How to bet the 2023 Winning Colors Stakes

May 28th, 2023

A field of six fillies and mares will travel six furlongs on the Churchill Downs dirt in Monday’s $225,000 Winning Colors S. (G3). Champion #5 Echo Zulu will make her 2023 debut in this spot for conditioner Steve Asmussen, and while the filly might not be fully cranked up for her four-year-old bow, I still have a hard time going against the classy lass.

The three-time Grade 1 heroine has never run a bad race in her lifetime and has proven to be capable of firing fresh off the layoff in the past as well. A fine runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at Keeneland in her sophomore finale, the daughter of Gun Runner dominated the Dogwood S. (G3) the last time she raced beneath the Twin Spires, and she holds a big class edge on her foes in this affair.

Echo Zulu has excellent gate presence but doesn’t need the lead to succeed, and she has been working well enough in preparation for Monday. Florent Geroux will be in the silks atop the leading selection, who will be very popular at the windows.

I will use two contenders under the favorite for my wagers, including the Dale Romans-trained #6 Fire on Time. The former claimer was a dominant allowance heroine on the surface in her latest assignment to up her local line to 5-4-0-1, and the course specialist should benefit from being assigned a post directly on the outside of the horse to beat as well. The dark bay daughter of Not This Time will have Martin Garcia in the stirrups.

Bill Morey’s #3 Marissa’s Lady will make her first appearance since the summer and is a logical top-three player in the heat. By Violence, the gray is a four-time stakes winner who has performed well in each of her races on the course and has been firing bullets in her morning moves in advance of her return. The four-year-old has good early foot but can run well from off the pace and I expect her to sit just off of a swift tempo to the top of the lane on Monday. Regular pilot Rafael Bejarano will be in the silks atop the filly.

Winning Colors Wagers