(NEW KENT, VA) — Amanda Jackson's Hillbilly Desire and Tye Loy's Blueridge Dancer scored wins Sunday in their respective Virginia-bred three year old filly and colt/gelding pacing divisions as Colonial Downs ushered out its fall meet with the $391,150 "Day of Champions" card.
Hillbilly Desire, who finished third in last fall's two year old championship race, edged Onery Lucy by a neck after a tight stretch duel that also included Hot Beach Girl. Driver Herman Hagerman brought the eventual winner first over from sixth before the turn, got to third at the head of the straightaway and crossed in 1:54 4/5. The Real Desire filly, who took the winner's share of a $48,800 purse, finished the six week meet with four wins and a pair of seconds from six starts.
Blueridge Dancer on the other hand made an earlier surge, from third just past the quarter pole, took the lead from Blueridge Reyes before the half and coasted home to a 3 ¼ length triumph in the $46,400 sophomore male pace. Leading driver Chris Page directed the effort, one of his four wins on the "Champions" program. The Real Desire gelding crossed in a lifetime best 1:52 2/5 as his earnings passed the $109,000 mark.
Both Blueridge Abigail and Just Slick, respective 2011 filly and colt two year old champion trotters, brought home the hardware again as three year olds. The filly, who won her prep the weekend prior by three lengths in 1:56 4/5, dominated from the start on Sunday and finished 18 lengths ahead of My Heidi. Driver Doug Snyder led Blueridge Abilgail to the wire to wire effort in 1:56 4/5, a tick off her prior mark which she set at Indianapolis Downs. The Keystone Savage filly, whose bankroll soared over the $235,000 mark, is trained by Dane Snyder for owners Tom King and Tom Chadwick.
Jane Dunavant's Just Slick captured the $47,400 colt title race after getting a perfect pocket journey from reinsman Page. The Dusty Winner gelding gained revenge on Mark Gray's Oooh My Soul, who won the prior week's colt prep and led Sunday's final through three-quarters. Just Slick came outside in the stretch to pass the front stepper and win by four lengths in 1:59 1/5.
In the freshmen pacing finals, John Ingram's Blueridge Casino won the $50,150 colt/gelding division while Morgan Hagerman's Blueridge Adalia cruised in the $49,675 filly test. Jeff Nisonger guided the colt champ to a 1 ¾ length victory for the Pine Stone Farm in 1:56 4/5 while Herman Hagerman earned his second Virginia-bred driving win on the day aboard the filly champ in 1:56.0.
Joann Perry's Eloise Eden was strong again in the $49,675 two year old filly trot while Jane Dunavant's Candid Photo won his third straight in the $48,625 colt/gelding title match. Dan O'Mara guided the filly to fractions of :28.0, :56 3/5 and 1:25 2/5 before crossing in a new life mark of 1:56.0, five and one-half lengths over Maker's Glide. Candid Photo, who has wired the field in his last three, won by double digit lengths again in 1:58 3/5 for Dunavant and co-owner Katherine Smith. The Classic Photo gelding won by six lengths in a conditioned trot September 22nd, by sixteen in his stake prep October 6th and by fifteen in Sunday's finale.