(NEW KENT, VA---11/5/11)----Itrustyou, the 2010 Virginia-bred two year old colt/gelding pacing champ, returned to the Commonwealth and captured the $44,400 three year old division in a new life mark Saturday afternoon in the $368,000 "Day of Champions" program at Colonial Downs.
The Third Straight gelding went wire-to-wire, cutting fractions along the way of :27 4/5, :57.0 and 1:25.0 before finishing in 1:51 3/5. Driver Dean Collins, who also trains Itrustyou for the Burke Racing Stable, was never pressed in the race. Unlike last week's prep where he got boxed in along the rail through much of the stretch, the winner carried a two length lead into the stretch and crossed 3 ¼ lengths ahead of runner-up Tidewater Tomcat. The even money choice paid $4.00 to win.
In other three year old action, Crosby's Cup and Saintly Cinderella followed up wins in their prep races last weekend with championship victories Saturday. Doug Snyder piloted the former to a dominating 7 ¾ length triumph in the $42,200 colt/gelding trot while in the latter, Saintly Cinderella edged Southwest Rose by a head in the thrilling $42,200 filly pace. The margin of victory in last week's prep was a neck, and the duo's encore was just as good. Both passed frontstepping Tidewater Tiki Tai in mid stretch and battled to the finish with Saintly Cinderella crossing in 1:58 3/5.
Mark Gray's Celtic Girl scored a 4 ¾ length win in the $38,800 filly trot, the final sophomore division, which featured a modest three horse field. After Blueridge Lattaglia romped to a :55 4/5 half, Celtic Girl and Winsome Moni passed by with ease after the turn and the former came home in 1:58 1/5.
In the two year old competition, Blueridge Abigail and Blueridge Dancer both followed up convincing prep wins with even more convincing championship day performances. Both scored wire-to-wire triumphs by 8 and 7 ½ lengths respectively in the $45,200 filly trot and $44,800 colt/gelding pace. Doug Snyder drove the former for trainer Dane Snyder while top Colonial driver Chris Page piloted the latter for trainer/owner Tye Loy.
The $47,200 filly pace featured an eight horse field and a three way stretch duel developed between favored Hillbilly Desire, second choice Genie's Genie and eventual winner Hot Beach Girl. Hillbilly Desire had been perfect in three starts while Genie's Genie carried the biggest bankroll into the race at over $30,000. Hot Beach Girl though came in with four "in the money" finishes at Colonial this fall including a pair of wins.
Mark Gray's Hot Beach Girl sat behind the two favorites at the top of the stretch, fought past a tiring Hillbilly Desire in mid-stretch then caught Genie's Genie just before the wire in 1:53 1/5, a new life mark. Gray drives and trains the Jenna's Beach Boy filly for Anne McDonald LLC of Alexandria, Virginia.
The $44,000 colt/gelding trot was won easily by Jane Dunavant's Just Slick, who wired the six horse field in 2:02 4/5. Chris Page drove the Dusty Winner gelding to his second win in three life starts.
New this year was a $20,000 Virginia-bred open pace for aged horses, and Andy Shetler's Blueridge Doc took advantage of the offering by guiding his 5 year old Mattnamaras Band gelding to a coast-to-coast effort in 1:51 2/5. Blueridge Doc, whose 2011 bankroll surged to $88,355 with the win, crossed 6 ½ lengths ahead of runner-up Rick's Crossroads.
Saturday was the final day of Colonial Downs' 2011 live race season. Dates for the 2012 thoroughbred and harness seasons will be announced in early December.