Colonial Downs | Full Card Expert Selections
by Merv Huber-Calvo
Each day during the Colonial Downs summer season, Racing Analyst Merv Huber-Calvo will provide analysis of the card and offer his selections on the races. Race caller Jason Beam will have a Best Bet on it as well. Here is the analysis for opening night’s card on Thursday August 8th at 5 PM. Enjoy!
PACQUIAO (8) approaches his debut effort off a series of good workouts at Belmont Park, including a bullet move. CHAOS KID (9) is making his eighth start, having hit the board in five of those efforts, including three consecutive runner-up finishes. MUNN PASSAGE (3) ships in from Arlington Park and has a good pedigree to take to the grass.
TOP PICKS: 8-9-3-7
DILLY DOES IT (6) ran a good second at this level last out at Tampa and figures to be competitive in this spot. IGOTTAWHITEFACE (1) is dropping down in class considerably but makes her first start since April. AFAR (4) stretches out past a sprint distance after a much improved effort over the grass last out.
TOP PICKS: 6-1-4-7
FAIR HAIRED BOY (6) sports the best pedigree of this bunch, from the female family of champion Wise Dan. CADET CONNELLY (5) was a good second last out and makes turf debut here; dam Channel Lady was a graded stakes winner here at Colonial. DYNADRIVE (4) makes debut for good connections and is also out of a stakes winner at Colonial.
TOP PICKS: 6-5-4-2
PRINCESS PHONE (4) returns to the grass, over which she was a solid third versus start allowance company in her only previous attempt. CITY FUN (2) broke her maiden at Monmouth last out versus $40k maiden claimers, now drops to $25k. LET’S GO BABY (7) has hit the board in three consecutive efforts and fits well with this group at the $25k claiming level.
TOP PICKS: 4-2-7-6
SPEED AHEAD (6) boasts an excellent pedigree, out of Grade 1 winner Colstar; shows a solid work pattern including a bullet move just a few days ago. PASSION PLAY (1) ran well to be a close fourth last out at Churchill Downs in turf debut. TOLAGA BAY (3) failed to impress last out but has hit the board in three of seven lifetime starts.
TOP PICKS: 6-1-3-8
MISS AJA BROWN (7) drops in class off a couple poor efforts but should be very competitive at this $5k claiming level. CHESAPEAKE SPRING (1A) is the stronger half of the entry and has run well in several consecutive starts. DETAIL (9) was beaten just a length last out at a higher claiming level at Laurel and should also be tough this this competitive race.
TOP PICKS: 7-1A-9-6
ATLANTIC SUN (10) looks like the best on paper and possesses the best early speed, but draws poorly for his running style, breaking from the outside. BOMBONERO (4) won at a slightly higher level last out versus non-winners of 2 and should be competitive in this spot. SECRET LIFE STYLE (2) has been very consistent, hitting the board in last six and eight of last ten starts.
TOP PICKS: 10-4-2-3
WINTER UNION (1A) finds a softer bunch than he’s been facing recently and may also appreciate the turnback in distance after racing in marathon races recently. COLOUR GUARD (6) ran poorly in only previous turf start but has been in good recent form. SCHOLAR ATHLETE (7) is likely favorite here with good back class but recent form is suspect.
TOP PICKS: 1A-6-7-2
ZEN’S LAND (14) looks the best in here having finished second at the $10k level and now dropping in for $5k, but must overcome far outside post. CREAKY CRICKET (2) also drops from the $10k level off a sneaky good effort last out when fourth, beaten just a couple lengths. ODLUM (7) could get loose on an easy lead, as none of his 13 rivals seem to possess any early speed.
TOP PICKS: 14-2-7-5
Race 4: #1 PASS IT ON – Morning Line Odds: 8/1 Early Line
Race 9: #6 MEILLEUR – Morning Line Odds: 12/1 Early Line