,240,000. A total of $10.4 million in purse monies were distributed and average field size was a healthy 8.36 starters per race.

 Details on the 2022 stakes schedule, including the Grade 3 New Kent County Virginia Derby, will be announced in the coming days. Colonial Downs is home to the Secretariat Turf Course, widest grass racing surface in the country, and a 1 1/4 miles dirt oval, second longest only to Belmont’s 1 1/2 miles track.

For more information, visit             

Rosie’s Finishes Facility Expansion In Vinton; More Than Doubles In Size

The following appeared at

VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) – From jackhammers to jackpots, Rosie’s Gaming Emporium in Vinton has more than doubled its games and its space with the completion of a new expansion.

The facility has expanded its entertainment in more ways than one.

“Our customers, simple supply and demand, wanted more gaming space,” says Ernie Dellaverson, Regional General Manager for Rosie’s Gaming Emporium. “We went from 15,000 square feet, we added an additional 18,000 square feet. 350 additional games and these are new games that nobody has seen in the area before. We actually brought another component in too that we’re very excited about, a live stage as well. So we have a venue here.”

Guests also have extra parking with the addition of a 280-space parking garage.

“There’s been a lacking entertainment component in the area,” he explains. “There are a couple places in Downtown Roanoke, but now we’re bring it out to the Vinton area and I think there is demand for this adult entertainment in our area.”

The project was fully underway in the spring and cost $28 million.

“The Town of Vinton loves it,” adds Dellaverson. “This has been such a great drive for them, such a great economic engine. I beg a lot of people to go down and check out the downtown Vinton area. It has a lot of fantastic little shops that they incorporated in there. New restaurants. It’s been a win-win situation for both of us.”

Rosie’s says before the expansion it could hold about 480 people at a time.

Pair of Longshot Virginia-Certified Horses Kick Off December With Impressive Wins at Aqueduct

The month of December kicked off in grand fashion for a pair of Virginia-Certified horses that competed in races at Aqueduct. 

Lobsta, who spent his six-month Virginia residency at Woodberry Payne’s Ingleside Training Center in Orange, prevailed in the $150,000 New York Stallion Stake Series on December 5th after being sent off at odds of 28-1! The 3-year-old Emcee gelding was best of 11 horses in a gate-to-wire performance at seven furlongs. He crossed in 1:24.87, one-half length ahead of betting choice My Boy Tate. The winner was ridden by Javier Castellano and is trained by Gary Sciacca.

Lobsta was best of 11 horses in the New York Stallion Stake Series. Photo by Susie Raisher.

Lobsta was fresh off a pair of third place finishes in the New York Derby July 19 at Finger Lakes and the Mike Lee Stakes, May 31 at Belmont. The New York-bred added to a solid 2021 resume that boasts three wins, a runner-up finish and a pair of thirds in seven starts with purse earnings of $218,600. Lobsta is out of the Chief Seattle mare, Salty Lil Sis.

Javier Castellano rode Lobtsa to victory at Aqueduct. Photo by Chelsea Durand.

Kentucky-bred Lost My Sock captured an even tighter win two days earlier in a $80,000 maiden special weight for 2-year-old filles at six furlongs on the outer turf course. The daughter of Tourist, who spent her Virginia residency at Madison Meyers & Kieran Norris’s Ballyerin Racing at the Middleburg Training Center, beat Glitter Up by a neck after being overlooked at odds of 51-1.

Lost My Sock edged Glitter Up in a maiden special weight at Aqueduct. Adam Coglianese photo.

The victorious filly sat seventh in a ten-horse field at the quarter but trailed by just 2 1/2 lengths. She moved up after that fraction, hit the top of the stretch in second — just 1 1/2 lengths off the pace — before catching frontrunner Glitter Up and jockey Trevor McCarthy just in time. The Derek Ryan trainee, ridden by Raul Mena, crossed in 1:10.42 in her first lifetime start. The winner returned $110.42 for a $2 win bet.

The developer of each Certified winner will receive a 25% bonus award (capped at $10,000) for the wins at Aqueduct. Details on the lucrative bonus program are available at                   

NFL Hall of Famer, Horse Breeder, Owner Sam Huff Passes Away at 87

The following appeared on the Thoroughbred Daily News website. Sam Huff’s star horse, Bursting Forth, won the Grade 3 All Along Stakes at Colonial Downs in 1998, one of five stakes she won during her career. Mr. Huff also was founder of the West Virginia Breeders Classic. His Sporting Life Farm was based in Middleburg, Virginia.

