Colonial Downs ushered in its 15th annual harness racing season Wednesday afternoon on a warm and muggy afternoon, and after the first three races were contested, the mile times sped up considerably. Five of the last seven races featured winning times of 1:53 or below.
Fastest mile of the day was authored by Manley Brown's Camifications in the fourth race. The 8-year-old Camluck gelding scored a come-from-behind victory in 1:51.2 after Doc's Sea Lion cut initial fractions of :25.3, :53.3 and 1:22.2. Coming out of the turn, driver John Wagner directed Camifications past four other front-steppers in midstretch and coasted home to a 4 1/2-length triumph.
The Brown-Wagner trainer-driver battery scored again in the day's finale with Cohendoleezza, a 7-year-old pacing mare that won in identical fashion as Camifications. Sitting fifth through the first three fractions, she passed four front-runners to win by two lengths in 1:52.3.
Justin Griffith's Grab The Fortune earned the second fastest time, 1:52, after an inside trip in the $4,500 seventh race pacing feature. The 6-year-old Cams Fortune gelding sat third along the rail through the first trio of fractions and passed Doc's Zilla in the stretch en route to a two-length victory. Reinsman Chuck Perry Jr. guided Grab The Fortune to his fifth win of the year.
The other two quick times came from both first leg division winners of the Emergency Squad of Virginia Pacing Series. Amanda Jackson's Hillbilly Desire won by a neck over K J Hannah in 1:52.3 while George Anthrop's Mobil Big John scored a 3 1/2-length triumph in 1:53.
Colonial Downs will host an eight-race program Thursday at 1 p.m. and round out opening week festivities with a pair of 10-race cards both Saturday and Sunday in conjunction with the New Kent County Fair. (Colonial Downs)