It’s Virginia Derby day at Colonial Downs, which means not only this year’s running of the Grade 3 Virginia Derby but also a stacked race card including four additional stakes. Tops on that list: the $150,000 Virginia Oaks.

Let’s bring those races in focus:


  • Race 6, 4:05 p.m.
  • Fillies and mares, 3yo and up, $150,000
  • 1 1/16 miles turf

The Old Nelson is a wide-open affair with a 3-1 favorite in Market Rumor whose claim to fame, perhaps, is that this’ll be just her second turf start. The field also includes turf stakes winners Bramble Queen (8-1); Bellagamba (8-1), a Group 1 winner in Argentina making her North American bow for Ignacio Correas; last out Big Dreyfus winner Tightly Twisted (9-2); and Our Bay B Ruth (7-2), winless since her score in the ’19 Tropical Park Oaks.

The ‘cappers say…

Nick HahnDerby Bill WatsonFrank Vespe
1 – #2 Tuned (5-1)
2 – #7 Market Rumor (3-1)
3 – #4 No Mo Lady (10-1)
1 – #1 Bramble Queen (8-1)
2 – #8 Our Bay B Ruth (7-2)
3 – #7 Market Rumor (3-1)
1 – #3 Bellagamba (8-1)
2 – #1 Bramble Queen (8-1)
3 – #5 Tightly Twisted (9-2)


  • Race 7, 4:33 p.m.
  • Two-year-olds, $100,000
  • 1 1/16 miles turf

There’s a lot of money on the line here — $100,000 – but just six horses vying for it. The breeding says the added ground shouldn’t be a problem for Hickory Tree show horse Wow Whata Summer (5-2), the morning line favorite. Kenny McPeek will send out Tiz the Bomb (3-1) for his first grass try after a 14-length score on the main track last out; this one’s sire and dam both preferred the green. Turf winners C My Meister (5-1) and Gold Heritage (7-2) are the other notables here.

Nick HahnDerby Bill WatsonFrank Vespe
1 – #4 Tiz the Bomb (3-1)
2 – #6 Gold Heritage (7-2)
3 – #1 C My Meister (5-1)
1 – #4 Tiz the Bomb (3-1)
2 – #3 Epic Luck (7-2)
3 – #5 Wow Whata Summer (5-2)
1 – #6 Gold Heritage (7-2)
2 – #4 Tiz the Bomb (3-1)
3 – #1 C My Meister (5-1)


  • Race 8, 5:01 p.m.
  • Two-year-olds, $100,000
  • 5 1/2 furlongs turf

The 2019 version of this race produced Four Wheel Drive, who later won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, and this year’s has drawn a slightly bigger and seemingly better field than the Kitten’s Joy, which is at a route distance. Bret Calhoun trainee Tejano Twist (5-2) gets the nod for favoritism after graduating on the main track here and following up with a bullet half-mile move on the turf, but do note his sibs are a combined 0-for-9 on turf. Wish Me Home (5-1) won nicely against state-restricted company on the Colonial turf, while Big Boss Ben (3-1) scored on the turf at Ellis Park. Mr. Mox (5-1) has run well in both starts on dirt, and sire Divining Rod is off to a fast start which includes two turf winners.

Nick HahnDerby Bill WatsonFrank Vespe
1 – #1 Big Boss Ben (3-1)
2 – #4 Trust Our Journey (4-1)
3 – #7 Tejano Twist (5-2)
1 – #4 Trust Our Journey (4-1)
2 – #7 Tejano Twist (5-2)
3 – #1 Big Boss Ben (3-1)
1 – #3 Mr. Mox (5-1)
2 – #1 Big Boss Ben (3-1)
3 – #5 Wish Me Home (5-1)


