Colonial Downs | Full Card Expert Selections
by Merv Huber-Calvo
OPTICAL ILLUSION (1) wheels back after six days, last seen finishing fourth at a similar level here at Colonial, but beaten less than two lengths by the winner. BARREL OF STOUT (6) has been second at the $16k maiden claiming level in his last two. DORIDORI (3) takes a big drop in class out of a tough MSW event here at Colonial opening weekend, and the filly could offer value facing males today.
TOP PICKS: 2-6-3-7
EMO (10) has shown early interest in each of her two previous races and gets current meet co-leading rider Mychel Sanchez in the irons. QUEEN BESS (5) shows a bullet work in advance of her debut for Dane Kobiskie, who won last weekend with a first timer juvenile filly. VERRABELLA (4) makes her debut for Susan Cooney and has Sheldon Russell listed as the pilot.
TOP PICKS: 10-5-4-6
XENOBIA (1) ran well in her first start in the states and stands to improve in her second domestic effort and second off the long layoff. FLIPPERY (3) looks likely to be the early pacesetter in a paceless race, and has been hot recently. HOGANS HOLIDAY (5) won versus stakes company two back but now drops in for a claiming price here after a poor effort last out.
TOP PICKS: 1-3-5-6
PALMETTO BLUE (3) ran well to be fourth versus MSW competition in his debut here at Colonial on opening weekend and now takes a big drop to the maiden claiming level. JUST CHILL OUT (6) debuted in a tough maiden claiming races here on opening weekend and was making up ground; now drops in for claiming price half as much. CHASING THE CANDY (4) faltered last out but showed a good debut effort prior to that.
TOP PICKS: 3-6-4-8
IRISH COLONEL (3) lost by just a nose at this level last out at Delaware and may benefit from having an extra furlong to work with in this race. HE’S NO BULL (6) was fourth versus similar here at Colonial opening weekend and cuts back a bit in distance. CARTE BLANCHE (4) has been third versus similar in each of his last three and ships in from the tough KY racing circuit.
TOP PICKS: 3-6-4-5
THUMP (11) was third at this level last out at Monmouth and stands to improve in her second start off the layoff. DOROTHYFROMDUBLIN & SUM MO CASH (1/1A) both ship in from Florida with good chances in here. LADY KIM (2) rides a two race win streak into this race but jumps in class for this race.
TOP PICKS: 11-1/1A-2-6
SPEED APP (1) impressively broke his maiden here on opening weekend and now tackles winners for the first time, making his turf debut. WETUMKA (3) faded towards the end of his last race but cuts back in distance by 3/16th of a mile, which should be to his liking. HILLSDOWN (5) defeated MSW competition last time out, now in for a tag in his first start versus winners.
TOP PICKS: 1-3-5-9
DARK LIGHTNING (3) sports a great turf pedigree, a half-sister to Chocolate Ride and Killer Graces, both multiple graded stakes winners. SECURE CONNECTION (6) was a good second at this level last out, closing ground on the winner. LA BABIA (1) debuts for Michael Matz and also has a good pedigree for the turf.
TOP PICKS: 3-6-1-2
DATA PRINCESS (9) was a much improved fourth in her second start but comes into this race having no races since last November. BROADWAY PEGGY (11) has good early speed and consistently good speed figures for this level, but has not found the winner’s circle in 15 races now. NICOLE (3) has shown two much improved efforts recently but faces tougher than what she has recently faced.
TOP PICKS: 9-11-3-4
Value Plays With Racecaller Jason Beem
Race 4 – #7 WAR OF THE NORTH – Morning Line Odds: 15/1
Race 7 – #7 LITTLE SNIP – Morning Line Odds: 10/1