09/15/2012 1:59PM

Fairmount Park: Color Me Blue back on dirt in Condellone Memorial

Oaklawn Park/Coady Photography
Color Me Blue will return to dirt in Tuesday's $50,000 Pete Condellone Memorial at Fairmount Park.

Tuesday’s card at Fairmount Park feels like the Breeders’ Cup of southern Illinois, with six $50,000 Illinois-bred stakes races at a track that typically hands out four-figure purses to low-level claimers.

The best of the sextet might well be the last stakes of the day, the Pete Condellone Memorial, for older horses at one mile and 70 yards. Eight horses were entered, and the top contenders – no surprise – are shipping down from Chicago. The Fairmount morning line lists Hope for Today as an 8-5 favorite, but he figures to be close to the same price as Color Me Blue.

Color Me Blue has won only once this year, winning the open $75,000 Essex Stakes, but had a strong Oaklawn meet, finishing third to Alternation and Tapizar in the Razorback Handicap. Color Me Blue probably prefers dirt to turf or Polytrack, his two surface options at Arlington Park this summer, and a good second-place finish Aug. 30 on Arlington’s main track should have Color Me Blue set for a competitive showing Tuesday.

Hope for Today, trained by Chris Block, has finished first or second in all five of his starts this year. A front-runner, he set the pace before fading to second in the $98,000 Prairie Meadows Handicap on July 28, his most recent race.

Luv Bandit shipped from Chicago and won the $52,000 Illinois Mile on July 28 at Fairmount by more than 12 lengths, but that 3-year-old restricted race lacked the depth of Tuesday’s spot, and Big Looie and Nagys Piggy Bank have better chances than Luv Bandit in the Condellone.

The Tex’s Zing, a six-furlong dash, will almost certainly come down to River Bear and Four Left Feet. River Bear was a disappointing fifth as the 4-5 favorite in the June  16 White Oak at Arlington, his most recent race, but has turned in recent blazing works at Fairmount, where he has won five of his seven starts. Four Left Feet missed by a narrow margin in the White Oak and won the rich Lightning Jet last fall at Hawthorne.

Kel’s Dreamer flopped last out at Arlington, but is a far better runner on Fairmount dirt, where she’s won four of seven starts. She looks as good as any of the fillies and mares in the six-furlong Lady Riss, in which the Bill Stiritz-owned entry of Foxie’s Sly One and Algonquin Posse is listed as the 6-5 choice.

Dundalk Dust, Seans Silverdancer, and Sweet Lemon Chello are the best horses in the Bungalow, a one mile and 70-yard race for fillies and mares. Dundalk Dust is the 6-5 morning-line favorite, but has yet to win in six starts this year. Seans Silverdancer won the $111,000 Peach of It Handicap at Hawthorne this past spring in her most recent dirt start, while Sweet Lemon Chello scored a sharp optional claiming win Aug. 31 at Hoosier.

The card’s first two stakes are for 2-year-olds. Six colts and geldings were entered in the opener, the six-furlong Troy Our Boy. There is little proven form here, and Lassell, an Illinois-bred Polytrack maiden winner at Arlington, may be favored.

The fillies in the All Sold Out look a little better. Fairmount-based Julmae won an Arlington maiden race Aug. 31 by more than six lengths and has worked quickly over the local surface. Chase the Weasel, Peligrosa, Fifth of April, and Three Cat Rules all look capable as well.