08/03/2005 11:00PM

Despite small purse, big names at Colonial


The purse for Saturday's Chesapeake Stakes at Colonial Downs is a modest $60,000. Yet the six-furlong sprint attracted the pacesetter in last fall's Breeders' Cup Sprint and an old-timer whose resume includes $1.4 million in earnings along with a Grade 1 stakes victory.

The front-running Abbondanza and deep closer Peeping Tom bring a touch of back class to the Chesapeake, one of only four dirt stakes on Colonial's schedule.

The 4-year-old Abbondanza enjoyed a good season in 2004, when he won four races, including a pair of $100,000 stakes at Pimlico and Philadelphia Park. He hasn't been able to handle the jump into graded stakes company, finishing far back three times, including in the 2004 BC Sprint and last month's Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder.

Peeping Tom, now 8, is four years removed from his glory days, when he won the Grade 1 Carter Handicap and Grade 2 General George. Last year, he recorded his 14th lifetime victory in the Grade 3 Donald LeVine Handicap at Philly Park.

In his lone start in 2005, Peeping Tom finished a strong second in a two-turn allowance at Charles Town. The winner of that race, Donald's Pride, came within 0.13 of a second of a 29-year-old track record for seven furlongs and returned to win a minor stakes last weekend at Charles Town.

Founding Chairman and High Blitz are two viable alternatives.

Founding Chairman has been first or second in his last five starts, and in three of those races posted triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures.

The Canadian shipper High Blitz comes off a career-best 105 Beyer for his runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Bold Venture Handicap at Woodbine. In his last visit to the United States, High Blitz won a $75,000 sprint stakes at Mountaineer.