The Commonwealth Turf Festival has so much to feature, one column wasn’t enough so we started this segment on Thursday’s Nick’s Picks.  Here’s a peek for your all VA-bred PIC5 Ticket (good wager). (2nd of 2 parts, read the first part on

Bert Allen – Ferris Allen has Deputy Fling entered in the stakes renamed for his father, a 3-year old broke his maiden at Colonial and has been competitive in two starts following.  Michael Trombetta has two entered in this competitive field, A Keeper Partner, impressive in breaking his maiden in his first start, and That’sthequestion.  Magic Norman and Jake Rattle ‘N Roll swing  by after making the Punch Line board.  With speed plentiful look for a sub-22 opening quarter.

Brookmeade – Lunar Mist explodes out of the $75,000 Firecracker on the Mountaineer turf adding to his traveled racing resume that includes wins at Santa Anita and Arlington Park.  In the Rough ran 3rd in the 2010 Virginia Oaks for Lazy Lane Farms (formerly Brookmeade) and comes in off of a short layoff after a Monmonth win.  I’m convinced they were pointing to this race.  Cobbley’s Breeze looks for her 3rd straight win on the Secretariat Turf for Karen Godsey.  Wouldn’t Eagle Point relish that win.  Richard Dutrow’s talented claimer from Belmont Park has won 3 straight.

Thumbs up on the Commonwealth Turf Festival that aligns Virginia stakes races to showcase Virginia thoroughbreds, past, present and future.  Most nationally will still pay more attention to the Virginia Derby and Colonial Turf Cup but to many Virginians, this a momentual day.

“I don’t mind what Congress does, as long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses”. – Victor Hugo
Trainers Ferris Allen, Dane Kobiskie, and Michael Pino collected at least one win Thursday, gathering 5 collectively towards their tallies for the training title. Allen (22) is a  win bettter than Kobiskie (21) and two ahead of Pino (20). Kobiskie collected a win in the finale Thursday night by dead heat when Dane Austin saved a tie with Mongoose Dancer after setting all the fractions.  Allen maintained his margin over Kobiskie with 2 wins and sits to take command Saturday night when he starts 8 while Pino and Kobiskie only saddle 2 each.  If he doesn’t take command closing day Sunday afternoon could be compelling. Colonial’s 12-race card features 4 races where the trio each have a starter. Pino starts 10 while Allen entered 7, with Kobiskie saddling 6.  There is no truth that in the event of a tie on Sunday evening, a  rumored100-yard dash on the dirt among the trainers after racing serves as a tie-breaker.

Bert Allen – When Colonial Downs first opened one of the first horsemen I met was Bert Allen who was holding court in the Jockey Club.  I think every new fan to racing that passed the dress code sat in one of the chairs at the table 519 at one point or another.  I don’t know if Miracle Wood was Bert’s favorite thoroughbred, but he was certainly the one I heard him talk about the most.  Along with several stakes wins, Miracle Wood ran 5th in the 1986 Preakness and built Allen a barn and bought him a car and a tractor.

Propose a toast to him prior to tonight’s 7th race.

Brookmeade – Now Lazy Lane, Brookmeade was owned by Isabel Dodge Sloane who became the first female owner to lead the nation in earnings in 1934 in part to Kentucky Derby winner Cavalcade.  Brookmeade also bred Belmont Winner Sword Dancer.  Lazy Lane (formerly Brookmeade) owned Hansel winner of the 1991 Preakness and Belmont Stakes.  Lazy Lane also bred the leading Virginia-bred money earner of all time Seeking The Pearl who earned$4,022,066 while racing in Japan.


$.50 PIC 5
5 with 4,11,13 with 1,3,4 with 
1,4,6,7,8,10 with 2,3
Costs $54