A well-matched field of steeplechase mares will line up for a $15,000 maiden hurdle race at Colonial Downs on Sunday, June 17. Two prospective starters, Fiesty Lady and Eastern Starlett, have chased subsequent stakes winners in previous starts.
Owner-trainer Michael Leaf’s Fiesty Lady most recently was second to Maya Charli in a maiden claiming race at the Radnor Hunt Races in Malvern, Pa., on May 19. Two weeks later, Maya Charli blazed to a front-running victory in the $40,000 Valentine Memorial at the Fair Hill Races in Maryland. Roddy Mackenzie will ride Fiesty Lady, an eight-year-old Wayne County mare.
Marethon Stables’ Eastern Starlett began her hurdle career with a good second behind Quiet Flaine in a maiden race at the Carolina Cup Steeplechase in Camden, S.C., on March 31. Quiet Flaine came back to win the $50,000 Margaret Currey Henley at Nashville’s Iroquois Steeplechase on May 12. In her subsequent start, Eastern Starlett was second in an open maiden race at the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase near Charlotte, N.C., on April 28. Trainer Arch Kingsley Jr. named Willie McCarthy to ride.
Racing Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard entered Lonesome, owned and bred by Virginia horseman William Backer. The eight-year-old Marquetry mare has finished in the money in her three 2012 starts and most recently was a well-beaten third in an open maiden claiming hurdle at Colonial on June 2. Danielle Hodsdon has the mount.
Champion jockey Paddy Young will be aboard Mrs. Gerald J. Stautberg’s Uptown, a newcomer to trainer Tom Voss’ barn. The five-year-old Cape Town mare will be making her first start over fences after winning her maiden victory on the flat at Colonial on July 30.
Joseph G. Davies’ cleverly named Eat Cake returns to the maiden ranks after proving no match for the top mares in the Valentine Memorial. Former champion jockey Blythe Miller Davies trains her husband’s Eat Cake, and Barry Walsh will ride.
Virginia horseman Randy Rouse entered his Wild Ball, who came back after an absence of more than three years to finish second in a maiden hurdle race at the Foxfield Spring Races in Charlottesville, Va., on April 28. In his previous start, the nine-year-old Ball’s Bluff mare had finished fifth in a Colonial allowance race on Sept. 14, 2008. Rouse named Carl Rafter to ride.
Completing the field are owner-trainer Michele Sanger’s Blue Eyed Anna T, who will be ridden by Jacob Roberts, and Irv Naylor’s Nightswimming, who is making her first hurdle start after running in Laurel Park claiming races. Trainer J. W. Delozier named Ross Geraghty to ride Nightswimming.
The mares’ race will be the first on the program with a 12:55 p.m. first post time. Also on the card is a $10,000 conditioned claiming race that also attracted a field of eight.