07/17/2010 2:08PM

Ravalo looks to end four-race skid at Colonial


Ravalo, a multiple stakes winner who manages to keep churning out Beyer Speed Figures in the mid to upper-90s at the age of 6, will seek to snap a four-race losing streak in Tuesday’s $50,000 Chesapeake Stakes for sprinters at Colonial Downs.

The six-furlong Chesapeake drew a field of 10 and goes as race 8 on a nine-race card that begins at 4 p.m. Eastern.

Based in Maryland with trainer Donald Barr, Ravalo has won 14 of 35 starts and $853,885, by far the best accomplishments in the Chesapeake field. He was good enough last fall to finish second, beaten only a half-length, in the Grade 1 De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park. This spring, Ravalo was a solid third, only a length behind the winner, in the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Handicap at Pimlico.

But despite posting Beyers of 96 and 97 in two of his last three starts, Ravalo’s only win in his last eight outings came in an allowance at Philadelphia Park in March.

A pair of Ravalo’s familiar rivals, Malibu Kid and Celtic Innis, will challenge him again in the Chesapeake.

Malibu Kid, third in the Grade 2 General George Handicap in 2009, finished 2 3/4 lengths behind Ravalo in the Maryland Sprint Handicap but was a head in front of him when they clashed in the Fire Plug at Laurel in January.

The 8-year-old Celtic Innis has been off since finishing last, 8 1/2 lengths behind Ravalo, in the Maryland Sprint Handicap. Last year, Celtic Innis was just two lengths behind Ravalo in that same stakes.

The intriguing newcomer is Written in Stone, who makes his first start for trainer Mike Pino following a $62,500 claim last month at Woodbine. Although 25 of his 29 lifetime starts have come on synthetic surfaces or turf, Written in Stone has not been worse than third in 3 of his 4 previous dirt races, including a series of sprints in which he posted Beyers of 93, 97, and 97 last winter at Fair Grounds.

The 4-year-old Wynn Wynn Deal shortens in distance following three routes at Delaware Park and Oaklawn. He was in front or within a head of the lead at the six-furlong call of all three of those races. His trainer, Tim Ritchey, is winning at a 24 percent clip with horses going from routes to sprints the past two seasons.