(NEW KENT, VA —-7/25/2021) —- A trio of open turf stakes highlight Monday’s (July 26) nine race card at Colonial Downs as the New Kent track ushers in week number two of its summer racing season on the heels of a record-breaking handle during opening week.
The $150,000 Buckland Stakes, to be run at 1 1/16 miles, attracted a ten-horse field, eight of which have earned $190,000 or more. The $100,000 Andy Guest Stakes for filles & mares lured a dozen entrants and the $100,000 Da Hoss has an impressive seven-horse field. The final pair will be contested at 5 1/2 furlongs.
Godolphin, LLC’s Pixelate, with wins this past year in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, Woodchopper and Prince George County Stakes, is early 7-2 choice in the Buckland. The 4-year-old City Zip colt also finished a respectable fifth — three lengths behind — in January’s Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational. The Kentucky-bred has five wins overall, six seconds and three thirds with $493,350 in earnings. Pixelate is trained by Michael Stidham and will be ridden by Joe Bravo.
WSS Racing and Hooties Racing, LLC’s Mr. Dumas, next at 4-1, has been idle since last October when he was best in a Keeneland grass allowance. The John Ortiz trainee also prevailed in a 2020 Churchill allowance and finished a close second in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga last July. In 2019, Mr. Dumas captured the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes. The 5-year-old Majesticperfection horse has accumulated $358,479 in earnings from 14 starts. He will be ridden by Julian Pimentel.
Blackout Racing’s Megacity, third early favorite at 9-2, is fresh off a pair of turf allowance wins at Belmont and Monmouth. The Michael Tomlison trainee was bred in Kentucky by Virginian Maggie Bryant, who recently passed away. Joe Rocco Jr. will be in the irons.
Team Valor International’s Beantown Baby, looking for her fourth straight win, headlines the Andy Guest Stakes field. The 5-year-old Artie Shiller mare returns to Virginia after recent convincing turf sprint wins at Delaware and Pimlico, and another at Laurel last July. The Arnaud Delacour trainee captured a maiden claiming race in New Kent in 2019. Mychel Sanchez will ride on Monday.
John Kerber, Iveta Kerber and Jon Lapczenski’s Ain’t No Elmers is second choice at 4-1 and is fresh off a solid gate-to-wire performance in a Churchill dirt allowance. The 4-year-old Goldencents filly was runner-up in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes in 2020. She has only made one turf start in 13 career outs. Ain’t No Elmers is trained by Bret Calhoun and will be ridden by Adam Beschizza.
Six of the seven Da Hoss entrants have a bankroll of $220,000-plus including Michelle Lovell and Griffon Farm’s Just Might, the 9-5 early favorite. The 5-year-old Justin Phillip gelding captured the Mighty Beau Stakes at Churchill last out and earlier this year, powered home to a five-length win in the Colonel Power Stakes at Fair Grounds. In 2020, Just Might was stakes placed in a pair of Grade 2’s — the Woodford Stakes and Twin Spires Turf Sprint. In all, he has bankrolled $400,309. Colby Hernandez will ride.
Ed Orr and Susie Orr’s Virginia-bred Boldor, conditioned by Steve Asmussen, is second early choice at 7-2. The 5-year-old Munnings gelding prevailed in the King Cotton and Sam’s Town Stakes earlier this year at Oaklawn and Delta Downs in back-to-back starts. Jockey Sheldon Russell gets the call Monday.
Jim and Susan Hill’s Holiday Stone, top money earner in the field with $521,159, is the third early pick. The 7-year-old Harlan’s Holiday horse has a turf allowance victory in each of the last three years. Feargal Lynch will ride for trainer George Weaver.
First post Monday is 1:45 PM. The Da Hoss is fourth race on the card followed by the Andy Guest (Race 7) and Buckland Stakes (Race 8). For the opening race week that ran from July 19-21, Colonial handled a combined $7,100,435.
Colonial Downs also presents its first ever online Handicapping Challenge on Monday. Two seats to the 2022 National Horseplayers Championship and one entry into the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge are up for grabs. Details are at colonialdowns.com/wagering.