Trainer Michelle Lovell Has Morning Line Favorites in Van Clief and Andy Guest Stakes Monday at Colonial 

(NEW KENT, VA —-7/14/2022) —- Two of the classier horses from trainer Michelle Lovell’s stable have each earned morning line favoritism in a pair of $150,000 open turf sprints this Monday, July 18 at Colonial Downs. Just Might, who will become a million-dollar earner with a win in the Van Clief Stakes, is 8-5 in the early odds while her Change of Control, with $833,725 in earnings, is 3-1 choice in the Andy Guest Stakes. They will be contested as the sixth and eighth races on a nine-race program. 

Just Might (outside) captures the Da Hoss Stakes at Colonial Downs in 2021 (Coady Photography)

Michelle Lovell and Griffon Farms’ Just Might could have an edge in the eight-horse Van Clief based on a pair of stakes wins last summer at the New Kent track. The versatile 6-year-old Justin Phillip gelding won the six-furlong Chesapeake Stakes on dirt in the Mid Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship Series (MATCH) competition and also scored in the 5-1/2 furlong Da Hoss Stakes on turf. Just Might is fresh off a gate-to-wire victory in the Mighty Beau Stakes at Churchill, a race he won in 2021 as well. The five-furlong 2022 edition — which he won by two lengths — was taken off the turf. Rafael Bejarano will ride Monday from post 3. 

George Sharp’s Front Run the Fed is second in the line at 4-1. The 6-year-old Fed Biz horse has not raced since October. In 2020, he had a very respectable sixth-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, finishing just 2 1/2 lengths behind winner Glass Slippers. Front Run the Fed comes to Colonial with career earnings of $405,793. Multiple Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. will ride for trainer Caio Caramori.

Trainer Michelle Lovell is back to compete at Colonial Downs for the second straight season this summer.

Crown’s Way Racing LLC and NBS Stable’s Smokin’ Jay fits well in this spot. The Kelsey Danner trainee is stakes-placed in five of his last seven stakes starts. The 4-year-old Cairo Prince colt won the Allied Forces Stakes at Belmont last September and most recently was eighth in the Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes, also at Belmont. Adam Beschizza will ride the Kentucky-bred from post six.

Perry Harrison’s Change of Control, 3-1 early favorite in the Andy Guest for fillies and mares, was fourth in the recent Jaipur and finished just three lengths behind. The 6-year-old Fed Biz mare collected a pair of Grade 3 stakes wins in 2021 from the Intercontinental at Belmont in June and the Franklin County Stakes at Keeneland in October. Colby Hernandez, who rode Just Might to both Colonial stakes wins last summer, will be in the irons here for Lovell. 

Klein Racing’s Goin’ Good, stakes placed in her last three at Churchill, Keeneland and Fair Grounds respectively, is listed at 4-1. The 4-year-old daughter of Congrats was third in the Unbridled Sidney and Giant’s Causeway Stakes and second in the Mardi Gras. The Brad Cox trainee has been in-the-money in 9 of 11 career starts and has bankrolled $277,761. 

CJ Thoroughbreds’ Jeanie B impressed in both the ’22 and ’21 Grade 2 Royal North Stakes at Woodbine with respective defeats by a length and a nose. Two starts back, the 5-year-old Great Britain-bred was a neck shy in Woodbine’s Long Branch Stakes. Reylu Gutierrez will ride for trainer Cam Gambolati from post 7.

The current Colonial Downs summer meet opened July 11 and will continue through September 7 with racing every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 1:45 PM. An average of $625,000 in purse monies will be distributed daily. The track is offering a daily Pick-5 wager with a low 12% takeout and a carryover element for the first time ever. The bet covers the last five races on the card.