Few things are exciting as graduates from the maiden special weight ranks because you never know the extent of their potential. And when those wins come after only a couple of tries, it’s tough not to dream big. Two of the three hurdle races at Colonial Downs on Aug. 10 showcased lightly raced winners. In the first of the two $20,000 maiden hurdle events at 2 miles, Irv Naylor’s French Light, making his third career start, came from far back to blow by the competition and score handily by 5 lengths for jockey Gerard Galligan and trainer Jonathan Sheppard. The 5-year-old French-bred son of multiple G1 winner Muhtathir, who was bred in Great Britain, and First Light, a German-bred, has raced three times this season, finishing third in the NSA belated season opener at Middleburg (beaten less than two lengths), and second at Great Meadow (coming up short by a half-length) before Monday’s easy win at Colonial. In the second division, Galligan and Sheppard teamed up again, this time with Buttonwood Farm’s Baltimore Bucko. Making just his second start, the British-bred 4-year-old settled off the early pace, took the lead in the upper stretch, and drew off by 4 1/2 lengths while being geared down. In his initial start, at Great Meadow in June, Baltimore Bucko ran into buzzsaw Fast Car, a precocious star in the making, running gamely to finish just a half-length behind the winner and nine lengths ahead of the third-place finisher. On July 29, Fast Car came back to crush the field in a non-winners of two allowance hurdle at Saratoga by 6 1/2 lengths. In the finale at Colonial, a $15,000 ratings handicap for horses rated at 110 or lower, the Gillam family’s Elmutahid rallied to coast to a 5 1/4-length decision. Bernie Dalton rode the 10-year-old son of the great Street Cry for owner Jeremy Gillam and trainer Diana Gillam. Elmutahid began his jumping career less than two years ago after 17 starts over six seasons on the flat at Belmont Park, Saratoga, Aqueduct, Monmouth Park, Keeneland, and Calder. Elmutahid has now won two in a row. We’ll post photos from Coady Photography as soon as they are available.
Photos by: Coady Photography