2022 Virginia Derby Odds & More Colonial Downs Races

It’s the biggest day of the year at Colonial Downs, with Tuesday’s action headed by the G3 2022 Virginia Derby, which brings together a competitive field headed by former British-trained G2 winner Royal Patronage and backed up by promising contenders Limited Liability and Unanimous Consent.

Check the 2023 Virginia Oaks & Virginia Derby Odds and Picks

Virginia Derby

Grade 3, $300,000, 1m 1f turf, 3yo

There are Derbys everywhere and little Colonial Downs has its own version on Tuesday, the biggest race of the year at the east-coast circuit and a contest that features a castoff from the oldest, most famous Derby of them all.

Back in June, Royal Patronage (5-1) finished a washed-out 16th in the G1 Derby at Epsom, the mile and a half a step – or two – too far. Since then he has raced exclusively in the US, narrowly missing the board in the G1 Belmont Derby – with Limited Liability (9-2) two places and two and a half lengths behind – and the G1 Saratoga Derby, and given the quality of those two races this represents considerable class relief. First-time Lasix may also move him up.

Limited Liability has yet to win a stakes and came along late in a moderate edition of the G2 Pennine Ridge at Belmont Park in June, taking the ‘show’ spot from stakes-winner Unanimous Consent (3-1) by a length. The form reads well in the context of this race and both horses have a big shot for their big-league connections.

This is the first time away from Gulfstream Park for the in-form Grand David (6-1), who rides a three-race winning streak capped by a mile-sixteenth stakes in July on a synthetic surface, in which he was always near the pace before driving clear to beat the late-closing pair California Frolic (8-1) and Marwad (15-1) by two and a quarter lengths and three-quarters.

Grand David has yet to win on turf and Marwad – who gets first-time Lasix – has never tried it, so the usual surface caveats are in place, but all three are firmly on the upgrade. This is also a switch for Vance Scholars (10-1), who gets on the lawn for the first time after going gate-to-wire to win a stakes at Laurel Park last month.

The form Wow Whata Summer (20-1) showed when beating Annapolis in the G2 Penn Mile would put him right in the mix, but he’s blown out twice since then and his inconsistency is a concern, while the maiden winners Capensis (8-1) and Catnip (15-1) have it tough with this abrupt rise in grade.

Royal Patronage (FR)Joel Rosario+500
Wow Whata SummerTyler Conner+2000
Vance ScholarsJorge Ruiz+1000
California FrolicEdgar Perez+800
CatnipJevian Toledo+1500
Marwad (GB)Miguel Angel Vasquez+1500
Unanimous Consent (GB)Manuel Franco+300
Camp DavidHoracio Karamanos+2000
Limited LiabilityJose L. Ortiz+450
CapensisIrad Ortiz, Jr.+800
Grand DavidEdwin Gonzalez+600

Virginia Derby Betting Pick

Europeans on turf is a decent system, and ROYAL PATRONAGE has a good opportunity with class relief and first-time Lasix in his favor.

Virginia Oaks

Ungraded, $200,000, 1m 1f turf, 3yo fillies

Chad Brown is fresh from another championship at Saratoga and now sets his sights on some relatively low-hanging fruit in the big-field Virginia Oaks, sending Oakhurst (3-1) to the gate with a wide draw to overcome.

She may have been last of five in the G3 Saratoga Oaks on her Graded-stakes debut, but was beaten only three and three-quarter lengths and she’ll find this level much easier to handle.

In a very open contest, her main market rival is Catiche (5-1), whose second place in the G3 Selene at Woodbine in July wouldn’t normally cut it below the border, but in this company it gives her a major chance. This is her first time on the weeds, though.

The ex-Irish Spirit And Glory (8-1) was beaten only four and a half lengths shen seventh in a quality renewal of the G3 Lake George at Saratoga and – similarly to Oakhurst – will find this more to her liking.

Delaware Park stakes winner Sparkle Blue (8-1) was coming off a seven-month layoff and should be even sharper now, and with Lasix first time rates the best of Graham Motion’s three-ply entry completed by stakes-placed pair Pharoah’s Song (15-1) and Candy Light (20-1).

It took a long time but Full Count Felicia (12-1) lost her maiden tag at the eighth attempt when romping here over a mile last month, drawing off to win by six and a half lengths. A little more improvement would put her in the mix, while Omixochitl (12-1) took a stakes on the synthetic surface at Gulfstream Park last time – Therearenorules (20-1) beaten four and a quarter lengths into third – and has winning form on turf.

Treasure of WarAdam Beschizza+1500
SurprisinglyVincent Cheminaud+1200
CaticheJevian Toledo+500
SchlofmitzHoracio Karamanos+1200
Full Count FeliciaSheldon Russell+1200
Spirit And Glory (IRE)Irad Ortiz, Jr.+800
Pharoah’s SongJose L. Ortiz+1500
Lady PuchiJulien R. Leparoux+1200
Sparkle BlueJeremy Rose+800
Candy LightJoel Rosario+2000
TherearenorulesFeargal Lynch+2000
OmixochitlEdgar Perez+1200
OakhurstManuel Franco+300
ThisnameisokayJohnathan Mendoza+1500

Virginia Oaks Betting Prediction

The booking of Irad Ortiz may be significant for the chances of SPIRIT AND GLORY, who wasn’t beaten far in a strong G3 last time.

Kitten’s Joy Stakes

Ungraded, $125,000, 1m 1/16 turf, 2yo

The Kitten’s Joy spotlights the importance of big-track form over second- or even third-tier form, with the morning-line leader Rarefied Flair (8-5) a good case in point.

Rarefied Flair got the job done at the third attempt when holding on gamely to win by a head over a mile-sixteenth at Saratoga just over two weeks ago, and although it wasn’t anything very special it takes a lot more to win a maiden at Saratoga than it does at, say, Ellis Park or Horseshoe Indianapolis.

He gets Lasix for the first time now and it’s a swift turnaround, but the form is certainly a level – maybe two – above that achieved by Gigante (5-2) when breaking his maiden by three lengths here over a mile on the main track, after being well beaten on turf on his debut.

Free Soul (5-1) also lost his maiden tag here  – at the fifth attempt – when driving clear to win by two and a half lengths over a mile, while My Mamba (15-1) got his at Laurel Park over five furlongs on the main track and now tries the lawn for the first time, as well as stretching out a long way.

Spurs Up (15-1) won a maiden claimer at Churchill Downs, which would normally make him of major interest, but next time out he was beaten out of sight in a sprint allowance here on the main track, which makes him very hard to like now.

GiganteFeargal Lynch+250
Rarified FlairJulien R. Leparoux+160
My MambaTyler Conner+1500
Duke of GloucesterAdemar Santos+1500
Spurs UpAngel S. Arroyo+1500
ArticoSamy Camacho+1000
Free SoulLeonel Reyes+500
Determined CrushForest Boyce+1000

Kitten’s Joy Betting Pick

This is a poor contest and the Saratoga form of RAREFIED FLAIR – at this distance, on turf – makes him impossible to oppose.

It’s the biggest day of the year at Colonial Downs, with Tuesday’s action headed by the G3 Virginia Derby, which brings together a competitive field headed by former British-trained G2 winner Royal Patronage and backed up by promising contenders Limited Liability and Unanimous Consent.

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