Unanimous Consent tabbed as Virginia Derby fave

Klaravich Stables’ Great Britain-bred Unanimous Consent, a Chad Brown trainee, is the morning line 3-1 favorite for Tuesday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Virginia Derby, topping a field of 11.

Eleven races have been carded for Tuesday with a first post of 1:45 PM. The 1-1/8 miles Virginia Derby itself will be carded as the 10th of 11 races with a 6:14 PM post and will serve as final leg of All-Stakes All-Turf Pick-4 and Pick-5 wagers. The Pick-5 features a low 12% takeout.

The consistent Unanimous Consent started his career with three straight victories, including a triumph in the Woodhaven Stakes at Aqueduct in April. In the Almanzor colt’s most recent out, he finished a solid fourth in the Grade 2 Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont June 4. Brown is a four-time Eclipse Award winning trainer, honored consecutively from 2016-2019. Manny Franco will ride from post seven. 

Trainer Graham Motion will seek an unusual grand slam in the Virginia Derby with Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s Royal Patronage who is fresh off a pair of Grade 1 starts in the Saratoga Derby Invitational and Belmont Derby Invitational. The Wootton Bassett colt, bred in France, finished sixth and fifth respectively in the pair, which are his only U.S. starts of 11 total. His previous nine came in England where he scored victories in the Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes and Grade 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes. Defending Eclipse Award-winning jockey Joel Rosario will ride Royal Patronage who drew the rail. 

Motion saddled last year’s Virginia Derby winner Wootton Asset, 2019 champ English Bee and 2017 Commonwealth Derby winner Just Howard. There was no comparable race in 2018 and the 2020 edition was not held due to Covid. The 2017 edition was held at Laurel Park since Colonial had not yet reopened. The Colonial Downs Group reopened the New Kent track in 2019.  

Limited Liability, a Kitten’s Joy colt, comes from the same owner-trainer combination as 2011 Virginia Derby winner Air Support — Stuart S. Janney III and Shug McGaughey. Limited Liability has a proven to be competitive in graded stakes events. As a 2-year-old, he finished third in the Grade 3 With Anticipation and Grade 2 Pilgrim. As a sophomore he added a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge. Jose Oritz will ride from post nine.    

Granpollo Stable’s Grand David comes into the Derby on a three-race win streak. The Tapiture colt scored in a maiden race June 11, followed by an allowance tally July 3 and most recently the Bears Den Stakes July 30 all three were over the Gulfstream Park Tapeta course.  Edwin Gonzalez will ride from post 11.  

Wow Whata Summer
Wow Whata Summer was an 83-1 upset winner in the Penn Mile. Photo by Bill Denver/EQUI-Photo.

Two-time stakes winner California Frolic boasts seven top three finishes from eight lifetime starts — all at Gulfstream — and a bankroll of $167,450. The California Chrome colt captured the English Channel Stakes and Not Surprising Stakes this spring and was runner-up in the Bears Den Stakes most recently. Owned by Julian J. De Mora, Jr. and trained by Armando De La Cerda. California Frolic will be ridden by Edgar Perez from post four. 

Jeremy Brooks’ Wow Whata Summer, winner of the Grade 2 Penn Mile earlier this year, is high money earner in the field with $304,000. The Summer Front gelding, who competed at Colonial three times last summer, prevailed via disqualification in a maiden race before going on to finish third in the Hickory Tree Stakes and fourth in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes. Overall, he has two wins from nine starts. Tyler Conner will ride the James Lawrence trainee who starts from post two.  

Steven Newby’s Vance Scholars is fresh off a stakes victory at Laurel in the Bald Eagle Derby, which was taken off the turf August 6. The Holy Boss gelding has won two straight and three of his last four but has yet to start on grass in six career outs. The Dale Capuano trainee will be ridden by Jorge Ruiz and start from post three.

Completing the line-up are (with trainer and jockey listed are): Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Robert V. LaPenta, Gainesway Stable and Winchell Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables’ Capensis (Todd Pletcher, Irad Ortiz, Jr., post 10); Susan and John Moore’s Catnip (Mike Stidham, Jevian Toledo, post 5); Three Diamonds Farm’s Camp David (Mike Maker, Horatio Karamanos, post 8); and Rachid Racing’s Marwad (Mohamed Moubarak, Miguel Vasquez, post 6).

Four additional stakes will precede the Virginia Derby: the Woodford Reserve Da Hoss Stakes (race 6) kicks off the all stakes Pick-5 followed by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Kitten’s Joy Stakes as race 7 which will start the late Pick-4. They will be followed by the Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes (race 8) and the Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks (race 9). An Oaks-Derby Double will be available in Races 9-10.