07/27/2006 11:00PM

Turf experience may be key in juvenile sprint


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 also has a Tristar Arts as a separate entry. Tristar Arts was cross-entered in Saturday's Tyro Stakes on dirt at Monmouth Park.

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 runner 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.

Pedigree players looking for a live longshot might strongly consider Sporting Print, the distant runner-up to Hot Guy in his career debut.

Sporting Print is a full brother to the mare Art Fan, who has five wins and $322,979 in turf earnings, including a victory at Colonial in the 2004 Virginia Oaks. Sporting Sprint, from the barn of Hamilton Smith, is listed at 15-1.

Smith's record with 2-year-olds in turf sprints the past five years is 8 for 56 (14 percent), which is in line with his overall 2006 record of 18 percent wins.