Colonial Downs racetrack, in New Kent, Virginia hosted the first steeplechase races on their 2020 schedule, with three jump races opening up the program at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 2. The maiden hurdle race was split into two divisions with Irv Naylor’s A Silent Player taking the opener and Allison Fullmer’s The Happy Giant winning the second race. Beverly Steinman’s Go as You Please won the maiden filly/mare race, the third race of the afternoon, which led into the regular scheduled flat racing card that commenced at 5:30 p.m.
These jump races were originally scheduled for opening day at Colonial Downs, Monday, July 27, but that card was canceled due to extreme heat.
A Silent Player, a five-year-old Irish bred, was making his first career sanctioned start for Naylor, who imported the horse early this year. He kicked in late and closed with a flurry in the two-mile hurdle, run over eight fences. Gerard Galligan rode the winner for trainer Jonathan Sheppard.
The Happy Giant, a four-year-old New York-bred, won in a similar fashion with a speedy late run in the stretch under Ross Geraghty for owner/trainer Allison Fullmer. It was also The Happy Giant’s first start over fences after a 0-9 flat career in Maryland, New York and Florida.
Go as You Please, a five-year-old Kentucky bred trained in Virginia by Doug Fout was bred to jump and was 0-3 over fences, all in restricted filly races, before she forwardly placed victory.
Colonial Downs has scheduled a total of 12 jump races during their summer meet which runs from July 27 to August 2. There will be three jump races on Monday, August 10, followed by two races on each of the subsequent Monday cards. All of the jump races at Colonial are conducted without pari-mutuel wagering.