Sam Huff, who made his mark in both the NFL and in thoroughbred racing as an owner-breeder and the co-founder of the West Virginia Breeders Classics, died Saturday. Huff, who had been suffering from dementia since 2013, was 87.

Huff, a third-round draft choice of the New York Giants in 1956, discovered racing during his time in New York when he would frequent Aqueduct and Belmont. Huff was traded to the Washington Redskins before the 1964 season and retired in 1969.

After his playing days were done, he devoted more time to thoroughbreds. Along with his partner Carol Holden, he opened Sporting Life Farm in Middleburg, Virginia. Huff was the owner and breeder of Bursting Forth, a winner of five stakes races, including the GIII Bewitch S., the GIII Vinery Matchmaker S. and the GIII All Along S.

“When you have a stakes winner, it’s like hitting the lottery,” Huff told the Saratogian in 2001. “It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. More than winning an NFL championship, more than reaching the Hall of Fame. There’s nothing like it. That’s why people are in this business.”

Huff attended the inaugural Maryland Million in 1986 and liked the concept so much he decided to copy it. In 1987, Holden and Huff launched the West Virginia Breeders Classics run at Charles Town. The 35th edition of the event, held Oct. 9 at Charles Town, featured nine stakes for West Virginia-breds with total purses of $1,075,000.

“When we first started, I never had any idea we could do it for 23 years,” Huff told The Northern Virginia Daily in 2009. “It seems like a long time, but when you’re working in it, time goes fast. It’s always been a goal to be bigger than the Maryland Million–that was our guide, that’s what we copied.”

Until his health started to deteriorate, Huff was the face of the Breeders Classics, always there to pose for pictures, shake hands and present trophies in the winner’s circle.

Huff maintained a small stable for years and, according to Equibase, won 15 races as an owner since 2000. He started his last horse in 2015.

“I’m not the kind of owner trainers like,” Huff told the Saratogian. “I am involved. I stay on top of things. There’s no way you can be in one part of this business. You have to do it all. I read about the industry all the time.”

“Most knew Sam Huff as an NFL Hall of Famer,” read a tweet from Charles Town. We knew him as an advocate of racing and co-founder of the @WVBClassics. Sam passed away today at the age of 87. He will forever be woven into the fabric of West Virginia racing. Our deepest condolences to all who loved him.”

Virginia Breeder Richard Poulson Passes Away At The Age Of 83

The following appeared in the Charlottesville Daily Progress

Richard J.M. Poulson

September 4, 1938 – November 4, 2021

Richard J. M. Poulson of Orange, Va. and Washington, D.C., was a lawyer, sportsman, and civic leader.

Mr. Poulson was a long-time partner in the law firm Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan & Lovell) and led the firm’s international expansion in opening its London Office in 1989. Prior to joining Hogan, he was a Vice President in the Investment Department at American Security and Trust Company, a predecessor to Bank of America. Following his retirement from Hogan, he joined Smithfield Foods as an Executive Vice President and General Counsel; there, he led the company’s mergers and acquisitions for over 12 years to include major acquisitions in France, Spain, Poland, Canada, and Romania. He later joined Oaktree Capital Management (London) as the Senior Advisor on mergers and acquisitions. During his career, he served as a director of the following public companies: Guam Oil and Refining (Agana, Guam); Stimsonite Corporation (Chicago); Campofrio Food Group (Madrid, Spain); Groupe Smithfield (Paris); Anemix S.A. (Warsaw).

Richard was an avid sportsman. He and his wife Anne have run for many years a thoroughbred-breeding farm in Orange, Virginia, which has produced the 1994 Kentucky Derby Winner Go For Gin and numerous stakes horses. He and his wife also raced steeplechase horses, and he served on the Board of Stewards of the National Steeplechase Association.

He played rugby for the Washington Rugby Football Club and was elected to the U.S. Rugby Football Hall of Fame in 2015. His love for mentorship led him to coach football and track at Randolph-Macon Academy and Christchurch School prior to attending law school. In later years, he mentored and coached youth baseball players in DC. He also cofounded and chaired the Foggy Bottom Youth Baseball Foundation, which provides quality coaching, equipment, and facilities to those who could not otherwise afford to play.

Richard was a civic and community leader. He created and chaired The Mary and Daniel Loughran Foundation, a charitable foundation that has contributed over $250 million dollars to the Washington community.

