Any time that a card comes off the turf, it puts a damper on enthusiasm for the racing that day. That is especially true when it occurs at Colonial Downs as the vast majority of cards are scheduled for grass. However, this may present some opportunities to take advantage of situations when horses with turf form are bet for all the wrong reasons.
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- Race 1: 8-6-2-3
- Race 2: 6-7-4-2
- Race 3: 9-6-5-4
- Race 4: 1-5-9-3
- Race 5: 8-11-7-12
- Race 6: 5-8-4-9
- Race 7: 9-2-4-6
- Race 8: 3-10-4-8
- Race 9: 13-5-2-11
Colonial Downs Race 3: Gambling Czar (#9)
This claiming event has been washed off the turf and it may present an opportunity like I talked about in my intro. The shorter priced horses on the morning line like Reconvene (#4) and Boffo Kid (#5) might still take action based on their superior turf figures, but this is a whole new ball game now that the race is on the main track. Bruce Banner (#6) makes some sense as the majority of his 15 lifetime starts came on the dirt including his maiden win last fall. He’s logical and will be part of my play but I’m not sure if he really possesses the stamina for this nine furlong trip. I picked Gambling Czar (#9) hoping some may be deterred by the 30-1 morning line, when in reality that should have no bearing on your opinion of the race now that it’s switched surfaces. I view his effort two back in an off-the-turf event as good as any dirt form line in this field with the added benefit that it came over a route of ground.
Colonial Downs Race 7: Continentalcongres (#9)
While Bode’s Heritage (#4) and Sal’s Blue Jacket (#6) would have both been tough to oppose with my top pick on turf, the story changes completely now that this is on the main track. Sal’s Blue Jacket will be trying the dirt for the first time and while Bode’s Heritage did break her maiden on the dirt, she did so beating a weak field in a slower performance than any of her turf tries. Continentalcongres (#9) has proven to be almost if not equally as effective on the dirt during her career with seven of her nine lifetime in-the-money finishes coming over that surface. Included in that is her maiden score which came over a route of ground and she’s routinely posted figures on dirt similar to her turf numbers. I’m thinking one of the hopeless longshots will put enough pressure on Sal’s Blue Jacket and set it up for a sit and pounce type like my selection.
Colonial Downs Race 8: Stepper (#3)
This race became playable when the connections of Daisy Bee (#12) decided to leave her in on the dirt. This filly was purchased for $22k at the Fasig-Tipton Horses of Racing Age sale last month and she immediately drops in for a $16k tag. While that in and of itself isn’t the best sign, leaving her entered on the dirt when she has no discernible pedigree for the surface and has never raced over it screams that they are experiencing buyer’s remorse. Inside the Box (#10) makes a ton of sense as an alternative since she’s tallied both her career wins over the main track and has earned some decent speed figures in doing so. However, it’s fair to wonder if these connections are going to have this 7YO mare ready to fire off the bench, so I went to another runner as my top pick. Stepper (#3) doesn’t have much dirt pedigree and has only raced on dirt once, but she didn’t seem to have any issues handling it with a dominating win over an overmatched field. What I like about that race is that the figure came back to fit in the context of her turf races and that it came over a wet surface that she’s likely going to face today.
Colonial Downs Race 9: Money Taker (#13)
With the majority of the field deciding to stay in on the dirt, I’m hoping we can still get a decent price on my top pick who far and away has the best dirt running line in the field. Money Taker (#13) aired in her debut at Lone Star and while it was a low-level maiden claiming race, she won it the right way and did so earning a speed figure better than anything her counterparts have in their life over this surface. An added benefit is that she earned it in a two-turn mile signaling she’ll have the stamina to handle this trip. Horses like Andie One (#11) and Hope and Fear (#12) will likely take too much money based on their turf and synthetic efforts and I’m not willing to take a short number with such uncertaintly looming.
Top Pick: 81-17-18-11 (21%, $1.01); Featured Horses: 33-3-8-3 (11%, $0.48)