(NEW KENT, VA) — Todd Pletcher’s Channel Lady came from third at the top of the stretch to score a one length win over Mary Eppler’s Idle Talk in Saturday’s $100,000 Edward P. Evans All Along Stakes (Gr. III) at Colonial Downs. The race headlined the Colonial Turf Cup under card.
The winner, who finished the 1 1/8 miles turf test in 1:50.34, was sent off as the second favorite behind Graham Motion’s Appealing Cat. Channel Lady, a 4 year old English Channel filly, entered the stakes 4 of 8 on grass with $279,000-plus in earnings.
Jockey Javier Castellano settled Channel Lady mid-pack among a seven horse field before making his move exiting the final turn. Idle Talk passed Appealing Cat and Welcome Dance late to fall in behind the leader and take second while Clare Skies Ahead got third. The victor is co-owned by James Scatuorchio and Jake Pletcher. Scatuorchio and Todd Pletcher teamed up in 2005 to win both the Turf Cup and the Virginia Derby with English Channel.
Trainer Pletcher and jockey Castellano scored another triumph with Hudson Steele in the one mile, $75,000 Da Hoss Stakes, which immediately preceded the All Along. Their 6 year old Johannesburg gelding was making his first start in over 11 months and came into Virginia with 5 wins in 9 turf outings.
With second early choice Action Andy scratched, Hudson Steele became a heavy favorite but had to fend off a pesky Hoofit in a thrilling stretch duel. With three time Virginia Derby winning rider Edgar Prado up top, Hoofit was just a head behind Hudson Steele at the top of the stretch and ended up just a neck shy at the wire. The winner crossed in 1:37.68 for owner Roger Weiss. Michael Trombetta’s Change of Command took third.
An All Stakes Pick-4 kicked off with the $40,000 Old Nelson Starter Handicap and jockey Horacio Karamanos, who rode upset winner London Lane to victory later in the $300,000 Turf Cup (Gr. II), scored atop betting favorite Saintly Love here.
The 5 year old St. Averil gelding, who had won 3 of 4 at Colonial and 7 of 11 on turf, came from seventh at the half to power by the six frontrunners and win by 1 ¾ lengths over Targeted Sight. Saintly covered the 1 3/16ths turf stakes in 1:58.04. The winner is trained by Carlos Garcia for Robert Gerczak.