07/02/2011 2:25PM

Colonial Downs: Bopolene looking for pace, better racing luck in Punchline Stakes


The Buckland Stakes nine days ago at Colonial Downs went all wrong for Bopolene. Steadied 3 1/2 furlongs from the finish, Bopolene had to check at the quarter pole. She still lost by only about two lengths to the very decent Supreme and has a chance to beat the boys dropping into Virginia-bred stakes competition in the $50,000 Punch Line on Monday at Colonial.

Bopolene was one of 11 horses – and the only female – entered in the Punch Line, carded for about five furlongs on the inner turf course. The 6-year-old mare has won 4 of 19 turf-sprint starts, and her last win came over the Colonial course in a Virginia-bred stakes last summer. Bopolene rallies late and needs both luck and pace help up front. She’s due for the former after her recent troubled journey and should have help in the latter area. There are front-running types drawn inside, middle, and out in the Punch Line, and – barring scratches – a quick pace seems assured.

Jake Rattle N Roll and That’sthequestion are two other stretch-runners who would benefit from a speed battle. Rail-drawn Giant Patriot has stuck close to the front-end in several of his starts, but looks like a horse who could be held up for one run. The 3-year-old has raced only four times while showing some talent and should have more room to improve than most of his foes.