NICK’S PICKS, SUNDAY, JULY 26TH AT COLONIAL DOWNS

 IS “ZEKE”, A REPEAT?

Today’s $50,000 “Zeke” Ferguson may be the steeplechase equivalent to the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup run last Saturday at Colonial Downs.  With an eight-horse field, the “Zeke” has a moderate favorite with Your Sum Man who ran second in his last start, just like Turf Cup favorite Smart Bid. 
With the favorite, Thomas Voss and Paddy Young look to extend their positions on top of the rider and trainer standings in 2011.  In an allowance race at Colonial on Strawberry Hill Saturday, Straight to It overtook Your Sum Man with the subtlety of erosion.  Two others, Percussionist and Spy in the Sky were in that race and return for the “Zeke”.
    
Nice win for Leigh Delacour’s Supreme in the $50,000 Buckland Stakes yesterday.  Supreme is owned by Fare Farms.  Luis Garica sat mid-pack up the backstretch and found himself more off the rail than he wanted to be coming out of the turn.  Didn’t matter.  He was a convincing winner at the wire.  Delacour is seeking a graded stakes race in Canada for the next spot for her 4-year old Empire Maker filly who has never finished worse than 2nd in her five starts. 

Garcia was scheduled to riderKentucky Derby starter Watch Me Go this morning at Colonial.  Kathleen O’Connell’s colt is targeting the Virginia Derby for her Tampa Bay Derby winner delivered by Garcia.

QUOTE OF THE DAY
“There are fools, damn fools, and those who remount in Steeplechase.” – Bill Whitbread

RACING OF YORE VIRGINIA
Virginian “Zeke” Ferguson owned Leeds Don who won the Virginia Gold Cup  three consecutive times from 1965-1967.  In the big gray’s start in 1967, his bid for the triple nearly failed after the seventh jump before Joe Aitcheson was able to guide Leeds Don back to course on a slippery surface.  Leeds Don was the timber champion in 1965 and 1966.  The trophy presented to today’s winner is of Leeds Don landing after a jump.
 

KNICKERING NICK’S
EXOTIC PLAY OF THE DAY
RACE 4
$.50 PIC4
2,9,12 with 2,3,6,7 with 2,10 with 1,11

Hall of Fame Steeplechase trainer Dorothy Smithwick passed away this week.  She owned Loundon County’s Sunny Bank Farm and champaigned six champions.  On April 23rd, she won two races in the Alfred M. Hunt at Middleburg Spring with Swimming River.  Smithwick’s Big Estero won the 1991 Temple Gwathmey in Middleburg.
MAKING RACING HAPPEN…
is Bradley Bess, our camera man in the paddock and finish line at Colonial Downs.  Bess.  He likes to shoot the isolation on the winner coming down the stretch.  A resident of Richmond’s fan district, Bess will find his way out to Hooter’s on the West End with money he wins on randomly picking Belmont Stakes winners.   He is a recent graduate from VCU.