  • Race 9, 5:29 p.m.
  • Fillies, 3yo, $150,000
  • 1 1/8 miles turf
1. Adelaide Miss (KY) (J Toledo/B T Russell): Two back runner-up effort came in race that produced four next-out winners and behind next out-stakes winner Out of Sorts… Showing three works since July 10 triumph and will make first foray into stakes company here
2. Line Dancing (KY) (F Boyce/M R Matz): Matz-trained Speightstown filly won at first asking and has kept right company but arrives here riding five-race losing streak… Show horse from last recently second in restricted stake…
3. Flippant (KY) (R Bejarano/V H Oliver): Stumbled and was taken up at the start last out before rallying from the rear to win minor stake in very fast time… Has won two straight and 7 of 12 from three back defeat won follow-ups…
4. Funwhileitlasted (PA) (F Lynch/J K Sweezey): PA-bred’s lone win came versus maiden claimers but has finished second two straight vs. NY-sired stakes company…
5. Time for Glory (KY) (V R Carrasco/N L Cash): Not This Time filly will need to step it up… Fourth-place finish in G3 Pucker Up was credible, but this miss also was third twice versus allowance company…
6. Belle Belisa (IRE) (C Marquez/M W Dickinson): Dickinson filly had a nice-looking professional debut when rallying from the rear to graduate at first asking — at today’s nine-furlong distance… One of only two in here with nine-furlong victory under her belt…
7. Por Que No (KY) (F Peterson/J K Sweezey): Why not, indeed? Sweezey trainee hasn’t done much wrong, with five wins from seven starts to date, including a dominant win last out in the Boiling Springs at MTH, from which runner-up returned to win G3 event… Front-running sort will try to make all the running
8. Gold for Kitten (KY) (J Rocco, Jr./B P Walsh): Undefeated runner will get class test in this spot in search for fifth straight W… Debuted at MC 30,000 level, was claimed for $50k by local owner David Ross and has continued winning ways… Two of her beaten rivals from last returned with wins… Look for her to be prominent early…
9. Double Blessed (FL) (M Franco/M Dini): Dini trainee has run a number of pretty good races without a ton to show for it: just one win from nine starts, though she was a good third two back in the Hatoof behind Core Values, who returned to beat the boys in a stake at Ellis Park… Couldn’t make much impact last out in G3 company
10. Out of Sorts (KY) (S Russell/B T Russell): Bargain-basement stablemate of Adelaide Miss impressed in dominant Christiana S. win two back, was perhaps a bit out of her depth in $700k SAR Oaks… Late-running sort has found a home on turf, will have regular pilot Sheldon Russell up
11. Invincible Gal (GB) (J L Ortiz/H G Motion): Motion trainee has been second in four stakes, including a G3 event three back when a neck shy of the whole thing… Was all dressed up with no place to go when beaten three lengths last out in ALW contest and will make second start on Lasix today
12. Zeyaraat (KY) (J Correa/M V Pino): Honor Code filly knocked down allowance condition in last against older and has always been handled like a horse connections think highly of, but must improve to score here
Nick HahnDerby Bill WatsonFrank Vespe
1 – #3 Flippant (8-1)
2 – #8 Gold for Kitten (9-2)
3 – #10 Out of Sorts (8-1)
1 – #10 Out of Sorts (8-1)
2 – #11 Invincible Gal (5-1)
3 – #7 Por Que No (4-1)
1 – #3 Flippant (8-1)
2 – #7 Por Que No (4-1)
3 – #10 Out of Sorts (8-1)


  • Race 10, 6:14 p.m.
  • 3yo, $250,000
  • 1 1/8 miles turf
1. Search for Truth (KY) (J Rocco, Jr./M W Dickinson): Dickinson trainee impressed in 11-length local score to graduate one race after rallying into second behind a runner who’s now two-for-three on the lawn… Jockey Rocco one off meet lead…
2. Indian Lake (KY) (R Silvera/J Ness): Busy Ness trainee has made three turf starts, all in stakes company, and posted front-running score in 12-furlong Bald Eagle Derby last time… Got away with dawdling fractions and fended off the closers that day; pace pressure today could change that equation…
3. Eye of the Cat (KY) (H Karamanos/W M Catalano): Graduated on synthetic at Arlington after two unsuccessful tries on turf…
4. Slicked Back (KY) (F De La Cruz/B H Cox): First try on turf yielded an allowance win at Indiana Grand for Quality Road gelding but none of four to run back has won… Trainer Cox not known to ship on a whim; have to assume he means business here…
5. It Can Be Done (KY) (J C Ferrer/G D Sacco): Sacco trainee was a stakes winner as a juvenile, has placed in two more added-money events this year… Last out effort was solid, as he survived a lengthy pace battle only to succumb to closer…
6. Wootton Asset (FR) (J L Ortiz/H G Motion): French import came to States to find firm turf, has only seen it twice in five tries, and with excuses in both (end of a grueling season in G3 company, perhaps too far in Bald Eagle)… Might catch everything he wants here: firm turf and a distance that suits, and Jose Ortiz up won’t hurt…
7. Experienced (KY) (M Franco/J Thomas): Was getting to winner in Bald Eagle and, despite name, really should benefit from the …err… experience… as he was running a bit greenly in the lane…
8. Hard Rye Guy (KY) (C Landeros/I R Wilkes): Winless in four tries on the turf after show effort in never-won-two allowance at Ellis Park in last
9. Doubleoseven (MD) (J Rosado/J O’Dwyer): Turf bow after nine dirt starts was a credible effort when fourth in the G3 Kent over yielding ground… Regular pilot Rosado back aboard, has found the going at Colonial a little rough (2-for-59)
10. Shady McGee (IRE) (V R Carrasco/M J Maker): Only win since import from UK came in claiming company… Two of three to finish ahead of him two back when fourth in Saratoga allowance won follow-ups, including a stakes win for Sifting Sands… Wheels back on relatively short rest (16 days) for tough assignment
11. Draft Capital (KY) (S Russell/D Matthews): Matthews trainee hasn’t seen this sort of company but has won four straight… In last turf win two back, was one of three to win follow-ups… As formful as any, will get class test here
12. Hidden Enemy (IRE) (F Lynch/S M Asmussen): Has been fourth or worse in all four tries versus winners… Hall of Fame trainer Asmussen 0-for-2 at this year’s Colonial meet
Nick HahnDerby Bill WatsonFrank Vespe
1 – #8 Hard Rye Guy (10-1)
2 – #10 Shady McGee (15-1)
3 – #1 Search for Truth (8-1)
1 – #12 Hidden Enemy (8-1)
2 – #2 Indian Lake (5-1)
3 – #7 Experienced (7-2)
1 – #6 Wootton Asset (5-1)
2 – #5 It Can Be Done (10-1)
3 – #11 Draft Capital (15-1)