Colonial Downs Derby Day Tip Sheet/Racing Analysis For Saturday Aug. 31

Colonial Downs | Full Card Expert Selections

by Merv Huber-Calvo

Race 1

CALDBECK (1A) was a good second last out going 1 ½-miles in his first start off a lengthy layoff and stands to improve in his second start off the shelf. TOLAGA BAY (7) has already run two good efforts at this meet going a mile and should benefit from the extra distance today. MARSHALL LAW (6) makes his domestic debut for hot connections and has experience navigating this distance.

TOP PICKS: 1A-7-6-2

Race 2

QUEEN BESS (5) shows good works as she approaches her debut for an outfit which won with a filly at first asking earlier this meet. THEDEVILMADEMEDOIT (3) shows two good efforts for meet-leading trainer and makes grass debut here. BLUEGRASS SKY (10) has a light workout pattern but shows a zippy bullet work most recently.

TOP PICKS: 5-3-10-9

Race 3

SPEED APP (1) was a dominant maiden winner here on opening day and finds a nice spot to tackle winners for the first time as he makes his turf debut. CLOSER LOOK (5) was second last out at a similar condition behind a very tough winner. HILLSDOWN (2) broke through the maiden ranks last out despite a difficult trip.

TOP PICKS: 1-5-2-3

Race 4

CARIENN (4) has been facing tougher than she finds here and should be able to take advantage of a hot early pace. FOXY MISCHIEF (3) comes in off two consecutive wins, including a score here two weeks ago. ANGEL AT WAR (1) has recently been off form but possesses back class that would make her competitive in this spot at a price.

TOP PICKS: 4-3-1-8

Race 5

PRINCESSCHOPE (6) was a good second last out in her first start in eight months and figures to improve in her second start off the layoff. BEALE STREET (8) won a VA-restricted maiden race last out but did so impressively, and could offer value tackling open allowance horses here. POLISHED (10) has burned money in each of her last two but certainly figures in this race with her recent speed figures.

TOP PICKS: 6-8-10-11

Race 6

SO STREET (2) was an impressive allowance winner on opening day and looks very tough in this race for hot connections. UNUNDERSTANDABLE (9) had a difficult trip and just missed in her debut in a rapidly run race; she could offer value as a maiden taking on winners. FOUR WHEEL DRIVE (5) makes debut in a stakes race, which is generally unconventional, but the Wesley Ward outfit has experience making this work.

TOP PICKS: 2-9-5-7

Race 7

FOOD AND WIN (5) failed to impress in his debut but is well intended, sports a family rich in precocious turf runners, and should appreciate the extra distance; taking a shot with a value play here. FIELD PASS (6) is the likely favorite off the strength of a Saratoga maiden win, from which the runner-up came back to win next out. THE QUANTICO KID (7) won here last out in his turf and route debut, defeating Cadet Connelly who also comes back in this race.

TOP PICKS: 5-6-7-2

Race 8

TASTING THE STARS (5) is lightly races but undefeated, and makes her second start off the layoff here after taking a tough stakes at Monmouth with a quick final time. GARDENISTA (6) was very impressive winning a first-level allowance last out at Laurel at the expense of Zonda, who has won since that race and also shows up here. SOLAR KITTEN (8) figures to improve in her second start off the shelf and possesses speed figures that make her competitive in this spot.

TOP PICKS: 5-6-8-1

Race 9

TRACKSMITH (6) has won both starts this year, including a nice stakes victory last out at Monmouth; he could offer value as the less fancied of the two Calumet horses – the other being ENGLISH BEE (8) who comes into this race having run in some of the best sophomore turf races in New York.  The latter finds a softer spot today but could potentially be a heavy favorite. JAIS’S SOLITUDE (3) could be a nice value play, as he consistently comes rolling at the end of his turf races and scored nicely last out at Arlington.

TOP PICKS: 6-8-3-7

Race 10

SMALL MOMENT (12) has been facing much tougher and ran a deceptively good race last out, beaten just seven-lengths by a tough winner. SHIKAKA (11) possesses good early speed and figures to improve in her second start going a route of ground. WOLVERETTE (9) exits a tough VA-restricted race and has consistently picked up place & show checks at this level.

TOP PICKS: 12-11-9-7

Race Caller Jason Beam’s Value Plays:

Race 4 – #5 PRETTY GREELEY – Morning Line Odds: 8/1

Race 10 – #6 EXACTA – Morning Line Odds: 12/1



“DERBY BILL`$” Virginia Derby  Predictions . Virginia Derby Trifecta  # 6 Tracksmith # 8 English Bee # 9 Chilly in Charge # 5 

1. Changi (20-1) – Longshot players odds may drift up to Jersey Derby 41-1 level? Did hang on for piece of Monmouth Superfecta after less menacing trip at Colonial Aug 9th

2. Solidify (10-1) – Only Graded Stakes winner in derby impressive as 2 year old but dangerous off longest layoff in field of 56 days

3. Jais`s Solitude (8-1) – 1 of 2 in field off a win Has shown big late run after switch back to turf that  led to 5 of last 6 ITM [in the $$] scores

4. Critical Data (15-1) – Data says last 2 not up to level of top 2 in field with 4th straight different track start since crossing the pond may be Homesick  

5. Shootin the Breeze (8-1) – Trainer Graham Motion wants to hit trifecta sending 3 of 9 derby starters to post with this Breeze blowing well last 4 of last 5 just toss Saratoga clunker 

6. Tracksmith (3-1) – Trainer Joe Sharp has targeted this race for son of Kentucky Derby Champion Street Sense with path of perfection off  2 wins  

7. Credit Swap (4-1) – Red hot Trevor McCarthy may try to steal this one up front as Credit is good  while best 3 finishes were in 5.5 sprints  

8. English Bee (5-2) – Virginia Derby champion bloodline via both English Channel and Kitten`s Joy makes the wagering favorite and maybe Virginia`s Crowd Pleaser  

9. Chilly in Charge (10-1) – Jockey Horacio Karamanos has been a Giant killer [50-1]in Virginia Derby`s storied past needs Chilly`s maiden turf trip to be like a “Red Giant”