Nominations Set For Four-Pack Of $100,000 Virginia-Bred/Sired Stakes August 10th At Colonial Downs
The top three finishers from the 2018 Meadow Stable Stakes for Virginia-Bred/Sired horses all nominated to the 2019 edition, which will be a co-featured event on the Saturday August 10th program at Colonial Downs.
The New Kent oval will usher in its first thoroughbred racing season since 2013 on Thursday August 8th at 5 PM. The Saturday card will be a Virginia showcase of sorts featuring four $100,000 turf stakes for Virginia-Bred/Sired horses. The program will also include the M. Tyson Gilpin, Edward P. Evans and Nellie Mae Cox Stakes.
25 Virginia-bred and 9 certified horses nominated to the 5 1/2 furlong Meadow Stable stakes. Homespun Hero, a 6 year old Hard Spun horse bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin, captured the ’18 edition at Laurel. The race was contested over the dirt after heavy rains forced it off the turf. Determined Vision and Fly E Dubai finished second and third in that race. The former won the ’18 White Oak Stakes while the latter bankrolled $92,169 last year.
Other horses of note that nominated are Lenstar, a Nick Zito trainee bred by Lazy Lane Farms. The 5-year-old Shackleford gelding scored back-to-back allowance wins at Oaklawn earlier this year. Phil Schoenthal’s River Deep won both the Bert Allen and Hansel Stakes in ’18 with Sheldon Russell in the irons. Glenn Thompson’s 12-year-old stalwart Two Notch Road also nominated. The Partners Hero gelding has bankrolled $533,193 and prevailed in Virginia-bred stakes in four straight years, from 2014 – 2017. All six horses noted are also entered into the Edward P. Evans Stakes.
A total of 43 fillies and mares nominated to the M. Tyson Gilpin Stakes including 2018 runners-up, Virginia Fable and Up Hill Battle. Susan Cooney’s Virginia Fable lost by a head to winner Altamura then followed with a third in the Oakley Stakes. Up Hill Battle scored a trio of top three finishes in Virginia-bred events last year and has earned $250,600 in her career. She is also entered in the Nellie Me Cox Stakes. Holly Hundy, bred by Lazy Lane Farms, had maiden special weight and allowance wins in back-to-back starts at Santa Anita this spring. River Gal, who is also entered in the Evans Stakes, won two-year-old Jamestown Stakes last year.
A pair of horses on the Derby trail earlier this year are among 34 nominated to the Edward P. Evans Stakes. Boldor, bred by Carlos Moore & Gillian Gordon-Moore, lost by a half length in February’s Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn, then finished sixth four weeks later in the Grade 3 Southwest. Trainer Steve Asmussen’s colt has not seen action since. After winning a maiden special weight at Keeneland March 2nd, Dallas Stewart’s Chess Chief moved onto the Grade 2 Bluegrass Stakes and took sixth. The Into Mischief colt was bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm.
Barclay Tagg’s Ferdinanda and Michael Stidham’s Tasting the Stars lead a nomination list of 38 fillies and mares to the Nellie Mae Cox Stakes. Dating back to last September, Ferdinanda had six consecutive first or second place finishes in allowance starts between Gulfstream and Belmont. The Giant’s Causeway filly was bred by the William Backer Revocable Estate. Tasting the Stars is a perfect 3-for-3 in her young career. She won easily in a maiden special weight and allowance race this winter at Fair Grounds, then captured a $75,000 local stakes at Monmouth July 28th. The Bodemeister filly was bred by Audley Farm Equine.
Entries for the four stakes close on Tuesday August 6th. If less than six Virginia-Bred/Sired horses enter any of the four, the stakes will be open to Virginia Certified horses also. Besides the Meadow Stable Stakes, 19 certified horses nominated to the Gilpin, 8 to the Evans, and 20 to the Nellie Mae Cox Stakes.