Colonial Downs stakes spot plays for Aug. 16
Four stakes races each carrying a purse of $150,000 comprise Tuesday's nine-race card at Colonial Downs. Beginning in Race 4, nine fillies and mares will go postward in the Seeking the Pearl S., while the final stakes event of the evening, the Chesapeake S. (Race 8), will feature 14 three-year-olds and older in a six-furlong sprint.
Race 4 — Seeking the Pearl S. (3:09 p.m. ET)
Unbeaten in five career starts, #9 Carribean Caper (5-2) opened as the morning line favorite in the seven-furlong Seeking the Pearl S. and will make her first start in 10 months since romping to a six-length win in the Dogwood (G3) at Churchill Downs. The four-year-old will stay with regular rider Colby Hernandez in her sixth start for Al Stall Jr., a 17% winner with horses coming off a long layoff.
The Speightstown filly is the one to beat but may have trouble from an outside post. #1 Fille D'Esprit (8-1) drew the favorable rail post and can rebound following a bad trip in the Alma North S., in which she finished last of five in the slop after acting up at the gate and was eased late when failing to respond past the five-sixteenths pole.
The six-year-old mare won the six-furlong Susquehanna Valley S. two back at Penn National and posted a 98 Brisnet Speed rating in her most recent try at seven furlongs, in the Conniver Stakes at Laurel Park, where she dominated the field by eight lengths. Trainer John Robb is a 27% winner in non-graded stakes and a 24% winner when paired up with jockey Xavier Perez.
Race 6 — Old Nelson S. (4:05 p.m. ET)
#12 She Can't Sing (6-1) is 3-for-4 in her last four starts, with her lone setback coming under Javier Castellano in the Modesty (G3), where she finished fifth two back. Hot jockey Jareth Loveberry will hop back in the saddle after winning the one-mile Lady Canterbury S. with the Bernardini mare on June 22.
She Can't Sing is 2-for-2 at today's distance and posted a bullet 46-second, four-furlong workout on Aug. 9. Trainer Chris Block is 22 5-5-1 this meet and has won 20% of his last 64 non-graded stakes races.
Race 7 — Buckland S. (4:33 p.m. ET)
A field of 10 will compete in the 1 1/8-mile Buckland S. on Colonial's inner turf. #9 Eons (4-1) is the slight morning line favorite and will re-oppose rivals #1 English Tavern (6-1) and #4 Beacon Hill (9-2), whom he raced against in the Prince George's County Stakes at Laurel last out.
Beacon Hill went off as the 1-1 favorite and set the pace along the inner rail before giving way in upper stretch and finishing last of six. English Tavern crossed the wire first but was disqualified to second for bumping Eons in deep stretch. The disqualification handed Eons his second straight win, and the six-year-old now returns to a track where he won this race last year, beating stakes winner Kentucky Ghost by a head.
Race 8 — Chesapeake S. (5:01 p.m. ET)
In a loaded field of 14, the speed will come from the outside, with #10 Beren (6-1) and #13 Just Might (4-1) set to duel for the early lead. Just Might, out of Michelle Lovell's barn, has been running on turf for most of the season but will return to dirt in this six-furlong dash. The six-year-old gelding clocked a 100 BRIS figure at today's distance in the Thanksgiving Classic S. at Fair Grounds last November and has since cut back in distance, running 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in six of the last seven.
Beren is fresh off his first win of the season in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash S., in which he posted a 97 Speed rating on a muddy track. He'll stay with rider Frankie Pennington, a 23% winner in sprints and a 38% winner paired up with trainer Butch Reid over the last two months.
Outside posts have a poor win percentage in six-furlong sprints at Colonial, but if Beren can get out front early, he can pull off a mild upset in the final stakes race of the evening.