The Virginia Derby Preview

Colonial Downs, Race 7, 8:12 pm ET
The G2 Virginia Derby, 3-year-olds, 1 and 1/4 Miles, Outer Turf
Check back before the race for changes or updates to our betting strategy
See free TimeformUS Past Performances for the Virginia Derby

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* UPDATE: (6:42 PM) The weather conditions at Colonial Downs will play a small factor in regard to our betting approach. The wet ground makes it absolutely necessary to include Draw Two in all exotics. Our key horse is Charming Kitten. He projects a perfect trip and is bred to handle both the distance and conditions better than his chief rivals. Our betting strategy will be to key him in the first and second slot in exotics, with the trio of Jack Milton, War Dancer, and Draw Two. *

The Virgina Derby brings together a promising group of three-year-old turf horses, but a cast that is relatively unproven at today’s 10-furlong distance.

Expected favorite Rydilluc comes here following a win in the $500,000 Penn Mile last time out. As noted before the Penn Mile, he projected a perfect trip, and the race unfolded exactly that way. Rydilluc moved sweetly just off of an easy pace set by the 100/1 longshot Yougotthatgoinforu. He inhaled the pacesetter when asked, but surprisingly was not able to separate from eventual second- and third-placed finishers Charming Kitten and Jack Milton in the stretch; in fact, those two gained a bit of ground.

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The pace scenario will be tougher for Rydilluc today, and staying the 10-furlong distance could prove a hurdle for this horse, as the female side of his pedigree is very sprinter-oriented.With the morning line favorite tossed, it is still a tough task trying to make a top selection among Charming Kitten, Jack Milton, and War Dancer. One can even make a strong case for Draw Two winning, if the ground is yielding. The prudent betting strategy is to focus on exotic wagers, boxing these contenders and tossing the favorite.
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