Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Virginia Derby is on tap for this Saturday, July 13 from Colonial Downs in New Kent County, Virginia. A group of three year old hopefuls will go 1 1/4 miles on Colonial Downs turf track for a very nice purse of $500,000.
The Virginia Derby has drawn a field of 10 for race 7 on Colonial Downs Saturday schedule. Post time is 8:12 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all 10 combatants for this Grade 2 stakes - the top 3 are all coming off a terrific fight in the inaugural Penn Mile. Only two graded stakes winners will take to the track Saturday meaning the Virginia Derby is wide open.
Rydilluc - came into the Blue Grass Stakes on a three race win streak on turf - in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream March 3 after an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream January 5 by 5 3/4 lengths and breaking maiden on turf November 25. He was fourth in the Blue Grass Stakes but rebounded last time out with a win in the Penn Mile over Jack Milton. He is the high weight for the Virginia Derby, is 4-for-4 on grass and based on his win in the Penn Mile is the likely favorite for the Virginia Derby.
Charming Kitten - Todd Pletcher colt was third in the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 13 after a good second in the Grade 2 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream March 3 and a nice win in the minor Kitten's Joy Stakes January 20. He raced to a ninth in the Kentucky Derby and was second last time out in the competitive Penn Mile Stakes June 1. Charming Kitten has raced in some tough races and has been good in all. He is second choice on the morning line and is expected to be the best of the three Kitten's Joy offspring entered in the Virginia Derby.
Jack Milton - Todd Pletcher trained colt has four career starts - a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming in February followed a MSW score in his debut at Gulfstream January 12. He made his stakes debut April 5 in grand style - a win in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland. Last time out was an OK third in the Penn Mile June 1 behind Rydilluc and Charming Kitten. He is the second highweight and just one of the host of challengers to take home the crown on Saturday.
Redwood Kitten - Wesley Ward trainee Redwood Kitten broke maiden at Gulfstream December 7 and followed that with an OK third to Charming Kitten in the minor Kitten's Joy Stakes on that same track in his stakes debut. He was an OK second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream February 23 and was third to Jack Milton April 5 in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Transylvania at Keeneland. Last time out was a nice win in the minor James W. Murphy Stakes at Pimlico May 18.
Fear The Kitten - Michael Maker trained colt has been OK in his nine race career with two wins, a second and a third place finish. He had a pair of fifth place finishes in the spring - in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes and in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park March 23 He followed that with a sixth in the Grade 2 Peter Pan in May and a fourth last time out in the minor Springfield Stakes at Arlington Park June 1. Good results include a second in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes to Super Ninety Nine at Oaklawn Park February 18 after a third in the Grade 3 LeComte January 19 at Fair Grounds. It's been a while since we saw good form from Fear The Kitten - hopes are he changes that trend Saturday.
War Dancer - Kenneth McPeek trained colt has six career starts - three MSW races at Gulfstream to start his career with just one win. He won an Allowance three back at Keeneland and went on to a respectable third in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes May 3. Last time out was a second in the minor Centaur Stakes at Indiana Downs June 15.
Gefest - had a respectable third two back in his graded stakes debut and only start on turf - the Grade 3 Arlington Classic Stakes May 25 after an Allowance score at Keeneland April 24. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth June 16. He has two wins, a second and two third place finishes in 10 career starts.
Readyshakego - has four career starts for trainer Jessica J. Campitelli with two wins and a third place finish. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score here at this distance for his first win since a MSW in his career debut.
Bethel - has raced a staggering 13 times in 2013 already (all on turf) with two wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He had an Allowance score June 10 after a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming May 31. Bethel failed to break the top 9 in his graded stakes action this year before a surprising and respectable third ahead of Gefest in the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park June 16. He has placed in five of his last six starts and is coming off arguably his best career result.
Draw Two - has just four career starts with two wins, a second and a third place finish. He enters on a two race win streak - an Allowance at Belmont Park last time out and a MSW also at Belmont Park way back in October. Saturday marks his stakes debut for trainer Michelle Nehei.
Race 7 on Colonial Downs's Saturday card with a Post Time of 8:12 PM.
||Fear the Kitten