Colonial Downs carryovers: Horses to play in the $29,378 Pick 5 and $1,747 Pick 6

August 18th, 2023

The Friday card at Colonial Downs is absolutely loaded with opportunities for horseplayers to chase excellent betting value.

For starters, there’s a $29,378 non-jackpot carryover up for grabs in the 50-cent Early Pick 5 that gets underway in Race 1 (post time 1:30 p.m.). The takeout rate is only 12%.

But wait, there’s more. The $1 Pick 6 (with its modest 15% takeout rate) has tossed up a $1,747 non-jackpot carryover. The sequence gets started in Race 4 (post time 3:06 p.m. ET).

Then there are the special offers. TwinSpires bettors who opt-in to the Colonial Downs Late Pick 5 Hit It & Split It promotion will earn their share of a $2,500 bonus prize pool if they assemble a winning ticket in the 50-cent Late Pick 5. The first leg of the wager is Race 5 (post time 3:35 p.m. ET).

Finally, all bets placed through TwinSpires at Colonial Downs and Ellis Park on Friday and Saturday (excluding show bets) will earn 10x reward points, so long as bettors opt-in to the 10x Points at Ellis Park and Colonial Downs promotion.

Without question, the most pivotal race of the day is Race 5, a 5 1/2-furlong grass allowance for Virginia-restricted runners who have never won a Virginia-restricted race. It’s the closing leg of the Early Pick 5, the first leg of the Late Pick 5, and the second leg of the Pick 6. If you fail to find the winner, you won’t hit any of the three high-profile multi-race wagers.

It’s a tricky race to handicap. Morning line favorite #5 Nico (2-1) brings competitive Brisnet Speed ratings to the table, but he’s never run on turf and enters off four straight defeats. He appears vulnerable to being upset by a horse with proven turf form; logical candidates include #9 By the Sey Shore (5-2), who has been competing well in non-state-restricted starter optional claimers, as well as #2 Putin Online (5-1) and #6 Marched (10-1), who finished in a dead-heat for second place in a Virginia-restricted allowance sprint at Colonial last month.

Now, if you’re thinking “Forget about spreading deep, what I need is a single!”, we’ve got you covered with #6 Tiberius Mercurius (1-1) in Race 6, a $25,000 starter allowance taking place over 1 1/4 miles on turf. He won a $40,000 allowance optional claimer over this distance on the Turfway Park Tapeta track during the winter, and two starts back he battled to victory in a $100,000 allowance optional claimer racing 1 1/8 miles over the Churchill Downs lawn.

Tiberius Mercurius faltered in his most recent race, finishing sixth in the Texas Turf Classic S. at Lone Star Park, but he got caught up dueling for the early lead through quick fractions that day. Dropping back down in class for a $25,000 starter allowance that doesn’t contain much pace on paper should send Tiberius Mercurius to the winner’s circle at a short price. He’s a viable single for Pick 6 and Late Pick 5 wagers.

Another possible Pick 6 and Late Pick 5 single can be found in Race 9, a maiden special weight for fillies and mares sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. The par winning Brisnet Speed rating for these conditions is 78, a number #7 All I Want Is You (9-5) has easily exceeded in both of her starts over this distance and class level.

All I Want Is You debuted during the spring meet at Keeneland and ran evenly to finish fourth with an 85 Brisnet Speed rating. Three months later, she started as an odds-on favorite at Colonial Downs and gained 3 3/4 lengths through the final furlong to finish second by a neck with an 83 Brisnet Speed rating. The form of that race was flattered when the third-place finisher returned to win her next start.

We can’t entirely discount the possibility of a first-time starter springing a surprise, but the fact All I Want Is You has twice run fast enough to win a race like this establishes the morning line favorite as a viable single to close out the card.

Good luck!