Colonial Downs opens it barns on Saturday with training scheduled to begin on June 6.
Racing fans will be deprived of a rematch between the top two finishers of the dramatic May 21 Preakness won by Afleet Alex. Trainer Robbie Bailes and owner Marshall Dowell have decided that runner-up Scrappy T will not run in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 11. "We talked it over and the mile and a half at Belmont is not the best place for him," said Bailes Friday evening. Scrappy T turned in a five-furlong work in :58 2/5 at Bowie Thursday. "He came out of the work super," the trainer said. "We decided that the Belmont is not for us. All we know now is that he'll be going to Colonial to train." Bailes and Dowell have been careful in selecting the right spots for Scrappy T., a gelding by Fit to Fight. In March, they passed on the Gotham (gr. III) in favor of the Wood Memorial (gr. I) because they thought the races were too close together. Scrappy T had enough graded stakes earnings to run in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) but ran in the Withers (gr. III) at Aqueduct instead, which he won. Three weeks later he was the runner up in the Preakness (gr. I) to Afleet Alex in a memorable Triple Crown race because the winner nearly went down when the leading Scrappy T veered into his path at the top of the Pimlico stretch. "He's going to give it his best if you put him in the water swimming," said Dowell on Thursday evening after Scrappy's work. "But you have to think about the management of his racing career when he is 5, 6 or 7." In his ten starts, Scrappy T has never finished out of the money while racing primarily in stakes races at Aqueduct. Scrappy T is nominated to the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup June 25 and the $750,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIIT) July 16 at Colonial Downs to kick off the inaugural $5 million Grand Slam of Grass.