07/27/2006 11:00PM

Experience on turf looks key


Online to Go owns the best Beyer Speed Figure and the widest margin of victory among the dozen lightly raced 2-year-olds who will race 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in Sunday's $60,000 Chenery Stakes at Colonial Downs.

But since Online to Go's 8 3/4-length romp and 69 Beyer came three months ago in a dirt sprint at Pimlico, savvy bettors may want to think long and hard about taking a short price. Online to Go, trained by Tim Salzman, is listed as the 9-5 favorite on the track's morning line off that debut win.

Salzman doesn't have a particularly strong record with 2-year-olds trying turf for the first time. In the last five years, he is 5 for 39 in that category and 4 for 25 with 2-year-olds making their first start on turf in sprints.

Among the four horses in the Chenery field who have won on grass, Hot Guy owns the best Beyer. Although he cruised to a 5 1/4-length win in a five-furlong maiden race after setting extremely quick fractions of 21.76 and 44.43 seconds, Hot Guy received a modest 58 Beyer for his performance.

That's just 2 points higher than off-the-pace runnner Native Ruler earned and 3 points above the figure earned by Glenwood Ace in mid-June. Since all three horses earned nearly identical Beyers, the value may lie with Native Ruler, who has the highest morning-line odds of the trio at 8-1.