The stakes quintet will be run consecutively between races five thru nine, and kicks off with the 5 ½ furlong Jamestown for two year olds. Mike Trombetta, who captured last year’s Jamestown with Harbingerofthings, has the early 6-5 favorite with A Lover’s Question. One of only two fillies in the ten horse field, she is fresh off a dominating maiden special weight victory over the Colonial turf July 6th. Stephanie Nixon’s Vestry, with a second and third this meet, is the second early choice.
Wardelle is the early 3-1 pick in the Oakley Stakes for fillies and mares, three and up. The 6 year old Toccet filly has primarily raced at Monmouth the past two years but did capture an allowance turf sprint at Colonial opening day last summer. Leading rider Sheldon Russell has the mount atop second choice Seaside, who was third in the 2011 Oakley. Third choice Miss Oil finished one notch respectively behind Wardelle and Seaside in each of their ’11 Colonial outings.
Embarr, In The Rough and Cobbleys’ Breeze, the top three finishers in last year’s Brookemeade Stakes, will square off again one year later. Embarr is a 4 year old Susan Cooney trainee that has collected a pair of wins over the Pimlico turf in her last trio of outs and is the second early choice. Morning line favorite though is Atlantic Tap, who switched over to grass two starts ago and found instant success in an Arlington allowance. Horacio Karamanos will ride for trainer Wayne Catalano in the one mile filly and mare stakes.
Jake Rattle N Roll, who was second in the last two Punch Line editions, is favored in the Bert Allen Stakes. The 7 year old Bop gelding has a pair of tight runner-up finishes this meet at the Allen’s 5 ½ furlong distance. Staged Affair, who beat Jake in the ’12 Punch Line by a nose, is second choice. Giant Patriot and Romans Reward, third and fourth in the same stakes, are in this field as well.
The final Virginia-bred offering is the Daniel Van Clief Stakes and the ’12 version will pit last year’s top three finishers against each other. Silver Tie Affair, who won the ’11 Van Clief by one length, is second favorite and is coming off a fifth place finish in the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup June 16th. Chedi and Powder Mountain, runners-up last year, are 15-1 and 7-2 respectively. Early favorite is Kathleen O’Connell’s Dannhauser, who was fourth most recently in Colonial’s Da Hoss Stakes June 16th.
Post time on Friday is 7:00 PM. The evening will also feature the presentation of the awards to the 2011 Virginia-bred Champions.
The summer season concludes on Saturday with a twelve race program beginning at 6 PM.