|(Amy Petty Photo)|
Heading into the day, Ferris Allen stood atop the trainer standings with 23 wins, while Mike Pino and Dane Kobiskie were two back with 21 each. PTK, LLC, whose ownership group is led by VTA member Paula Haughey of Charlottesville, had a three-win margin over owner David Ross, 21-18.
The first two races Sunday proved a sign of things to come.
Leading rider Sheldon Russell directed Southern Sebring and King’s Coronation to victory in both ends of the early double for the Pino-Ross trainer-owner combo. Both horses were heavily favored and came on strong in the stretch to win by 1¼ lengths and six lengths respectively.
Jockey Eric Camacho, who had a pair of wins on closing day, guided the Pino-Ross mare Fancy Footsteps to the winners circle in the eighth after a thrilling stretch drive with Ten Missions and Opening Movement. Sent off as the second choice in an eleven horse turf sprint, Fancy Footsteps sat fourth thru the first half before going outside in the turn to gain striking position.
|SHELDON RUSSELL, TYLER PICKLESIMER and SARA ROOK (Coady)|
Twenty-three-year-old Sheldon Russell earned his first riding title at Colonial Downs, finishing with 40 wins. After capturing titles at the Laurel winter and Pimlico spring meets, he completed a hat trick by leading gate-to-wire at the New Kent summer stand. Malcolm Franklin, strong over the last several weeks, finished second with 28 while apprentice Sarah Rook took third with 25.
Rook was awarded with top apprentice honors. She was strong from the outset and ended up winning the last race of the meet atop Yesterday, who thundered past five horses in the stretch to triumph. “I had only been racing for a month before coming to Colonial,” said Rook, “So the meet here has really exceeded my expectations. I had hopes of course, but am thrilled to get this recognition and to finish third in the standings.”