NICK’S PICKS, THURSDAY, JUNE 30TH AT COLONIAL DOWNS

SELF-SADDLERS

If you happened to be hanging around the winner’s circle looking for the owner and trainer of yesterday’s winners, chances are you were coming up a man short.  Four of yesterday’s winners were saddled by their owners.  Starting with the bomb that opened the evening’s racing, Fred Tuller 123-1 shot Gavan’s Repent,  paid $248.20 on a $2 win ticket.  The win sent Colonial officials scrambling through their archives to see if it was the largest $2 win payout in the tracks 15-year history.   It probably was.  Reid Nagle is listed as the trainer of the Virginia-bred winner in the third race, Wolverton, and is at least one of the owners of Big Lick Farm.  In the fifth, Robert McCutchen started Redheaded Stranger for the first time in a two year turf sprint and jockey Alberto Delgado found the wire first.  In the finale New Kent’s George Gregory started his third of the meet and captured glory with Castle Victory, a previous winner at Colonial Downs.  Undoubtedly, there were fireworks launched over the Pamunky River last night. 
Fireworks left over from Gregory may be included in the bundle ignited after Saturday’s and Sunday evening racing with includes an extra race on the dirt.  On Sunday the feature is the $50,000 Chesapeake Stakes on the dirt and Monday’s Independence Day card (1:00 first race post) has the $50,000 Punch Line.  Trainer Chris Crocker has a credible challenger in tonight’s finale with Jack Saw.  Chris, if your horse wins this time, let him have his picture taken with you in the winner’s circle. 
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Money, horse racing and women.  Three things the boys just can’t figure out” – Will Rogers
RACING OF YORE VIRGINIA
There have been four Virginia-bred Kentucky Derby winners in race history, Reigh Count (’28), Secretariat (’73), Pleasant Colony (’81) Sea Hero (’93).  However, a number of other Kentucky Derby winners were bred by Virginians but were officially foaled in other states such as Riva Ridge (’72-KY) by Meadow Stud, Kauai King (’66-MD) by Pine Brook Farm, filly winner Genuine Risk by Catoctin Farm (’80-KY) and Go For Gin (’94-KY) by Hare Forest Farm.  While not the breeder of the 1934 Kentucky Derby winner, Brookmeade Farm in Upperville, VA owned Cavalcade.  In 1918, Exterminator won the Run for the Roses for Virginian Willis Sharpe Kilmer, who according to VTA director Glenn Petty, made his fortune selling the medical tonic “Swamp Root”.   Kilmer was the breeder, but not the owner, of the aforementioned Reigh Count.
 MAKING RACING HAPPEN…
is Mario Verge, clerk of scales at Colonial Downs.  Verge  takes care of the jockeys, makes sure the jockeys and vallets are scheduled and checks the jockey’s weight.   A former jockey himself, Mario won the New Jersey Futurity.  Knowing he was about to retire, Verge won the last race he ever rode aboard Hannah the Wrecker.  He rode in races at Colonial Downs. He likes to play the area golf courses like Brickshire, Stonehouse and Royal New Kent and “sez” he shoots in the nineties.

KNICKERING NICK’S
EXOTIC PLAY OF THE DAY
RACE 4
$.50 PIC 4
1,2,8,9 with 2,4,8,11 with 1,2,4,10, with 8
Costs $32