Branco Maria continued an excellent run of form of Phoenix Thoroughbreds in the U.S. with victory on the opening day of the Colonial Downs meet on Tuesday, July 28.
The victory for the Mike Stidham trained colt was the Dubai-based group’s fourth win in as many days in the States, including the Grade One success of Volatile in the A G Vanderbilt.
A son of Lane’s End Farm’s Candy Ride, Branco Maria was well backed prior to the six furlongs Maiden Special Weight at the Virginia track. Breaking on terms from the gates jockey Trevor McCarthy allowed his mount to settle towards the rear of the pack. Only moving into contention into the turn, the colt smoothly made progress in putting himself in with a chance. The long time leader opened up on the field into the stretch but McCarthy soon sent his partner out after him. It quickly became apparent the Phoenix Thoroughbreds owned horse would best that rival and in the end, he won with plenty to spare.