(NEW KENT, VA) — Colonial Downs will wrap up its fifteenth season of pari-mutuel harness racing this Sunday October 14th with the $390,125 “Day of Champions” card. Eight Virginia-bred championship races featuring two and three year old pacers and trotters of both sexes will be decided in the richest “Champions” card ever.
In two year old competition, Jane Dunavant’s Candid Photo had a dominating wire-to-wire effort in last week’s prep in advance of Sunday’s $48,625 colt and gelding trot. The Classic Photo gelding cut panels of :28 3/5, :59 2/5 and 1:29 3/5 before he coasted across the finish line in 1:59 1/5, sixteen lengths over runner-up Dusty’s Superstar.
Eloise Eden, based on a convincing wire-to-wire 6 ½ length win in the Filly Trot prep, will be favored in Sunday’s $49,675 final. Dan O’Mara, who guided the Ken Warkentin filly for trainer Joann Perry and owner Mark Bowser of Charlottesville, led Eloise Eden to quarters of :28.0, :57 4/5 and 1:27 3/5 before cruising home in 1:56 4/5.
The fillies were faster than the colts and geldings in the freshman pacing preps as well. Morgan Hagerman’s Blueridge Adalia edged Miss Sowo in the filly prep in 1:55 1/5 while Amanda Jackson’s Hillbilly Mountain Breeze took advantage of a perfect pocket trip to capture the colt & gelding pace in 1:56 1/5. Both will be favored in their respective $49,675 and $50,150 finales on Sunday.
Dane Snyder’s Blueridge Abigail, a 2011 two year old Virginia-bred champ who captured the three year old filly trot last Sunday in 1:59.0, has the largest bankroll of any stake horse entered Sunday. The Keystone Savage filly has already amassed $211,550 in purse earnings, $111,150 from this year alone. Last month, she finished second in a $200,000 Indiana Sire Stake final at Indianapolis Downs. Driver Doug Snyder will direct Blueridge Abigail in the $48,400 final.
Mark Gray’s Oooh My Soul passed 2011 Virginia-bred champ Just Slick in deep stretch to take last week’s three year old colt and gelding trot in 2:00 2/5. Just Slick had wired the field in a race the prior week in 1:58 2/5. The two will have a rematch in the $48,400 final.
The three year old pacing category is the only one of last week’s preps where the male division was faster than the female one. Tye Loy’s Blueridge Dancer, another 2011 Virginia-bred champ, scored an impressive 1:55.0 triumph over Manley Brown’s Blueridge Reyes in the colt and gelding prep while Amanda Jackson’s Hillbilly Desire came from mid-pack in the turn to score a 1:56.0 win over Onery Lucy in the filly warmup. Hillbilly Desire has a better life mark though, a 1:52 3/5 clocking versus Blueridge Dancer’s 1:54.0. They will both be respective favorites in Sunday’s $46,400 and $48,800 finals.
In addition to the eight title events, an additional four overnight races will be added to Sunday’s card. The first of twelve will go to post at 1:00 PM. Colonial Downs will hold an Oktoberfest celebration in conjunction with the harness action. A German band will play music from the winners circle stage, and a trackside microbrew sampling event will be available too.