Last summer, racing officials at Colonial Downs decided to stack the Virginia-bred stakes races into one day.  The decision provided plenty of excitement closing weekend for fans and participants alike.  It’s alway a good sign for the concept when many of it past participants return.  One storyline missing this year is that trainer Ferris Allen does not have a horse in the Bert Allen.  Deputy Fling won the first running of the Bert Allen under the name of Colonial’s “First Fan”.  It didn’t not make ESPN’s “Sportscenter” but was a great story despite of its exposure.  Virginia owner Larry Johnson and trainer Michael Trombetta captured the two opening stakes races last year.  Julian Pimental delivered the double aboard Harbingerofthings in the Jamestowns Stakes and Doing Great in Oakley.  Now a three-year old, Harbingerofthings returns to ride in Oakley Stakes.  Silver Tie Affair with Alex Cintron aboard won the Van Clief for Leslie Osborn and Hassan Elamri.  Forest Boyce who rode Silver Tie Affair in this year’s $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup to fifth, gets the mount in defending his title.  The top four finishers in last year’s Brookmeade stakes won by Susan Cooney’s Embarr return in this year’s Brookmeade.

“Generations of Thoroughbred enthusiasts had fought long and hard, and at great expense and personal sacrifice to arrive at this gratifying moment.” – Raymond Wolfe on the 1988 referendum approval


The winner of the first Virginia Derby CROWD PLEASER, aPennsylvania-bred, has a stakes race named after him at Parx on Saturday.  The nine 3-year olds entered will contest a mile and a sixteenth on the turf.  Trainers Ferris Allen with CAT N CABOODLE  and Hugh McMahon with MY QUEEN won races on Thursday evening so McMahon’s margin in the trainer standings remains five.