The premier day of the recently reopened Colonial Downs Race Course is this Saturday, a multi-stakes program topped by the Grade 3 Virginia Derby for three-year-olds racing nine furlongs on the turf.
The listed Virginia Oaks for three-year-old fillies is contested at the same distance. Like Kentucky Downs, the featured attraction is its 15-day turf racing meet.
Graham Motion, doing his best Chad Brown, will have three of the entrants, all making the short van ride from Maryland’s Fair Hill Training Center including probable favorite English Bee.
When last seen the Calumet home-bred was not having a good time at Saratoga, suffering a tough trip in the G2 Hall of Fame Stakes. As one might assume, this spot is softer.
English Bee probable is tactical enough to establish some kind of favorable position and his wide draw should ensure a clear run, a long one into the first turn.
From there’ it will be up to Jorge Vargas to provide clean sailing and a strong finish. Motion and Vargas have been a good team of late, hooking up to win four of their last 12 with two money finishes.
The Virginia Derby completes an all-stakes Pick Four.