He was a graduate of The University of Virginia, American University, Washington College of Law, and Georgetown University Law School. Richard was devoted to the University of Virginia and served two terms on the UVA Board of Managers and was Chairman/President in 1995-96. He also served two terms as Chairman of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, UVA’s flagship scholarship program. He taught at Georgetown Law School from 1970-1976.

Charismatic and genuine, Richard was a true friend, confidant, and mentor to many. He will be sorely missed.

Survivors include his wife, Anne Wrenn Poulson; his son, Hundley Poulson; his daughter, Anna Blair Poulson; and his brother, Jon Poulson.

Funeral services will be private. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Published by Daily Progress on Nov. 14, 2021.

Horse Owner, Breeder, Sara Collette Passes Away At Age 86

Sara Elizabeth Collette, age 86, passed peacefully at her home in Casanova, VA on Monday, October 11th, 2021 from complications from Parkinson’s. She was born in New Haven, Oswego County, New York on March 1st, 1935, daughter of the late Frederick & Margaret Foster.

Sara Collette with husband Bruce, after winning the Lady’s Manor Stakes. Douglas Lees photo.

The Collettes moved to Casanova in 1977 and purchased a small farm called Pageland so that Sara could have her horses at home. She joined the Casanova Hunt and earned her colors after a few years. The Collettes expanded their farm by adding three more parcels of the original Pageland. Sara then purchased a mare in foal named Flower Bow. She developed a breeding program and started entering her horses in local point-to-point races. Names of horses must be unique to avoid rejection by the Jockey Club, so she usually used fish names for her horses since her husband was an ichthyologist (studied fishes). Her breeding program produced many winners including two that won the Gold Cup, Salmo in 2007 and 2009 and Zanclus in 2018.

Sara Collette is pictured on the Great Meadow stage after winning the 2018 Virginia Gold Cup with Zanclus, trained by Neil Morris. Douglas Lees photo.

Sara is survived by her husband of 66 years, Bruce B. Collette; three daughters, Karen Cali Collette of Ellijay, GA; Sheila Bell of Gibsonville, NC; and Claire Shaw & her husband, Michael of Roswell, GA; six grandchildren, Shaun, Crystyle, Heather, Alex, Samantha & Thomas; and five great grandchildren, Hayley, Brandon, Gabrielle, Trinity & Henry.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Virginia Point-to-Point Foundation, P.O. Box 1877, Middleburg, VA 20118 (a 501(c)(3) public charity). Online condolences may be made at

Virginia-Certified Filly By Outwork Takes Grand Champion Honors at Virginia Yearling Futurity

The annual Virginia Thoroughbred Association Yearling Futurity took place September 8th at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds under clear skies, comfortable temperatures and $35,000 in prize money on the line.

Four divisions were contested — Virginia-bred/sired colts/gelding and fillies, and Virginia-certified colts/geldings and fillies — and the top two finishers from each returned to compete for Grand Champion and Reserve Champion honors.

Congratulations to Djuric Sporthorses LLC, Anna M. Simms DVM and Patrick Nuesch’s bay Certified filly by Outwork, who took Grand Champion honors shortly after winning the Certified-Fillies category, final class of the morning’s festivities. The victorious filly is out of Tanguerray by Good Journey.

Reserve Champion title went to breeder/owner Susan Cooney’s unnamed colt by Mucho Macho Man out of Leva Mae by Emancipator, who kicked things off earlier by winning the Virginia-bred/sired colt/gelding class.

Runner-up in the colt/gelding category was My Friend Paddy, a bay colt by Friend or Foe out of Banco Banner by Parker’s Storm Cat bred and owned by Renee Bourke. Quest Realty and Daniel Wukich’s grey colt Here’s Liam took third. He is by Liam’s Map out of Stay Here by Dehere.

Phyllis Jones’ chestnut Friendly Teller prevailed in the Virginia-bred/sired fillies division. She is by Friend or For out of Money Chaser by Central Banker. A grey filly by Cross Traffic finished second. Owned by Pat Ramey and Macie Szwarc, the runner-up is out of the Great Notion mare, Happiest Ending. An unnamed bay filly owned and bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm took third. She is by Midnight Lute out of Skipalong by Include.

Joan Fontana’s dark bay by Great Notion was awarded blue ribbon in the Virginia-Certified colt/gelding class. The winner is out of the Broken Vow mare, Perfect Cocktail. Quest Realty and Daniel Wukich’s bay colt by The Factor was runner-up (Moon Stepper- Lo Bucker) and bay colt Shade Tree Corner, owned by Tim Hulings and Analia Larossa finished third (Friesan Fire – Birch Circuit – Jiggs Coz).

