ON THE PADDY WAGON? - I'm not saying he's the best horse to run at Colonial Downs. He may not even be the best Dale Romans horse to run at Colonial Downs. Time will tell. In April, an Albemarle County neighbor asked about my interest in going Keeneland for the Maker's Mark Mile. His group knew little about horse racing but plenty about bourbon. I went. The following day, the Bluegrass Stakes included three of today's Virginia Derby starters, including its "Stately Victor", as well as Interactif and Paddy O'Prado. Alongside me was my 11-year old son fresh off taking in a Cincinnati Reds game the previous night. "Jake's Take" in the Bluegrass was Paddy who finished 2nd. Three weeks later Paddy's late bid rounded out my $2300 Kentucky Derby trifecta. His Turf Cup score has provided important month-long bragging rights over Derby Bill that is worth far more than his $5.40 payout. His "horsonality" is colorful. He's a good candidate to fill in the "?" on the list below.
However, should Nick's Picks fail you today, this tip sheet still has value. Bring it to Gus' Italian Cafe in Mechanicsville and munch on a 1 topping large pizza for $9.50 at part of the "Off to the Races" Pizza Special.
RACE 1 -3 PEARLS - Dominguez had some solid CNL meets. OC's Pearls has been the 1&1/16th. 2 LIVE OAKS LEGACY, 4 HAY CITIKID
RACE 2 - 9 BUREAUCAT - Mele, a tempting longshot but Allen's "Cat" has been consistent. OC filly drops. 7 SPECIAL BEAUTY, 10 MELE
RACE 3 - 8 EARLY STAR - Early Star's 12 length win was on the CNL dirt. Hobson horse get his first '10 start. 6 FOREST BELL, 9 RUN TO THE SUN
RACE 4 - 3 ROYAL HILL - "Closing" gets 1st turf start. Russell's Roundtree "Royal" solid in first start. 6 CLOSING HOUR, 1 MISTER DISH
RACE 5 - 4 TAKING A CHANCE - Easter has Funny Moon in Delcap today. Motion start last year's Tippett runner up. 2 BALTIMORE BELLE, 7 ABSARAKA
RACE 6 – 6 DON'T LOCK ME OUT - Silva's gelding showed kick at $28K. Now stretches out with returning Rose. 8 THE KEY TO HONOUR, 2 TEMPLE FAIR
RACE 7 – 9 ACTION ANDY - Despite winning only once, "Andy" close to looking for #4 in a row. Secor proven. 11 NAVY BRASS, 6 MCNAMARA
RACE 8 - $50,000 Chenery Stakes - 1 Z APPEAL - The Salzmens starts 3 next to each other in the gate. Romans has winner Appeal. 10 LIPSTICK TRACES, 4 OL' MAN MURPH
RACE 9 - $50,000 Tippett Stakes - 9 VALIANT STAR The most impressive CNL win? Valiant Star's romp by 13. Rematch with "Molly". 5 MOLLY MINGUN, 7 LATIKA
RACE 10 - $50,000 Kitten's Joy Stakes - 4 SOUTHERN ANTHEM - A win here may cap off the career of several solid horses. 7 BALTIMORE BOB, 3 VANQUISHER
RACE 11 - $150,000 Virginia Oaks (G3) - 8 CHECK THE LABEL -"Check" the maiden win at CNL last summer seeks 3rd turf graded stakes win. 1 JUNGLE TALE, 3 MIDWAY HOLIDAY
RACE 12 - $600,000 Virginia Derby (G2) - 7 PADDY O'PRADO - "Paddy's" race to bounce but I think his best racing days are still in front of him. 2 KRYPTON, 1 TWO NOTCH ROAD
RACE 13 - 4 CAP'N RAYMOND - Allen starts a Artie Schiller $25k VA-bred purchase for the 1st time with "Special K". 6 SKY MAGGY, 9 DADDY'S CADDY
RACE 14 - 9 EVENING STAR - Keswick-bred "Star" ships from Delpark and drops. Marmora missed by a neck. 11 MARMORA, 3 COUNT TO ELEVEN