With Friday night's Commonwealth Turf Fest, Virginia-breds are given stage. Many native horsemen showcase their Virginia-bred seeking a win on a big and meaningful day of racing. The success ("quality over quantity") of Virginia-breds is reputable coast to coast but on Friday night, Virginia-breds get a chance to be tested against one another from Front Royal to Berryville to Keswick to Hanover to Goochland to even George Gregory's New Kent. Like in many sporting events, there's nothing better than winning on your home turf. A state-bred day is not a new concept, but the potential of this day of racing to grow at Colonial Downs is great.
It may have appeared a bit routine, however I think Silver Max made a great performance look easy. As the first frontrunner to win the Virginia Derby, Silver Max overcame distance, yielding turf and most impressively his own head when Two Months Rent blitzed ahead after a saddle slip. The Virginia Derby winner's most impressive effort during the race may not have been on the homestretch but the backstretch. What a poised professional.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"But there is nothing to be done till a horse's head is settled."
- William Cavendish (not sure which one, English Royalty)
Last year's Tippett winner, SOFTLY LIT, is entered in Thursday nights feature at Colonial Downs. After the Tippett, Dane Kobiskie won the Selima run at Laurel Park last fall. Susan Cooney's EMBARR returns to defend her crown as a 4-year old Friday night in the $50,000 Brookmeade. Cooney is the breeder, trainer and owner of the filly who is 4 of 10 lifetime all wins on the turf.