Four-Pack of Virginia-Bred Stakes Highlights Colonial Downs Racing Action Saturday July 15 

The top three finishers in the 2022 Punch Line Stakes will renew their rivalry Saturday (July 15) in the 2023 edition as Colonial Downs culminates its opening week action with four Virginia-Bred Stakes. The turf quartet, which also includes the Edward P. Evans, Tyson Gilpin/Glenn Petty and Brookmeade Stakes, will each feature a $125,000 purse.  

D Hatman Thoroughbreds and Kingdom Bloodstock’s Determined Kingdom prevailed by a convincing 5 ½ lengths in last year’s Punch Line. The 4-year-old Animal Kingdom gelding, who was best in the 2021 Jamestown Stakes, has earned $250,189 from 15 outings and will be ridden by Mychel Sanchez. Larry Johnson’s Embolden, Punch Line runner-up, is a Michael Trombetta trainee with a robust $342,641 bankroll. Colonial’s all-time leading rider Horacio Karamanos has the mount. K Ed & Susie Orr’s Boldor finished third in the Punch Line but did win the Meadow Stable Stakes last summer. The Steve Asmussen trainee, best in the 2021 Punch Line, boasts a bankroll of $562,183. 

Determined Kingdom won the 2022 Punch Line Stakes at Colonial Downs (Coady Photography)

Lapetus Racing & Diamond T Racing’s Gigante heads a field of ten 3-year-old and up horses in the one-mile Evans. The 3-year-old Not This Time colt captured the $125,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes along with a maiden special weight last year in New Kent. The Steve Asmussen trainee, 3-for-7 with $262,900 in earnings, will be ridden by Adam Beschizza. Last year’s second and third place finishers are both in to go. Ten Strike Racing’s Alex Joon — who finished one-half length behind the victorious Largent last year — has bankrolled $232,399. The 6-year-old Flatter gelding won a turf allowance at Colonial one month after the Evans. Kendama took third in both the Evans and Bert Allen Stakes and sandwiched a second between the pair in a New Kent turf allowance. The two will be ridden by Forest Boyce and ​Jeiron Barbosa respectively. Reiley McDonald’s 7-year-old Hold Me Back gelding Passion Play, who won the 2021 Evans, is in the field as well. 

Gigante captured the 2022 Kitten’s Joy Stakes — featured race on the Virginia Derby undercard (Coady Photography).

2022 M. Tyson Gilpin Stakes winner Chambeau heads a field of seven in the 2023 edition slated for fillies and mares three and up at 5 ½ furlongs. Owned and bred by Sam English II, the lightly raced 6-year-old Karakontie mare has made just five life starts — all last year — and will get the services of Karamanos up top Saturday.  Robert D. Bone and Edward J. Brown Jr.’s Carolina Sun was second in last year’s Gilpin and also had a pair of other top three finishes at Colonial last summer. Stonestreet Stables’ Aisha R N, an Asmussen trainee, is fresh off a turf allowance triumph at Lone Star May 11. This year’s stakes has been renamed to include former VTA Executive Director Glenn Petty in the title. 

Chambeau prevailed in the ’22 M. Tyson Gilpin Stakes. The event has been renamed the Tyson Gilpin/Glenn Petty Stakes for 2023 (Coady Photography)

The Brookmeade Stakes, for fillies and mares three and up at 1 1/16th miles, attracted a field of seven led by Morgan’s Ford Farm’s Surya, who collected maiden special weight and allowance turf wins in New Kent last summer. The 4-year-old daughter of Street Sense is trained by Brittany Russell and will be ridden by Forest Boyce. 

Post time Saturday is 1:30 PM. Colonial Downs continues its 9-week summer racing season through September 9 racing every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 1:30 PM.