Colonial Downs recap – July 21

Triton Rise and Barry Foley won the maiden hurdle at Colonial Downs for trainer Doug Fout on Friday, July 21. ©Darrell Wood

By Tod Marks

Triton Rise scores in career debut for Foley and Fout

Rolling Tide’s Triton Rise, a four-year-old Irish-bred son of Westerner, made his race debut a winning one, coming from off the pace in mid-stretch to score by three lengths under Barry Foley over James Stainbrook, Vincent Bonanni, and Pathfinder Racing’s Dante’s Fire in Friday’s $40,000 maiden special weights opener at Colonial Downs.

The victory comes two days after the veteran National Steeplechase Association reinsman earned his first Grade 1, in the AP Smithwick at Saratoga.

With a full field of 10 going postward, Colvin Ryan’s Thaleeq, under Gerard Galligan, grabbed the lead and held it for most of the 2 1/4 mile contest, as Triton Rise and Alexander Fulton’s Reassured (Parker Hendriks) sat in close pursuit.

Turning into the stretch with about three-sixteenths of a mile remaining, the field began to bunch up, and Foley nudged Triton Rise, who responded on the outside, drawing clear and moving toward the rail to score handily for trainer Doug Fout.

Go Poke The Bear and Robbie Dunne won the ratings handicap hurdle at Colonial Downs for trainer Leslie Young on Friday, July 21. ©Darrell Wood

“Bear” roars in handicap, giving Dunne first NSA win

Go Poke the Bear, owned by a syndicate of the same name, went wire to wire in Friday’s $35,000 handicap for horses rated at 115 or less at 2 1/4 miles.

Ridden by visiting Irishman Robbie Dunne, a veteran of nearly 1,000 mounts, Go Poke the Bear took the lead at the break and never relinquished it. Going up the backside the first time, the field of seven was spread out by as much as 15 lengths, with William Russell’s Seismic Wave and Beverly Steinman’s Hooroo sitting in second and third. Go Poke the Bear continued to lead the second time around the course, with little change in position in the field of seven.

Racing up the backside, Go Poke the Bear, trained by Leslie Young, remained unchallenged, but with about five furlongs to go, Nancy Reed’s Bright Eyed Eagle, with Gerard Galligan, mounted a serious threat, drawing within a length of the leader.

From there, the duo scooted clear into the turn, and it looked as if Bright Eyed Eagle, trained by Kathy Neilson, would swoop past on the outside. But Go Poke the Bear refused to be headed, pulling clear in the final furlong by 3 3/4 lengths. Seismic Wave was third. The victory was the first on the NSA circuit for Dunne, who began riding at Colonial Downs last week and was at Saratoga for the A.P. Smithwick earlier this week.

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