A dozen will line up in the $250,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby (G3), the marquee event of the Colonial Downs meeting.
The top three finishers from the Bald Eagle Derby at Pimlico on July 24 return including the winner Indian Lake (5-1) who took the field gate to wire to win the 1 ½ mile race.
Experienced rallied for second behind the loose on the lead winner and was installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite. Trained by Jonathan Thomas, the gelding broke his maiden in his debut at Delaware Park in his previous outing.
Wootton Asset (5-1) rallied for third in the Bald Eagle Derby. The Graham Motion trainee has run in the money in a pair of stakes, last year’s Awad at Belmont Park and the Kent (G3) at Delaware Park last month.
The Virginia Derby was first run in 1998 and was won by the Jonathan Sheppard trained Crowd Pleaser. Among the early winners of the race include Kitten’s Joy (2004), English Channel (2005) and Gio Ponti (2008).
Colonial Downs was closed after the 2013 season and the race was renamed the Commonwealth Derby and was contested at Laurel Park through 2017.
The Graham Motion trained English Bee won the 2019 edition.
There are four supporting stakes on the Virginia Derby Day card including the $150,000 Virginia Oaks which drew a field of 12 three-year-old fillies.
Let’s head out to Colonial Downs for Tuesday’s featured race of the day:
Colonial Downs Race 10 The Virginia Derby G3 6:14 ET
6 Wootton Asset 5-1
7 Experienced 7-2
4 Slicked Back 12-1
1 Search for Truth 8-1
The Motion trainee stalked thee early pace and finished evenly behind a loose on the lead Indian Lake who was able to take the field gate to wire to win the Bald Eagle Derby last out at Pimlico going 1 ½ miles. Two back our top pick came back off a seven-month layoff with a decent effort in a third-place finish in the Kent (G3) at Delaware Park, beaten two lengths. Last year this guy was beaten just a nose in the laurel Futurity in his U.S. debut after wining two of his four starts in France. He then was fourth in the Awad and Motion saw enough to ship him to Del Mar for the Cecil B. DeMille (G3) where he was not a threat in a 11th place finish. The cut back to 1 ¼ miles should suit him as he makes his third start of his current form cycle. He gets a jock upgrade to Ortiz.
This colt exits the Bald Eagle Derby which was just his second career start. The Thomas trainee stalked the early pace, came with a four wide bid and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot, beaten ¾ of a length as the 4-5 favorite. The gelding broke his maiden two back in his debut where he came with a good late rally to get up late and win by a nose at Delaware Park going one mile and 70 yards. This guy looks as if he still has a ton of upside. He is out of the G1 turf stakes winner No Matter What ($185,726) who has dropped eight other turf winners including five stakes winners, top earner Rainbow View ($930,274).
This gelding ships in from Indiana Grand where he beat Alw-2L foes last out going a mile in his first start on turf. He tracked the early pace and finished gamely to win by ¾ of a length for the Cox barn. He graduated on the main track in a race taken off the turf in his debut, then was outrun in his first go against winners. The switch to turf got him back on track. He was a $275,000 Keeneland purchase the first foal tor ace out of a Galileo mare. He is in good hands with Cox and looks capable of moving forward with more ground here. Worth tossing in the mix here if he goes off near his 12-1 morning line.
WIN: Wootton Asset to win at 4-1 or better.
EXACTA: 6 / 1,2,4,7 and 6,7 / 4,6,7