Morning line favorite Battle of Hastings (GB) took the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup (Gr. II) by a head on Saturday at Colonial Downs for trainer Jeff Mullins.

Despite being rank under slow early fractions of :25.15 and :49.47, jockey Tyler Baze was able to settle the three year old gelding and sprint to a clear lead through the stretch, holding on to win.

“Once I got him settled,” says Baze, “it was just a matter of finding the right way home. Everything opened on the rail.”

A return to Colonial for the $750,000 Virginia Derby (Gr. II) has not been ruled out for Battle of Hastings (GB). Says owner Mike House, “The purse here was terrific – that’s what got us here. Everybody’s been wonderful.”

Straight Story, who led for the early quarter, finished second, with Lime Rickey closing into third by 1 ¼ lengths.

Take The Points faded from second in the early quarter to take fourth by a head, with pacesetter Al Khali finishing fifth. Rescue Squad raced along the rail to finish sixth, with Mark S the Cooler, Final Count, and Winning Vow rounding out the field.

Earlier in the day, jockey Julien Leparoux had a stakes-winning double as he won the $150,000 All Along Breeders’ Cup Stakes (Gr. III) with Winter View after taking the Buckland Stakes.
The Jonathan Sheppard-trained Winter View sat off a quick early pace before swinging wide around the final turn and outfinishing Tejida. A stewards’ inquiry as to bumping in the upper stretch occurred, but the result remained.

Winter View has now won two Grade III stakes races. Leparoux was not scheduled to ride the mare until the morning of the race, and assistant trainer Melanie Williams feels “he knows the filly best.” The duo has now won three races in a row.

“She’s a tough little filly,” says Williams. “She’s all guts and grit.”

Leparoux also guided Twiceasbeautiful to a win in the tenth running of the $50,000 Buckland Stakes.

After ten scratches and a jockey change, the Michelle Sharp-trained five year old mare took the lead in midstretch and drew away to a 3 ¼ length win. The stakes race is Sharp’s first win in three tries at the meet.
(Photo by Kurtis Coady/Coady Photography)