Nick’s Picks: Colonial Downs picks September 9, 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!
|6||POR UNA CABEZA||After a layoff, Motion starts #6 for Virginia horsewoman Amy Moore who bred Forte. Good spot to return.|
|2||CONNECTAMUNDO||On dirt, past racing experience not very impressive in young group except Timonium starter #2.|
|1||DIALED IN A PANIC|
|6||YANKEE DOLLAR||Gallardo back on a mount #6 who has run well at numerous stops and surfaces in a deep field.|
|1||WAY TOO EARLY||Carmouche knows a little about Colonial from his past, gets the mount on #1 as Shug’s filly dropping in class.|
|2||SHE’S LIKE THUNDER|
|4||SEVEN BRIDGES ROAD||Pompay colt #4 has good starts this meet on the slop, dirt and turf. Prior to that, synthetic and similar in Florida.|
|6th Race – $150,000 DAHOSS|
|3||MAYA PRINCE||Two here seeking their third straight win. In ’23, beating LJ and Trombetta #3 is beating Colonial’s best.|
|7th Race – $125,000 KITTEN’S JOY|
|9||MASSIF||All here with a win except Pletcher first-timer #3, hasn’t always been the case. Several proven at routes.|
|8th Race – $125,000 EXACTA SYSTEMS ROSIE’S|
|5||NO NAY METS||Weaver’s colt for Bregman #5 maybe overmatched at Ascot but knows how to win in the US. Sharp fillies here.|
|9th Race – $250,000 VIRGINIA OAKS|
|2||TUFANI||Tufani passed a start last week to run where Motion’s “Mission” is tough. Jockey Boyce on #2 has been big in this race.|
|7||MISSION OF JOY|
|10th Race – $500,000 VIRGINIA DERBY (G3)|
|9||INTEGRATION||Maybe if the Secretariat was about a VA breeder, the VA Derby is about a VA-bred sire, Quality Road.|
|11th Race – $150,000 COLONIAL CUP|
|4||MCLOVIN||Firm going expected and will favor McLovin who runs well late in routes, steps up from Ellis stake.|
HEADING TO THE TRACK? Print a PDF of Nick’s Picks so you’re ready to make some money.
- Pick 6: $3,509 (mandatory payout)
VIRGINIA DERBY MARKS WATCH—Some of the records and notable numbers to keep an eye on…
Barring defections, the field of Saturday’s Virginia Derby would be the largest field since War Dancer, trained by Ken McPeek and ridden by Alan Garcia, won the 2013 edition over nine rivals.
Trainers William Mott, Todd Pletcher and Graham Motion have three Virginia Derby wins each, though one of Motion’s came with the race contested as the Commonwealth Derby at Laurel Park… Edgar Prado remains the riding king with three wins, a mark that wlll stand today as no active rider has more than one… Now run at 1 1/18 miles, the Virginia Derby stakes record at Colonial Downs is 1:46.79, though the Colonial track record is held by Virginia Oaks winner, Flippant, in 1:46.47 both set in 2021… Maybe the most meaningful mark: no Virginia-bred has ever won the Virginia Derby. Good luck, Gigante.
BAND OR BRED? Is it the name of a horse? Or the name of a band?
Today the season ends.
Last out: Deep Enough, while it sounds like a band and actually is the name of a small Michigan group a decade or so again, is the name of a mare purchased by William Backer in the early Nineties, bloodlines of which lead to Secretariat Stakes winner Gigante.
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