Nick’s Picks: Colonial Downs picks August 31, 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!
|5||CALL ANOTHER PLAY||Has any owner/trainer combo had a better CNL month than Johnson & Trombetta? Another nice spot here for #5.|
|1||TWO BRONZE STARS|
|2||PARK PLACE||Compelling maiden with several top barns represented. Nod to Stidham runner #4 who was fourth in local bow.|
|1||PUSSYCAT||Three well-bred first-timers starting here but small edge to Stidham-Sanchez #1 with nice outing behind her.|
|3||TINA TINA TINA||Ship-ins from Sar, Lrl, Mth, FL and LS see first Colonial turf. Russell’s filly #3 most developed.|
|7||BUNTY WINDERMERE||Many coming back quick including four from quick August 17 race with Ryan’s filly #7 best of that group.|
|8||WIRED IN||Most here are dropping in class but two rising up caught my eye, both older horses.|
|8||MYSTIC SEAPORT||Albert’s filly #8 seems to run better on the turf and ran respectable in the Gilpin/Petty. Similar for Allen filly #6.|
|9||SURYA||With two wins last year, Surya’s record is firm at Colonial Downs over contenders wanting softer going.|
|7||LUCK IN THE DUSK|
|11||BRIGHT MOON||Will I Play’s frantic finish kept Bright Moon out of the winner’s circle last time. Jockey Ashton (#3) could spoil again.|
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VIRGINIA DERBY DAY NOMINATIONS — The list of Virginia Derby nominations included three from the Secretariat Stakes but only winner Gigante is confirmed for the 20th edition of the race.
Second-place finisher Nagirroc was nominated by Graham Motion, the three-time Virginia Derby-winning trainer will likely send Bald Eagle winner Dataman instead. Standouts Far Bridge, Program Trading, and Wadsworth were also nominated. In the Colonial Cup, last year’s winner Red Knight was nominated by trainer Michael Maker.
BAND OR BRED? Is it the name of a horse? Or the name of a band?
Today it’s… BarryManilowswardrobe: Band or bred?
Last out: Kentucky was the first horse to win the Travers in 1864.
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