Tasting the Stars wins the Nellie Mae Cox Stakes.
Virginia-bred Tasting The Stars, an impressive 5-for-7 in her career, headlines Monday’s $100,000 Van Clief Stakes for Virginia-restricted horses at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va. The field of nine includes Todd Pletcher’s Apurate, the second early choice.
The restricted stakes, open to those that are Virginia-bred, sired, or certified, is 1 1/16th miles on grass and is the eighth of nine races scheduled.
Newtown Anner Stud Farm’s Tasting the Stars is fresh off turf stakes wins in the Nellie Mae Cox at Colonial July 19 and in the Brookmeade at Laurel Park in Laurel, Md., last October. The 5-year-old Bodemeister mare prevailed three times in 2019 — in the Just Jenda Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., and in allowance and maiden special weight races at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, La. The Van Clief headliner finished sixth in the 2019 Virginia Oaks as the betting favorite. She has bankrolled $204,600 and is 3-for-4 on turf. The 9-5 early choice is trained by John Kimmel and will be ridden by Feargal Lynch.
A1A Racing’s Apurate is the second choice and was runner-up most recently in a Monmouth turf allowance. The 4-year-old Summer Front filly broke her maiden October 20 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., and has earned $129,360 from 13 starts including a win and five runner-up finishes. David Cohen will ride the Kentucky-bred.
Larry Johnson and RDM Racing Stable’s No Mo Lady is third early choice at 6-1. The 5-year-old Uncle Mo mare finished third in the Grade 3 Gallorette Stakes last October at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., and previously, had back-to-back seconds in the All Along Stakes and Indiana General Assembly Distaff Stakes. The Michael Trombetta trainee will be ridden by Julian Pimentel.
Also in the field is Inside The Box, Unruly Julie, Fionnbharr, Sweet Sandy, Princess Theorem, and Dare to Promise.
First post at Colonial Monday is 1:45 PM. The Van Clief is scheduled at 5:01 PM. The summer racing season in New Kent will continue on a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday basis through September 1. The $250,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby (Gr. 3) is Tuesday, August 31.
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