Nick’s Picks: Colonial Downs picks August 17, 2023
Nick’s Picks is back with Colonial Downs picks and analysis during the 2022 live meeting.
As he has done every year since Colonial Downs opened — all the way back in 1997 — Nick Hahn will share his picks and analysis, plus news and notes and opinions on the Colonial meet. There is no better guide to racing in New Kent than Nick Hahn!
This year’s Colonial Downs meet will feature some things that are new and some that are familiar. Familiar trainer faces include Colonial regulars Graham Motion, Karen Godsey, Kelsey Danner, Mike Tomlinson and Mike Trombetta, along with multiple leading trainer Michael Stidham.
On the jockey side, look for defending champion Jevian Toledo, who is looking forward to a busy summer in New Kent; Colonial’s all-time leading jockey Horacio Karamanos; Antonio Gallardo, a perennial top rider at Tampa Bay Downs in the winter months; Adam Beschizza; and Joe Rocco, Jr.
CHECK OUT THE LATEST OFF TO THE RACES RADIO!
|1||ADIOS PLUMA||On the dirt, five come in after bullet works, two from the Ochoa barn alone, but Cazares colt #1 is cruising.|
|5||THE GANG THAT SANG||Dirt again where Stidham filly #5 gets a drop in first ’23 start. Put eyes on Keefe’s Bondiva, sharp in the AM.|
|3||INDEPENDENCEAVENUE||Trying to match up morning muscle with breeding best. Fair Hill and Mr. Speaker seem to pair well for #3.|
|5||THE AMAZING MIZZEN|
|10||LA VILLAGE LUMIERE||Classier veterans may be about, but don’t like long resumes at the level. Despite youth taking rested #10.|
|1||GLOSSAMER||For Ashby, new to Colonial, new jockey (Sanchez), but not new to the turf is Glossamer in a deep field.|
|5||KIT CAN RUN|
|8||POINT LIAM||In this condition, prefer ones not for claim, but Trombetta (#3 and #5) is well entered if Colonial winner doesn’t repeat.|
|2||LOOKINASSAH||Several recent maiden winners at Colonial poised to repeat but like Pompay colt who’ll finally see turf.|
|3||WALKS LIKE A LADY||Eagle Point’s Will I Play tries to stay perfect and might if Nagle’s cross-entered #3 goes to Laurel, which is unlikely.|
|5||WILL I PLAY|
|9||PURSUING PACE||Beware of Mentalist coming from the AE, but otherwise like the spot for Magee’s and KO’s class droppers.|
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MILLION TO 1:58.19— There was more than an inkling that a course record for a 1 1/4 miles could be in jeopardy on August 12. But the trick was figuring out who would break it.
Turns out it was Set Piece who reset Red Giant’s 2007 record of 1:59.62 in that year’s Virginia Derby, zipping the trip in 1:58.19. Track announcer Jason Beem might have given thought to echoing the famous call of the 2001 Kentucky Derby when Tom Durkin announced Monarchos’ winning time of 1:59.97 “as fast as Secretariat.”
Good thing he didn’t, though. On a day when the Secretariat monument loomed at a racing venue in the parking lot outside, too large to be brought inside the gate, he might have been booed.
BAND OR BRED? Is it the name of a horse? Or the name of a band?
Today it’s… Crowd Pleaser: Band or bred?
Last out: It may sound like a band but Hardest Core won the Arlington Million in 2014 with Eriluis Vaz aboard for trainer Edward Graham and owner Andrew Bentley Stables, LLC.
LISTEN UP! Off to the Races Radio is on every Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m.! You can find it:
- On ESPN Richmond (106.1 FM) for a two-hour program each Saturday during the Colonial meet and one hour thereafter straight through Breeders’ Cup!
- On ESPN Harrisonburg (106.9 FM and 1360 AM) for one hour each Saturday covering the Colonial Downs Thoroughbred meet and the Shenandoah Downs harness meet!
- On Baltimore Positive (1570 AM) every Saturday morning straight through Breeders’ Cup!
YOUNG FOGIE: Former Jockey Ryan Fogelsonger joins Off to the Races-Virginia at 10:30 a.m. each Saturday! He was the 2002 Eclipse Award winner as outstanding apprentice rider.
NICK’S PIC OF THE DAY