Experienced leads field of 12 for Virginia Derby

A field of 12 will go to post in the 18th running of the Grade 3 Virginia Derby on Tuesday at Colonial Downs, the featured event of five stakes on the card and eleven races in all. The Virginia Derby carries a purse of $250,000 and will be contested at 1 1/8 miles over the track’s signature Secretariat Turf Course.

Programmed as the 10th race, it will be the final leg of an all-stakes, all-turf Pick-5 wager covering races 6-10 that kicks off with the $150,000 Old Nelson Stakes and continues with the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes, the $100,000 Rosie’s Stakes and the $150,000 Virginia Oaks.

First post Tuesday is 2:45 p.m. EDT and the Derby itself is at 7:14 p.m. The top three finishers from the Bald Eagle Derby at Pimlico July 24 all return to square off in the Virginia Derby and all are early favorites. With only two lifetime starts, Augustin Stable’s Experienced was a solid runner-up in the Bald Eagle last out which followed a maiden special weight score over the Delaware turf June 21.

Jonathan Thomas conditions the Temple City gelding who is favored at 7-2 on the morning line. Manuel Franco will be in the irons. Augustin Stable is seeking its third Virginia Derby victory. It scored in the 1998 inaugural edition with Crowd Pleaser, and three years later with Potaro.

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Gap View Stables and Jagger Inc.’s Indian Lake, a gate-to-wire winner in the Bald Eagle, is co-second favorite at 5-1.

The 3-year-old Daredevil gelding has finished in-the-money in 16 of 17 career starts and has earnings of $222,408, highest of any in the field. The Jamie Ness trainee has a trio of allowance wins this year, a runner-up in the Jersey Derby and a third in the Sussex Stakes. Ruben Silvera will ride. Madaket Stables LLC’s Wootton Asset, third place finisher in the Bald Eagle, is trained by Graham Motion who won the 2019 Virginia Derby with English Bee.

The 3-year-old Wootton Bassett colt, also 5-1, took third in the Kent Stakes (G3) July 3 and finished second by a nose in the Laurel Futurity last October. He has bankrolled $100,245 from nine turf starts. Jose Ortiz has the mount. Gallagher’s Stud’s Search For Truth dominated a Colonial maiden special weight race by 11 1/2 lengths Aug. 10 at the 1 1/8 miles distance and is 8-1 in the Virginia Derby.

The Michael Dickinson trainee’s only other start came over a soft turf at Delaware where he rallied from fifth at the top of the stretch to finish second. Joe Rocco Jr., who rode the Tourist colt to victory three weeks ago, is back up top. Also at 8-1, L and N Racing’s Hidden Enemy only has one victory from ten starts but has faced tough competition in his last four tries. The Steve Asmussen trainee was fourth in the American Turf (G2) at Churchill May 1 then finished ninth in the Belmont Derby (G1) July 10. The Irish-bred son of Galileo broke his maiden March 21 at Fair Grounds.

Feargal Lynch will ride. Red Oak Stable’s It Can Be Done, 10-1 early, has bankrolled $177,330 from ten starts including a win in the Nownownow Stakes at Monmouth last October. The Temple City gelding finished a solid second last out in the Tale of the Cat Stakes and lost by a neck March 27 in the Cutler Bay at Gulfstream.

The Greg Sacco trainee has competed in six stakes thus far. Jose Ferrer is the jockey. Rounding out the Derby field is Savesnine Corporation’s Draft Capital, McCarty Racing LLC’s Doubleoseven, Bourbon Lane Stable’s Hard Rye Guy, Deuce Greathouse’s Shady McGee, Jerry Marks Stables LLC’s Slicked Back and Carmen Catizone’s Eye of the Cat. Twelve 3-year-old fillies have entered the 12th running of the $150,000 Virginia Oaks, also at 1 1/8 miles, led by morning line favorite Por Que No. Owned by Fano Racing, the daughter of Wicked Strong has won five of seven career starts involving a gate-to-wire win in the Boiling Springs Stakes most recently.

A field of seven 2-year-olds will compete 5 1/2 furlongs in the 2nd running of the $100,000 Exacta Systems Rosie’s Stakes. Tom Durant’s Tejano Twist, fresh off a three length maiden special weight win at Colonial August 3, is favored at 5-2. Rocco Jr. will ride for trainer Bret Calhoun. Six 2-year-olds will stretch out at 1 1/16th miles in the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes. Jeremy Brooks’ Wow Whata Summer is 5-2 early based on a pair of starts at the current New Kent meet.

The Summer Front colt finished a close third in the Virginia-restricted Hickory Tree Stakes Aug. 2, which followed a maiden special weight race July 20 where the James Lawrence trainee was bumped up from second after initial winner Capt. Candy was eliminated.

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