NEW KENT, VA.— Mark Grier’s Eons, who won both of his MATCH Series starts, rallied well for fourth in the 1 1/8-mile $150,000 Buckland and now leads the division with 23 points after three starts. Should he compete at Parx in October, he would earn 5 bonus points on top of points for finish position and could be in contention for the overall title.
The Buckland also had an international flavor as the winner, HPG Thoroughbreds’ King Vega, was making his fifth U.S. start after beginning his career in Great Britain. Trained by Graham Motion and ridden by Angel Suarez, King Vega, who normally comes from off the pace, found himself on the lead soon after the start and coasted home by 1 1/2 lengths over Militarist, with English Tavern another 1 1/2 lengths back in third.
“It was not the plan at all to be on the lead at all,” said Suarez, who is based at Delaware Park but often rides at other Mid-Atlantic racetracks. “I’d like to thank the owners and Graham Motion for letting me ride. The idea was to be fairly close and then catch up, but Plan B worked out pretty good.”
English Tavern picked up 5 points and his total of 12 points puts him in second in the division, but he needs to start at Parx in October to be eligible for bonus money. Beacon Hill, fifth in a dead heat in the Buckland, now has 10 points and is eligible for bonus money.
The nine-race card at Colonial Downs generated total pari-mutuel handle of $3.94 million, one of the highest of the 2022 meet.
Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Press Release
Main photo: King Vega coasts to victory in the Buckland Stakes (Coady Photography)