, an impressive winner of Churchill's American Turf (G2) and Jefferson Cup (G3), tops a field of twelve in Saturday's ten furlong Virginia Derby (G2) at Colonial Downs.
Trained by Tom Proctor and owned by Glen Hill Farm, Banned began his career with a 5th place finish in a dirt sprint at Saratoga last summer. He switched to turf and promptly earned his diploma at Belmont Park second time out, followed by a sharp allowance victory at Keeneland.
He ended his juvenile campaign with a respectable 5th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) and was the third nose on the line in his first start at Keeneland this year. He exits back-to-back facile Churchill wins and should make his presence felt throughout on Saturday.
Blue Grass (G1) show finisher King Congie
figures to attract plenty of support for trainer Tom Albertrani. He rallied to split the field when last seen in the Preakness (G1) and should enjoy a return to grass racing. He crossed the line first in all three turf tries but was disqualified in the Hallandale Beach at Gulfstream in February. John Velazquez rides the West Point Thoroughbreds colt. Street Game
is a talented NY-bred son of Street Cry exiting three straight romping turf tallies. He gets a distance test today and might prefer yielding ground.
Graham Motion will be represented by Crimson China
. Team Valor's stretch running colt had his Kentucky Derby (G1) hopes dashed after finishing 5th in the Blue Grass (G1) but he is 2-for-2 on turf and should arrive on the scene late under Leparoux. Air Support
was soundly defeated by Street Game and Banned in his last pair for Shug McGaughey. The 2-time graded turf winner should find his best stride late under Alex Solis.
Callingahardten, Newsdad, Casino Host, Lone Star Derby hero Thirtyfirststreet, The Waco Kid, Jefferson Cup runner-up Benergy, and Tampa Bay Derby winner Watch Me Go complete the lineup.
The $600,000 Virginia Derby is the 8th race at Colonial Downs on July 16th and they are scheduled to leave the gate at 8:05 p.m. Eastern.