Saturday, June 20, 2009

Slew of scratches spoils undercard stakes at Colonial

 A late look at reveals a remarkable number of scratches in the three stakes races that help form the undercard of Colonial Turf Cup-G2 day at Colonial Downs. But a call to the track's racing office confirms that all of the stakes as-scheduled are expected to stay on the grass.

Chief among the undercard races is the All Along Breeders' Cup S.-G3, which has become an intriguing early summer turf route for the ladies. Unfortunately, last year's Virginia Oaks winner, I Lost My Choo, and G2-placed Icon Project, to have been ridden by Julien Leparoux, are both scratched, leaving 7/2 Indescribable, a multiple G3 winner, as the favorite along with 4/1 French-born Astrologie, ridden by Garrett Gomez for conditioner Christophe Clement. First Ascent also is out.

Barring further scratches, there are still nine fillies and mares left to run in the All Along.

That's hardly the case in the $50,000 Buckland Stakes, a turf sprint for females, where 10 of the 14 entries have bailed. A source in the Colonial racing office said early this afternoon that he didn't know why the connections of so many entrants had begged-off the Buckland, but scratches left only four to run -- and all of them were at double-digit odds when the field was drawn.

The "favorite" now, I suppose, would be Charlie Papa, an 8-year-old with two wins in Calder's Cool Air Stakes (at 6 and 7) and a turf-sprinting record at Tampa to her credit. But she was 10/1 on the ticker before all the scratching commenced. Left to face her are: Cal-bred Excessive Heat, a 4-year-old stakes winner of $236,260 with 10 wins in 15 starts, but who was running for a tag at Gulfstream in January; Battingstar, a 5-year-old Grand Slam mare who hasn't earned blacktype nor cracked $100,000 in earnings from 20 starts; and Twiceasbeautiful, a 5-year-old by Texas Glitter who is stakes-placed at Tampa but likewise is yet to reach six figures in earnings.

Scratched were: Citi Charisse (who won last year's Sissy Woolums S.-N at Colonial); Anofficerandalady; Ahvee's Destiny; Fancy Diamond; Golden Spirits; Rinterval (second in a million-dollar Irish race last year); Kosmo's Buddy; Humorlee; Hadavision; and Smart And Fancy.

Also suffering a couple of scratches is the Old Nelson Stakes, a $30,000 event for claimers who've run for a $25K tag or less in 2008-09. Out are Ez Mac and Classic Bridges, but 6/5 favorite Drivingmaxandmitzi and 5/2 second choice Terrific Storm remain in the mix for the mile and three-sixteenths on the outer turf.


  1. Have to admit I hadn't noticed that Icon Project was cross-entered in the New York S.-G3, which she won after it was taken off the turf.

  2. Glenn! Getting ready to call it a night after Relay - I came in second place for the most miles this year - 20 miles total!!! I'm only hobbling slightly :-)

    Hope you have a fantastic Father's Day!!!

  3. You had to go and outdo me, huh? ... Wow, 20 miles.

    You're a lot nicer than certain of my visitors. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

  4. I am INSANE!!! Yes, 20 miles...and feet and my calves are a bit sore today! There was one guy who ran 48 laps in a row, and completed 24 miles total. I ran some, but with the heat, I chose to walk most of the way. You shoul have seen James trying to run with Cindy :-) It lasted, uhm, 1/4 of a lap!

    I always set these unreal personal goals, like with spinning. Guess I'm trying to kill myself - actually, I was making sure that I could eat whatever I want for the next few days with no worries!

  5. Apparently there was a buzz saw in the race -- I can't remember which horse it was, so the first 8 scratched out so they didn't have to run against her -- then she scratched out. Oops.

  6. Interesting insight. Last year's Buckland winner Smart And Fancy, maybe? I don't remember the morning-line odds, but she was probably the shortest price. She's earned $785K.

    Still, so you think you can't beat her. What's second pay in a $50,000 race? ... Almost as much as winning an allowance at the same Colonial track, plus blacktype on the catalog page, which would be of particular value to the connections of the fillies and mares who didn't already have it.

    Wonder how many trainers there were Saturday evening with their own shoe prints on the seat of their britches?


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