7/11: Colonial Downs Steeplechase Race 1 – 3

Colonial Downs kicks off their summer meet schedule with 3 parimutuel races, post time 11:45AM EST. They will run 2 ¼ miles around 4 turns over 9 fences with just over a 1/2 mile flat run after the last fence. The betting pools will be very small. If the total pool for all bets in each race is more than $7000, I will be pleasantly surprised. There will be overnight rain but it will break the heat wave so it should be a nice 80 degree temperature and perfect turf going.

Generally, flat track speed holds well at traditional race tracks like Colonial Downs, especially if the runner has experience over jumps. There are several reasons why flat speed does well at traditional race tracks. There are 11-14 jumps for the same distance at most meets and only 9 jumps at Colonial Downs. Some courses can have an elevation change of over 100 feet during the running of the race while Colonial Downs has no elevation change. Some courses have a jump an ⅛ of a mile from the finish, while Colonial Downs has over a ½ mile flat run after the last jump.

Checking the year to date standings, Leipers Fork Steeplechasers is the leading owner and their trainer Leslie Young is the leading trainer. Leading riders with 9 wins each are Jamie Bragary and Graham Watters.

Race 1 is a maiden special weight limited to 10 starters. #5 No Yield will scratch and #11 Anzio draws in. Most of the field has very respectable flat track speed. The top choice is #10 Moonshine Time for trainer Keri Brion. The Nashville race 5/11 was one of the toughest maiden races this spring and #10 Moonshine Time ran a very respectable 3rd. With that said, if #12 Walk The Warrior draws in for Leslie Young, #12 Walk The Warrior must also be considered on top. After #10 Moonshine Time and #12 Walk The Warrior, first time jumper #7 Modern Science won a Potomac Hunt Point to Point race 5/19 in a very fast time, has good flat track speed, being by Galileo means the distance is perfect and got a nice tune up flat run at Presque Isle Downs 6/24. #2 Pavoni looked good until he tired and ran 4th in the 5/11 Nashville race and picks up leading rider Graham Watters. Underneath in trifectas and superfectas, #6 Willow Wood ran well at Willowdale and has 2022 leading rider Parker Hendriks who is fully recovered from a concussion.


A) 10-(12 AE)
B) 2-7

Race 2 is a non-winners of 2 races lifetime. The top pick is #3 Clifton Down after easily winning a restricted stakes race at Great Meadow 5/4. Next is #7 Travesuras, Irv Naylor’s runner that put Mr. Naylor on top as lifetime leading money owner. Trainer Keri Brion likes her runner #5 Juulstone who has good flat track speed but must use that speed after the final jump to be competitive while carrying a co-highweight of 156 pounds. Others to consider underneath are #1 Pure Courage who broke his maiden at Colonial and usually hits the board, #4 Southpaw Mike, Kate Dalton’s only runner who always shows up for a check to cover their shipping expenses from South Carolina and #2 Lightning Rod who ran well at Great Meadow 5/4 until his last jump an ⅛ of a mile from the finish.

A) 3
B) 7
C) 5

Race 3 is a filly and mare maiden special weight. The top choice is first time jump runner #1 Dark Pool who has the best flat track speed. Talked to trainer Keri Brion and she thinks this is her most likely winner for the day. Next is trainer Leslie Young’s #9 Getbackshadrack with top rider Jamie Bargary. Leslie already won with a first timer and Bargary riding this season at Nashville. Next is #6 Exculpate who has good flat track speed and ran well in the filly and mare stakes at Nashville. #3 Loveforeverafter by English Channel has good flat track speed and had practice over the jumps against the boys finishing 5th at Potomac Hunt Point to Point 5/19.

A) 1
B) 9-6
C) 3

Good luck at the races!