Just Might, Change of Control favored in Colonial stakes

Just Might
Just Might in the paddock at Colonial Downs. Photo by The Racing Biz.

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 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 on the morning line, carded as the sixth race. Meanwhile, Lovell’s Change of Control, with $833,725 in earnings, is the lukewarm 3-1 choice in the Andy Guest Stakes, which will go as race eight on a nine-race program.

Michelle Lovell and Griffon Farms’ Just Might won a pair of stakes wins last summer at the New Kent track. The versatile 6-year-old Justin Phillip gelding scored in the six-furlong Chesapeake Stakes on dirt, part of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Championship Series (MATCH) competition, and also triumphed 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 four wins and career earnings of $405,793 from 16 starts and will have Irad Ortiz, Jr. up for trainer Caio Caramori.

Crown’s Way Racing LLC and NBS Stable’s Smokin’ Jay fits well in this spot. The Kelsey Danner trainee has won or placed in stakes in five of his last seven starts including a score in last September’s Allied Forces at Belmont Park. He most recently was eighth in the Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes, also at Belmont. Adam Beschizza will ride.

Perry Harrison’s Change of Control, favored in the Andy Guest for fillies and mares, tackled the boys and finished a very respectable fourth in the recent Jaipur, 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 the 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, including four wins, 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 new 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.