07/01/2011 3:42PM

Colonial: Immortal Eyes's stamina will be tested in Chesapeake


Six furlongs is the national standard when it comes to Thoroughbred sprint racing. But the distance may be slightly farther than Immortal Eyes, the morning-line favorite in the $50,000 Chesapeake Stakes on Sunday at Colonial Downs, would prefer to run.

In 10 dirt races shorter than five furlongs, Immortal Eyes has compiled an excellent 5-3-1 record, but he has gone just 2 for 13 in six-furlong starts. His 2011 form presents a microcosm of that larger trend. Immortal Eyes is 3 for 3 in 4 1/2-furlong Charles Town sprints, two of them stakes, but lost his lone try over three-quarters of a mile. In his defense, that loss came by a mere neck to the thoroughly decent Ventana in the Grade 2 Maryland Sprint Handicap, and Immortal Eyes might win the Chesapeake on quality alone.

Nathan’s H Q figures to garner plenty of betting support himself, and may even challenge Immortal Eyes for favoritism. He finished almost six lengths behind Immortal Eyes in the Maryland Sprint Handicap but was done in that day by a terrible start. In his two previous races, Nathan’s H Q was second to Comedero and third behind Capt. Candyman Can and Regal Ransom, far stronger foes than he faces Sunday.

Rail-drawn Bonavento might be worth a look at a price. He finished fast for third last out at Charles Town in a sprint shorter than his best distance and has come back with a fast work at Bowie.