NEW KENT, Va. (Aug. 31, 2019) – It’s not often one sees a first-time starter in a $100,000 stakes race, let alone win it, but that’s what happened when Breeze Easy’s Four Wheel Drive was on cruise control in taking the Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes by 3 ¼ lengths over So Street on Saturday at Colonial Downs. Jorge Vargas, Jr. rode the Wesley Ward-trained son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to the victory in a course-record time of 1:00.84 for the 5½ furlongs over the Secretariat Turf Course.
“He (trainer Wesley Ward) called me in the paddock and told me he’s pretty nice and pretty quick out of the gate,” Vargas said. “Just ride him like he knows what to do and he truly did.”
Owner Mike Hall has lofty ambitions for Four Wheel Drive. “We bought this horse as a yearling and we’ve trained him through the process,” he said. “Wesley told us it was time for him to run. We made plans to run in this race several months ago and it really worked out well. We’ll probably try to get to at least one more race and hope to get to the Breeders’ Cup.”
Hall also had high praise for Colonial Downs, which conducted Thoroughbred racing here for the first time in six years through the new investment of Colonial Downs Group, a subsidiary of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment. “This is a beautiful facility and I hope people come out to support it,” he continued. “I was shocked with how nice it is. This is my first time here.”
Four Wheel Drive earned $60,000 for his maiden voyage and paid $4.60, $3, and $3. So Street returned $3 and $2.80. It was another 1½ lengths back to Torres Del Paine who paid $4. Hypothesis, Munn Passage, On the Turf and Newstome completed the order of finish.
Four Wheel Drive was bred in Kentucky by Glenvale Stud.
Doc Boy Comes on Strong in TAA Kitten’s Joy
One race later, Rick Kanter’s Doc Boy overcame a tardy start to rally wide on the second turn before taking the lead in the stretch and posting a three-quarters of a length victory in the $100,000 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Kitten’s Joy Stakes. Feargal Lynch was the winning jockey while trainer Mike Stidham picked up his first of two stakes win on the night. The son of Into Mischief covered the mile and a sixteenth on the turf in 1:43.81.
“He’s a very nice horse,” Lynch said. “He was the best horse in the race. It was just a matter of keeping it simple. That’s the key in these four-horse races, sometimes they become very tactical. You just have to be patient and just try to get him home.”
“Pleased that he was able to step right out of a maiden race right into winning a stakes,” Stidham said. “That what we were all hoping for. He still has a lot to learn. He’s a big powerful horse. He’s got a big future I think.”
“I ran a few horses at Colonial years ago but never came here in person,” Stidham said. “This is the first time we’ve had a major presence here. The (purse) money is great, both racing surfaces are fabulous. I couldn’t be happier. I wish (the meet) would never end.”
Sent off as the 3-5 favorite, Doc Boy paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10. Cadet Connelly finished second and retuned $4 and $2.10. The Quantico Kid ran third and brought back $2.10. Majestic’s John completed the order of finish.
About Exacta Systems
Rosie’s Stakes sponsor Exacta Systems was founded in 2013 and specializes in fresh, innovative thinking and product development in the exciting new entertainment business known as Historical Horse Racing. The Exacta line of pari-mutuel horse racing game terminals are in use at all Rosie’s Gaming Emporium locations in Virginia.
About The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), sponsor of the Kitten’s Joy Stakes, was on site at Colonial Downs on Derby Day conducting “Best Turned Out Awards” in conjunction with the Virginia HBPA for all the stakes races.
About Colonial Downs
Colonial Downs’ bright future features the return of live thoroughbred racing and full card simulcasting with the excitement of innovative historic horse racing (HHR) gaming technology. In collaboration with the Virginia Racing Commission (VRC) and Virginia Equine Alliance (VEA), Colonial Downs is set to bring competitive horse racing back to New Kent County and the Commonwealth with the re-opening of the best turf track in the country and a future network of satellite HHR facilities branded as “Rosie’s”. Colonial Downs Group is making a $300 million investment in the Commonwealth of Virginia creating 900 new jobs by the end of 2019. This effort will generate $25 million annually in state tax revenues, $17 million annually in local tax revenues and $25 million annually to Virginia’s horse industry. The project is not receiving any tax credits or government incentives.