Colonial Downs | Full Card Expert Selections
by Merv Huber-Calvo
The entry of RUFFITUP BUTTERCUP (1) & TEMPTING MOMENT (1A) look very tough in this race and capable of running 1-2 in here. NEO (2) made a big middle move in his debut versus similar and stands to improve here in second start. MIDSKIPMAN (6) had a tardy break but closed from last to be a good second last out.
TOP PICKS: 1/1A-2-6-3
UNUNDERSTANDABLE (1) scratched out of a stakes race last weekend to run in this spot and looks awfully tough in here. SENSE OF SELF (5) debuts for the Stidham outfit, which pulled down a couple stakes on Saturday; dam of this filly was a multiple stakes winner at two. PYTHONESS (2) is a half-sister to Sway Away, who was graded stakes placed at two.
TOP PICKS: 1-5-2-4
FACTION CAT (3) takes a measured step up in class today off a nice win and string of solid efforts. FORT FORTITUDE (1) threw in a stinker last time out but should appreciate the return to turf for today’s effort. MAS CHIKILIN (5) makes his turf debut after breaking through the second allowance level last out.
TOP PICKS: 3-1-5-4
MINISTER’S STRIKE (6) enters this race off a pair of nice wins, including one over this track last out; speed figures say he can run at this tougher level. HE’S ONE WILD DUDE (7) won at this level last out and consistently runs top efforts – he is the likely favorite. BRITISH HUMOR (4) will likely enjoy the return to grass after a bit of a dud last out over dirt.
TOP PICKS: 6-7-4-5
FRONT LINE PAIGE (8) takes a huge drop in class after running a strong second versus much tougher; would expect him to go off strongly favored. CAMALUS (5) closed well to be beaten less than four lengths versus starter allowance company and makes a big drop back into the $5k claiming ranks. MEGEVE (3) ran third at this level in a race that came up very tough.
TOP PICKS: 8-5-3-2
BUST ANOTHER (7) was a big winner at this level last time out and meets a much softer field in this race, so no reason to not suspect another big win. WILD WIGGLIN JACK (6) was third, beaten four-lengths, by the top pick last out after tussling with him early on in the race. KEEP TALKING (8) is a new shooter coming in from Laurel after having burned a bit of money finishing second at this level last out.
TOP PICKS: 7-6-8-3
HOLIDAY PRAYER (9) drops out of open claiming races into the conditioned non-winners of three, a level at which she should be more competitive. NANA’S SHOES (13) also drops from saltier races, including a good third-place finish last out at the $16k claiming price. ZARBANDA (11) was second at this level here at Colonial on opening weekend after running very wide.
TOP PICKS: 9-13-11-12
MANITOULIN (3) has run deceptively good races since returning from the long layoff, including last out beaten just over a length in a tough stakes at Ellis; should continue to improve in third start off the layoff. PARET (5) stepped forward in his most recent start and a similar effort puts him right in the mix. DOCTOR MOUNTY (6) looks like the likely favorite given his back class and impressive speed figures.
TOP PICKS: 3-5-6-7
HAPPY LANTERN (12) was second and beaten less than a length last out at a similar level, beaten by a filly who came back to win here last weekend. CONTROLLINGTHEGOLD (9) broke through the maiden ranks last out and has been much improved since moving to the turf. SLOWPOKE (13) closed well in a tough race to be fourth beaten only two lengths last time.
TOP PICKS: 12-9-13-1
Race Caller Jason Beem’s Value Plays
Race 7 – #7 JUMPSTARTMYHEART – Morning Line Odds: 10/1
Race 8 – #9 BIG BEND – Morning Line Odds: 15/1