07/21/2012 8:41PM

Colonial: Volcat hangs on in Virginia Oaks

Coady Photography
Volcat, under Robby Albarado, scores by a half-length in the Virginia Oaks.

Volcat got a great trip under Robby Albarado before drawing clear and holding off a determined run from Filare L’Oro to win the Grade 3, $150,000 Virginia Oaks at Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va., on Saturday night.

Volcat had clear sailing throughout when relaxing just behind the longshot front-runner, Boastful Dancer, before zipping to the lead in the far turn of the 1 1/8-mile turf race. She opened a clear lead over Filare L’Oro in midstretch, but that rival fought back to make the final margin a half-length.

Owned by the Landaluce Educe Stables and trained by Ken McPeek, Volcat returned $5.80 as second choice in a field of seven 3-year-old fillies. A daughter of After Market, Volcat  finished in 1:52 18 over a yielding course. She was coming off a first-level allowance victory over the Churchill Downs turf.

“She’s found her niche going long on the grass,” said McPeek. “We’ll probably run her back next month in the Lake Placid,” a Grade 2 race at Saratoga.

“On the second turn I let her out just a notch, and she went on,” said Albarado.

Ski Holiday finished third, another 5 1/4 lengths behind Filare L’Oro, while Zultanite, the 11-10 favorite, was bottled up through the early going and had no mishap once turned loose by substitute jockey Horacio Karamanos. She finished fifth.

A travel delay for Ramon Dominguez and Alan Garcia led to them being replaced on their mounts in the Oaks, although they arrived in time to ride the next race, the Grade 2 Virginia Derby. Earlier in the day, both jockeys rode at Saratoga, then Delaware.

The Virginia Oaks and Derby highlighted a 14-race card that also included three $50,000 turf stakes. In those races:

Tippett (race 7): Zip Cash Back ($20.40), with Sarah Rook up for trainer Tevis McCauley, spurted away from her rivals after turning for home, then had just enough left to hold off a trio of pursuers, winning this 5 1/2-furlong race by a half-length over Somethingabouther. Jane’s Heir, the 4-5 favorite, faded to sixth.

Kitten’s Joy (race 6): Lentenor ($6.20), famous for being a full brother to Barbaro, notched his first stakes victory when getting a terrific ride from Sheldon Russell in narrowly defeating favored Action Andy in this 1 1/16-mile race. Leigh Delacour trains Lentenor for the Lael Stables.

Chenery (race 5): Rook also won this earlier race – the male counterpart to the Tippett – when I’m Boundtoscore ($14.80) drew off late after saving ground, winning by 2 1/4 lengths. Trained and co-owned by Troy Rankin, the winner captured his career debut at Keeneland in April.