The $750,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) July 19 at Colonial Downs and the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park Aug. 9 make for second and third base. The $3-million Emirates Airline Breeder’s Cup Turf (gr. IT) serves as home plate in the series.
Off the Triple Crown trail are Adriano, Court Vision, and Kentucky Bear while turf veterans Sporting Art, El Sultry Sun, Sailor’s Cap, Nistle’s Crunch, Your Round, Baltimore Bob, and Boss Lafitte complete the field.
Adriano, who moved from the barn of Graham Motion to Bill Mott last week, appears to favor surfaces other than dirt shown in winning the Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) on Turfway’s Polytrack surface and an allowance race over the Gulfstream turf in January. On the dirt, the Courtlandt Farms’ homebred colt was ninth in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and 19th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Edgar Prado, who rode Adriano in the Lane’s End and the Derby returns to the mount for the Turf Cup.
Saddled on Mott’s mounts, Prado won the Virginia Derby with Orchard Park in 2002 and with Silver Tree in 2003 for owner Peter Vegso. The following year, Prado won the Virginia Derby with Kitten’s Joy trained by Dale Romans. In 2006, Mott won a third Virginia Derby with another Vegso colt with Garrett Gomez aboard.
Mott will also saddle Court Vision (13th in the Kentucky Derby) Turf Cup. Court Vision will be making his turf debut
Kentucky Bear had a trouble trip in the Preakness (gr. I), finishing sixth. He is scheduled to be the first of the entries to arrive at Colonial Downs, and is due to ship in June 16.
Jon and Sarah Kelley’s Sporting Art will make his way to Virginia for the Turf Cup for trainer Christophe Clement. Sporting Art, winner of the Bulleit Bourbon Palm Beach Stakes and the Calder Derby (both gr. IIIT), was fifth last time out in the Arlington Classic.
Trainer Thomas Amoss brings Boss Lafitte to the Turf Cup after a win in the $100,000 USA Stakes May 26 at Lone Star Park and the Central Bank Transylvania (gr. III) at Keeneland that was taken off the turf. Over a yielding turf course in the Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT), he finished sixth, 9 ½ lengths behind Tizdejavu.
Trainer John Kimmel will bring two-time stakes winner El Sultry Sun (by Eltish) to central Virginia. The winner of the Dayton Andrews Sophomore Turf Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and the Lamplighter at Monmouth has won three of his five turf starts. Earlier this year, he was third in the Calder Derby.
Post time for the Colonial Turf Cup is approximately set for 5:40 p.m. and will be broadcast live on TVG. Waiting for the Turf Cup winner will be Giant Moon and Royal Emperor who appear to be pointed toward the 10-furlong Virginia Derby.
Racing officials in Virginia are pleased with the response. With a steroid ban in effect, Thoroughbreds that race at Colonial Downs must wait at least 30 days after their last steroid application.
Colonial Turf Cup (gr. IIIT), $600,000, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles, turf, Saturday, June 21, approximate post 5:40 p.m.
PP – Horse – Jockey
1 - El Sultry Sun - Elbar Coa
2 - Court Vision - Garrett Gomez
3 - Your Round - James Lopez
4 - Sporting Art - Javier Castellano
5 - Baltimore Bob - Horatio Karamanos
6 - Nistle’s Crunch - Robby Alvarado
7 - Kentucky Bear - Elvis Trujillo
8 - Boss Lafitte - Julien Lepareaux
9 - Sailer’s Cap - Alan Garcia
10 – Adriano - Edgar Prado