Colonial Track Records Fall In MATCH Series Stakes

The following appeared in The Racing Biz on August 23 and was written by Frank Vespe.

How fast was the dirt track at Colonial Downs Monday afternoon?

The track played host to five dirt races and all five – a first-level allowance and four $100,000 stakes that are part of the MATCH Series – produced track records. One of those track records – Cordmaker’s 1:40.45 for 1 1/16 miles – lasted all of about 49 minutes, as two races later, Saracosa lowered that mark to 1:39.72.

Pretty fast.

Just Might (#8) edges Mucho in the $100,000 Chesapeake Stakes. Coady Photography.

Perhaps the day’s highlight was Just Might’s thrilling head victory over Mucho in the Chesapeake Stakes for three-year-olds and up at six furlongs. Those two hooked up early, dueled around the turn, and inched away from their rivals while never separated by much more than that final margin. In the end, they were three clear of the rest.

“It was a really nice race from both those horses, so I wasn’t going to be embarrassed by running second,” winning trainer Michelle Lovell said after sweating out the photo finish. “I was really proud of his effort, but I thought we got it.”

It’s been a productive Virginia sojourn for both the normally Kentucky-based Lovell and for Just Might. Lovell has won with seven of 17 starters at the meet and is among several trainers vying for the wins lead.

And Just Might now has two stakes wins at Colonial, having previously scored in the grassy Da Hoss. Both wins came with Colby Hernandez in the irons. Though grass has been his natural habitat for most of his career, Just Might’s ledger on dirt is nothing to sneeze at, either. He entered the day having finished in the money in five of six dirt starts with two wins.

“I’ve been questioned by many people. ‘Why won’t you start him on the turf?’” Lovell said. “I’m like, ‘Oh, when we get to the point where we have to, we’ll do it.’ [T]oday was the day and he answered the question, so that was pretty exciting.”

Just Might, co-owned and co-bred by Lovell and Griffon Farm, won for the seventh time in 28 starts while pushing his earnings past the half-million-dollar mark. He also – of course – set a track record, getting the six furlongs in 1:07.38.

And, for good measure, he earned 10 points in the MATCH Series, though whether he’ll return for additional MATCH races remains to be seen.

Cordmaker kicked off the first of four MATCH Series Stakes with a nice win. Coady Photography.

The Rodney Jenkins-trained Cordmaker kicked off the day’s stakes action, winning the Victory Gallop by more than two lengths under jockey Victor Carrasco in what was – briefly – track-record time. Three scratches knocked the field down to four and made Cordmaker the even-money favorite.

The win was Cordmaker’s 10th from 31 career starts and pushed his earnings to $673,640. It also gave him 18 points in the MATCH Series and the lead in the boys’ route division.

Two races later in the Love Sign Stakes, Saracosa, a six-year-old mare, got a perfect setup and rallied from last to win by more than a length in the Love Sign Stakes. She also erased Cordmaker’s briefly-held record.

Saracosa returns to the winners circle after capturing the Love Sign Stakes in record time. Coady Photography.

Trained by Cipriano Contreras for Chad Schumer, Saracosa earned the third win of her career and second in stakes company. It was her first MATCH Series start.

Finally, in the Seeking the Pearl Stakes, Cheetara was dead game in leading throughout and holding off the posse to win by a neck in a track-record 1:20.61 for seven furlongs. It was the Chilean-bred’s first North American win, coming in her second North American start.

Jockey Horacio Karamanos had the ride for trainer Ignacio Correas. Multiple graded winner Frank’s Rockette, off at 1-2 for trainer Bill Mott, was sluggish early and could not quite make up the early deficit, finishing third, a neck behind the winner.

Cheetara edges Never Enough Time and Frank’s Rockette in the Seeking The Pearl Stakes. Coady Photography.

The next stakes at Colonial Downs take place August 31, when the Grade 3 Virginia Derby and $150,000 Virginia Oaks take center stage. The following day, which is closing day, the track will host five stakes for Virginia-breds.


  • 6 furlongs: Just Might (1:07.38)
  • 6 1/2 furlongs: Larimar (1:16.06)
  • 7 furlongsCheetara (1:20.61)
  • 1 1/16 miles: Saracosa (1:39.72), supplanting record set earlier in the day by Cordmaker