Cavalier Cupid Captures the $100,000 Keswick Stakes For Crozet Based Owner; Second Win at Colonial

Big Lick Farm’s Cavalier Cupid became the first horse to win two times at the current Colonial Downs summer meet when she captured the $100,000 Keswick Stakes for Virginia restricted 2-year-old fillies Monday afternoon.

The race was one of three turf sprint stakes on the card that included the Hickory Tree for 2-year-olds — also Virginia restricted — and the Da Hoss, which was postponed from last Monday due to a thunderstorm.

Cavalier Cupid won a maiden special weight opening day at the meet July 19 and wheeled back Monday, just two weeks later, and ran a similar race with higher stakes on the line. The daughter of Quality Road trailed DARRS Inc.’s Rambert until the top of the stretch when she eased past, then ended up beating the former frontrunner by one length in the 5 1/2-furlong test. It was a nearly identical scenario to her maiden breaking win when she also faced Rambert, who led until the stretch run in that event and finished second. 

Cavalier Cupid was best in the Keswick Stakes for Big Lick Farm, based in Charlottesville and Crozet. Coady Photography.

“It was similar race,” said jockey Horacio Karamanos who rode in both victories. “We saw some different fillies in from out of town for the stakes. The filly that was second, she really tried today but my filly was better. When I asked her to give me a kick, they otherwise go with me a little bit, but my filly, she was rolling at the end. I think she can longer too, maybe not now though. She’s fast out of the gate but when you pull her back, she relaxes nice.” 

“She just doesn’t do a single thing wrong,” said trainer Sarah Nagle. “She’s just a pleasure to train. If they were all like this, it would be a whole lot easier.  Atter the maiden win, she had five days off in the paddock just rolling around. We didn’t work her during the time between races, just galloped her lightly.” 

The winner paid $3.40 and increased her bankroll to $93,080 from three starts.

Bird Mobberley’s Local Motive broke his maiden July 24 on the dirt at Pimlico, then switched surfaces Monday at Colonial and captured the Hickory Tree Stakes by one-half length over Ray M. Pennington III’s Roll Dem Bones at the same 5 1/2-furlong distance.

Local Motive won the Hickory Tree Stakes at Colonial August 2. It was one of two Virginia-restricted stakes on the card. Coady Photography.

The Divining Rod colt raced two-wide in the turn in a field of nine, came on strong and took the lead in the final furlong, then crossed one-half length the best in :57.52. J.D. Acosta was up in both starts. 

“I’m not so sure he took to the turf as well as it looked,” said trainer John Salzman Jr.. “It was a little bit of an easier race today. I hate having to change courses. I don’t think it’s fair to the horses but we had to try. I almost didn’t run this horse back because it was a quick eight-day turnaround. It’s not my style. But If you skip it, what are you going to do. It worked out for us.”
The winner, now 2-for-2, paid $8.20 and pushed his bankroll to $86,920. 

Michelle Lovell and Griffon Farms’ Just Might won his second straight race and sixth overall in the Da Hoss Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 5 1/2-furlongs. The 5-year-old Justin Phillip gelding sat behind Maribeth Sanford and Lynch Racing LLC’s Francatelli from the start in a five-horse field through the turn when the pair engaged in a stretch duel. Lovell’s colt was best by one-half length in 1:01.77. 

“He’s such an energetic horse and was hoping the stake’s cancellation last week didn’t affect him or take anything out of him,” said Lovell. 

Just Might (#5 outside) captured the Da Hoss Stakes for trainer Michelle Lovell. Coady Photography.

“He stayed straight and ran a great race,” said winning jockey Colby Hernandez. “The horse in front had a little more speed, so I tracked him. At the eighth pole, I called on him and he ran on home. At the sixteenth pole, he kicked on even harder and stronger. He’s just an honest horse and he tries his heart out every single time.”

With the win, Just Might’s lifetime earnings increased to $460,309. The winner paid $3.40.

Colonial Downs continues its summer season Tuesday August 3 with a 9-race card beginning at 1:45 PM.