Necker Island, with Mitchell Murrill in the irons, fought valiantly to rally from seventh early to what appeared to be a record-setting victory in the $150,000 Chesapeake Stakes Aug. 16 at Colonial Downs. But instead of a dramatic victory by a neck, Necker Island was disqualified for drifting in, causing a competitor to steady.
The disqualification made a winner of 16-1 shot Jalen Journey, who won his second consecutive race. He took an allowance optional claimer last month at Colonial.
Necker Island, a son of Hard Spun, went five wide at the eighth pole before continuously drifting in and bumping Factor It In, who had to steady sharply near the sixteenth pole. Following several objections and an inquiry, Necker Island was denied what would have been his second straight victory and placed third.
Jalen Journey, a bay ridgling owned by Built Right Stables and trained by Lynn Cash, won in 1:07.72 in a race with fractions of :22.00, :43.98, and :55.58 on a fast track. A $2 bet won $35.20.
Factor It In was moved up to second, and Just Might came in fourth.
In other action, King Vega led the field almost from the start in the $150,000 Buckland Stakes, holding off Militarist for a 1 1/2-length win on turf. The 1 1/8-mile Buckland, which ran prior to the Chesapeake, also produced a record time. King Vega stopped the clock in 1:48.05 after fractions of :23.75, :48.82, 1:12.42, and 1:35.86.
Owned by HPG Thoroughbreds and trained by Graham Motion, King Vega, ridden by Angel Suarez, paid $9.40. The son of Lope De Vega-Moi Meme was bred by Fortescue Bloodstock.
Meanwhile, Didia made it two wins in as many tries this year— both at Colonial Downs—holding off Alms by a neck in the $150,000 Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Old Nelson Stakes at a mile for fillies and mares 3 and up on the turf.
She started—and remained—near the middle of the field of 12 before she and jockey Vincent Cheminaud found a late spark. Moving from eighth, 5 1/4 lengths off the pace, Didia surged to lead by a head over Cheermeister as they entered the stretch. She held off Alms by a neck.
Didia, out of Delambre (BRZ), by Rainbow Corner (GB), was timed in 1:41.83. The fractions were :23.32, :47.65, 1:11.70, and 1:35.75. The favorite returned $8.
She was bred by La Manija and is trained by Ignacio Correas. She is owned by Merriebelle Stable.