VIRGINIA DERBY UNDERCARD LOADED WITH STAKES ACTION
Posted on September 6th, 2022
NEW KENT, Va. (Sept. 4, 2022) – Tuesday’s main course at Colonial Downs may be the 19th running of the Grade 3 $300,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby with a side dish of the 13th edition of the $200,000 Woodford Reserve Virginia Oaks, however the table will be set with three additional stakes races plus an overnight handicap to serve as appetizers as part of an 11-race program that gets underway at 1:45 PM.
The 16th running of the $150,000 Woodford Reserve Da Hoss Stakes drew a field of a dozen older turf sprinters going 5½ furlongs over the Secretariat Turf Course. Philip Gleaves, Joseph R. Straus, Jr., and Hugh Fitzsimons Yes and Yes has been installed as the lukewarm 4-1 morning line favorite. Trained by David Donk, the son of Sidney’s Candy most recently ran fourth in the Grade 3 Troy Stakes at Saratoga. The 6-year-old gelding, who won three races to start his 2022 campaign, will be ridden by three-time Eclipse Award winning rider Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Matt Kwiatkowski, Jason Kaylor and Roger D. Browning’s Nobody Listens comes in off a wire-to-wire stakes score in the $100,000 Brickyard Stakes on dirt at Horseshoe Indianapolis after previously natiching a victory over that track’s turf course. The Michelle Lovell-trained son of Conveyance has won five of his last seven races and is seven for 14 lifetime. Jareth Loveberry rides.
Also coming in off a stakes win is Steven T. Newby’s Justwaveandsmile who captured the $75,000 Ben’s Cat at Laurel Park for his third consecutive victory. The Secret Circle gelding carries a three-race win streak and won seven of his last eight for trainer Dale Capuano. Jean Alvelo has the mount.
R. Larry Johnson, R. D. M. Racing Stable and trainer Michael Trombetta’s Matta enters off a third-place run in the $150,000 Van Clief Stakes over the Colonial turf. In his only other start of 2022, the Trombetta charge ran third in a Belmont Park allowance race. He is four for 12 in her career with three of those victories coming on the turf. Two-time Colonial riding champion Trevor McCarthy will be in the irons.
Two-year-olds are spotlighted in a pair of $150,000 contests – the 14th running of Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Kitten’s Joy and the 3rd edition of the Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes. The former is a two-turn 1-1/16 mile race that drew a field of eight with the Ken McPeek-trained Rarified Flair, who races in the colors of C&H Diamond Racing, David Menard, Magdalena Racing and Alfred Riccio, amongst the horses to beat off his maiden win at Saratoga on August 20. Julien Leparoux will be in from New York to handle the reins.
Another to keep an eye on is Iapetus Racing and Diamond T. Racing’s Gigante, who was a three-length winner in a one-mile maiden race over the Colonial dirt course on August 10. Feargal Lynch gets the call from Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.
The Rosie’s Stakes is a 5½-furlong dash that Four Wheel Drive used in 2019 to start his road to a victory in the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. This year’s line-up is headed by Herringswell Racing Club, Yurie Pascarella and Carl F. Pascarella’s Grand Oak and Carolyn Wilson’s Fit to Fly.
Grand Oak, an Irish-bred daughter of Speightstown, has raced in three different countries in her last three trips to the post. She was an impressive maiden winner at Churchill Downs in May and following that effort, she was shipped to England where she disappointed in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot. Her next start came in Canada, finishing fourth in the Catch a Glimpse at Woodbine. Trainer Graham Motions has named defending Eclipse Award winning jockey Joel Rosario to ride.
Fit to Fly was supplemented to the race at entry time. The son of West Coast won at first asking at Hawthorne Race Course in June and finished second here in allowance competition on July 18. Jareth Loveberry has a return call for trainer Larry Rivelli.
The five turf stakes will comprise an all-stakes all-turf Pick 5 wager that starts on race six with the Kitten’s Joy, followed by the Da Hoss, the Rosie’s, the Virginia Oaks and culminates with the Virginia Derby. The Pick 5 has a 12% takeout rate. The final four of the aforementioned stakes races will make up the Late Pick 4.
Prior to the grass events, the $100,000 Hidden Figures Overnight Handicap for fillies and mares will go as race 4 at 1-1/16 miles, which is a one-turn race at Colonial. Listed at 7-5 in the morning line is Michael Dubb and Gangharvi Racing Stables’ Battle Bling. The daughter of Vancouver has finished second in four stakes races this year – most recently the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap. Earlier this year the Rob Atras trainee captured the $100,000 Ladies Stakes at Aqueduct. Irad Ortiz will ride.
Virginia Derby day festivities will be televised by Fanduel TV (formerly TVG), who will provide on-site coverage, and will be broadcast by Horse Racing Radio Network which can be found on Sirius216/XM 201 and on the Internet at horseracingradio.net.