NOBALS ALL GUTS WINNING $150,000 DA HOSS STAKES UNDERCARD STAKES WINNERS IMPRESS ON NEW KENT COUNTY VIRGINIA DERBY DAY
Posted on September 11th, 2023
The New Kent County Virginia Day program at Colonial Downs showcased stars from across the country competing in six turf stakes races. The final day of the 2023 meet offered a combined $1.3 million in stakes purse money as part of an 11-race card. Among the top performances were a pair of stakes wins for jockey Trevor McCarthy, plus Graham Motion and Jorge Ruiz teaming up to win races two on the day as did Shug McGaughey and Kendrick Carmouche.
In the first of the day’s stakes events, Patricia’s Hope LLC’s Nobals ($4.40, $3.20 and $2.40) got up in the last jump over Alogon to win the $150,000 Korbel Da Hoss Stakes by a head. Trainer Larry Rivelli gave the call to jockey Pablo Morales who guided the gelded son of Noble Mission across the firm turf covering 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:01.46. The win was the ninth in 17 starts for the 4-year-old to boost his lifetime bankroll to $933,274.
“I rode him as a 2-year-old, but I hadn’t ridden him for a while.” Morales said. “Now he’s just a monster. He keeps getting better and better. My instructions were to be aggressive, and I was, but (trainer Mark) Casse’s horse (Souper Quest) was showing speed effortlessly. I was letting my horse roll, but I didn’t push him because I knew we were flying. My horse was all class and I was thinking he’s going to win because he’ll be the last one to give up.”
Wertheimer and Frere’s Tok Tok ($12.40, $5.00 and $3.60) stalked the leader, got the jump and held on late to win the $125,000 TAA Kitten’s Joy Stakes for 2-year-olds. Jorge Ruiz was aboard the Graham Motion trainee who broke his maiden going 5 1/2 furlongs in July at Colonial. The son of Quality Road finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of first-time-starter Triple Espresso, covering the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.11. With a perfect record, both over the local lawn, Tok Tok has racked up $111,000 in lifetime earnings.
“I thought Jorge (jockey Ruiz) gave him a great ride around there,” said Ian Wilson, assistant trainer for Graham Motion. “He put him in a perfect spot, tipped him out in the turn and off they went. We really didn’t think he’d have a problem with the distance. We just wanted him to be patient. We’re thrilled for the Wertheimers. They are big supporters of Graham every single year, and to have a nice 2-year-old for them is very exciting.”
Bregman Family Racing and WWBD LLC’s Irish-bred No Nay Mets ($2.60, $2.20 and $2.10) tallied his third stakes victory in the $125,000 Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes for juveniles. Going 5 1/2 furlongs, the son of No Nay Never shot to the front, withstood early pressure from King Konte but pulled away with ease to win under wraps by 3 1/4 lengths over Toupie. Paco Lopez rode the colt for trainer George Weaver who sprinted the distance in 1:02.03. The $75,000 winner’s share from Saturday elevated his earnings to $183,000 and his career record 4-3-1-0, his lone loss coming in the Norfolk Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot.
“He’s shown his ability on the lead and like his last race, I decided not to wait to take the front,” Lopez said. “In the stretch I looked back and no one was coming, we didn’t have any trouble and crossed the wire comfortably.”
In the final race of the day as well as the season, Nice Guys Stables’ Starting Over ($14.20, $7.40 and $4) took the lead in deep stretch en route to a one-length victory in the $150,000 Korbel Colonial Cup Stakes. Two-time Colonial riding champion Trevor McCarthy rode the Mike Maker-trained son Liam’s Map who covered 1 ½ miles over firm turf in 2:29.30.
“We saved ground around all three turns,” said McCarthy, who earlier in the day won the $250,000 Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks aboard Thirty Thou Kelvin. “Had plenty for the stretch. It worked out great.”