07/15/2005 11:00PM

English Channel takes second step to bonus

Brendan Benson/Coady Photography
English Channel and John Velazquez draw off in the stretch of the Virginia Derby.

English Channel is halfway to $5 million.

English Channel pulled away to a 3 1/4-length victory in the Grade 3, $750,000 at Colonial Downs on Saturday. English Channel ($4.20), who extended his winning streak to four, has now won the first two legs of the $5 million Jacobs Investments Grand Slam of Grass.

He can earn $5 million in purse and bonus money if he can also win the Grade 1, $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 13 and the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 29. English Channel took the first leg of the Grand Slam, the Colonial Turf Cup, on June 25.

In the 1 1/4-mile Virginia Derby, English Channel and jockey John Velazquez sat second behind Chattahoochee War. Turning for home, Velazquez roused English Channel, and the chestnut colt, trained by Todd Pletcher, responded.

"After we had some rain today, I was positive I didn't want to be behind everybody," Velazquez said. "I knew there was one horse with speed. I gave my horse a little slap out of the gate.

"When I asked him, he responded right away."

English Channel ran the 1 1/4 miles over the yielding course in 2:02.17.

Chattahoochee War held for second, with Rebel Rebel third, to give trainer Bobby Frankel a two-three finish in the race.

A lightning storm hit the track before the eighth race, the All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes. The infield tote board was turned off as a precaution and the course condition, firm to that point, was downgraded.

The Virginia Derby topped the second annual Virginia Million Day, biggest day of the Colonial Downs season.

* My Typhoon ($7.80) held off Masseuse by a neck to win the $200,000 Virginia Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on the turf.

Jerry Bailey was aboard for trainer Bill Mott. My Typhoon ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.63.

Bailey had the filly ideally positioned throughout. They were third in the early stages as Snug Harbor set the pace with Flashy Three stalking the leader. My Typhoon launched a three-wide bid on the turn and took charge at the top of the lane. She repelled a strong stretch challenge to her inside from Masseuse. Rich in Spirit, the 7-5 favorite, was third.

My Typhoon improved her record to 3 wins in 5 starts, all on the grass. She started this season with a victory in the Hilltop Breeders' Cup Stakes at Pimlico and was third in the Grade 3 Sands Point at Belmont Park in her prior start.

* Stupendous Miss ($5.20) lived up to her name in winning the Grade 3, $200,000 All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes for fillies and mares on the grass.

She opened up a huge advantage, leading by seven lengths at one point. Stupendous Miss, ridden by Gary Stevens for trainer Wally Dollase, yielded the lead at the quarter pole before rallying back for a one-length win. She ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.10

Humoristic was second with Dynamia third.