(NEW KENT, VA — 7/30/2021) —- The third week of the Colonial Downs summer racing season kicks off Monday August 2 with a trio of $100,000 stakes races, including a pair of Virginia-restricted turf sprints for 2-year-olds and a rescheduled stakes from the July 26 card when storms caused its postponement.
The 5-furlong Hickory Tree Stakes attracted a field of ten colts/geldings including Sean Feld’s Evan Harlan, morning line favorite. The Graham Motion trainee finished third in a maiden special weight turf race at six furlongs June 20 at Belmont, his only career start. The Temple City colt was two lengths back at the wire. Victor Carrasco has the mount from post three.
Jeremy Brooks’ Wow Whata Summer, second early choice, finished second in his career bow July 20 at Colonial, but was bumped up to the top spot when initial winner Capt. Candy was disqualified and placed down a notch. The Summer Front colt is trained by James Lawrence and will be ridden by Feargal Lynch, who was up in the start two weeks ago.
Four first time starters are also in the field. The Hickory Tree has been carded as the eighth race of nine at a scheduled post of 5:01 PM.
A field of nine fillies will compete in the Keswick Stakes, also at five furlongs, led by Big Lick Farm’s Cavalier Cupid. The Sarah Nagle trainee is fresh off a two-length victory in a maiden special weight turf sprint opening day at the New Kent track. The daughter of Quality Road was the favorite with Horacio Karamanos in the irons. She is morning line choice in the stakes and Karamanos is scheduled to ride again.
David Ross’s Rambert finished second to Cavalier Cupid in that maiden race July 19 and is second early pick in the Keswick at 4-1. Michael Stidham, leading Colonial trainer in ’19 and ’20, conditions the Declaration of War filly. Colby Hernandez is back as rider.
Three other horses in the field come in fresh off maiden victories though they all came on dirt. O K Smarty Pants and Fancy Her Up prevailed by five-plus lengths at Charles Town while Buff My Boots dominated gate-to-wire by ten lengths at Pimlico. Determined Truth, third early choice, lost by a neck at Pimlico in her debut July 9 which was also was on dirt.
The Keswick Stakes has been carded as the seventh and will go to post at 4:33 PM.
Six of the seven Da Hoss Stakes 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.
The Da Hoss, open to three-year-olds & up at 5 1/2 turf furlongs, will kick off the stakes action in the third race at 2:41 PM. First post at Colonial is 1:45 PM.