Riverdee Stable’s Snowie Hill, a maiden winner at Colonial Downs three weeks earlier, cruised to the lead at the top of the Virginia track’s stretch on Saturday and drew away to a 3 ¼-length victory in the $50,000 Randolph D. Rouse Handicap.
Owner-trainer Bethany Baumgardner’s Mavourneen, the race’s 26.40-to-1 longshot, held on well for second, two lengths ahead of KMSN Stable’s maiden Inverness. Owner-trainer Jonathan Sheppard’s Wigwam Baby, the Rouse’s 2.80-to-1 favorite, finished fourth after setting the pace for more than 1 ½ miles.
Sent off at 5.90-to-1, Snowie Hill ran the Rouse’s 2 ¼ miles in 4:01.87 and paid $13.80 to win.
Snowie Hill was bred and is trained by F. Hill Parker, and the four-year-old’s name honors the memory of his mother, Frances Snowden “Snowie” Hill Myers. Snowie Hill is a full sister to 2016 novice champion Get Ready Set Goes, who finished seventh in the Rouse. Get Ready Set Goes was bred by Mrs. Myers.
Jack Doyle, who had swept Colonial’s two jump races when Snowie Hill won her maiden victory against other fillies and mares on Aug. 17, again notched a double and moved into second place in the standings with 11 wins, five behind Michael Mitchell.
Wigwam Baby and jockey Darren Nagle went out to a free-running lead at the start of the Rouse and opened as many as 10 lengths at the top of Colonial’s stretch the first time. Mavourneen and jockey Graham Watters kept Wigwam Baby in sight while running second, and Doyle parked Snowie Hill at the back of the field, at times more than 25 lengths behind the leader.
Snowie Hill still was far back as the field entered the backstretch for the last time, and Doyle allowed her to creep closer to the front-runner on the run over the final three fences.
Wigwam Baby began to tire after the next-to-last fence, and Mavourneen attacked in company with Joseph Fowler’s Down Royal. Mavourneen struck to the front over the last fence. Doyle put Snowie Hill on the inside around the final turn and grabbed the lead early in the stretch.
Mavourneen resisted for a while, but Snowie Hill went up by 1 ½ lengths at the furlong pole and widened her advantage under pressure from Doyle. Keri Brion-trained Inverness made a strong late move to grab third, a nose in front of Wigwam Baby.
Riverdee acquired Snowie Hill from trainer Parker before her nose victory over Inverness in the Colonial maiden hurdle on Aug. 17.
Doyle kicked off his second Colonial double when Willow Oaks Stables’ Iconic Artist, coming off the sidelines after more than two years, closed well in Colonial’s stretch to score a 2 ¾-length victory in the $30,000 maiden hurdle. Riverdee Stables’ Gostisbehere, the 13-to-10 favorite in a field of six, finished second, a neck ahead of Bon Nouvel Chasers’ Sudden Victory.
Trained by Elizabeth Voss, eight-year-old Iconic Artist went off at 8.90-to-1, the second-longest price on the board, and paid $19.80 to win after running the 2 ¼-mile distance in 4:03.30 on firm turf.
Owner-trainer Kate Dalton’s Lady Quality went out to the early lead under Bernie Dalton while Doyle placed Iconic Artist at the back of the field, approximately 10 lengths behind the free-running pacesetter.
Mitchell, astride Gotisbehere for trainer Jack Fisher, placed his mount in midfield through the race’s first 1½ miles. Lady Quality opened five lengths entering the backstretch for the final time, but her competitors closed sharply on her at the last fence.
Gotisbehere charged to the lead after the last fence, located on Colonial’s backstretch, and soon had Sudden Victory and jockey Gerard Galligan in pursuit. Doyle allowed Iconic Artist to cruise through the final turn and asked for run at the head of the lane.
Iconic Artist grabbed the lead inside the furlong pole and gradually drew clear of his opponents. Gotisbehere dug in and repelled the stretch-long challenge from Sudden Victory and held the place spot.