Best Bet: BREAKIN THE FEVER (4); Best Value: HIGHWAY STAR (8)
FIRST: Overawe failed to handle wet tracks in last two starts; wake-up call on dry land. Born for a Storm has logged fast figures in last three starts; very dangerous. Just Afleet was compromised by poor start last time; don’t ignore.
SECOND: Dream Passage should pack intensified wallop with cutback to 6 furlongs. Louisiana Lady owns speed and makes peak start of form cycle; worth long look. Divine Cause gets Lasix after finishing second in both starts; logical player.
THIRD: Quezon owns stalker’s style and could get ideal setup in contentious field. Hot City Girl bested top selection by nearly two lengths when a front-running winner on Aug. 18; could easily take this. Court Dancer owns speed and must be given a puncher’s chance at a price.
FOURTH: Breakin the Fever is riding a two-race winning streak and projects as the main speed with aggressive ride; ready for prime time. Drama King is firing bullets for first start in 61 days; very playable. Weekend Hideaway notched half-mile bullet since third in fast-figured Vosburgh; dangerous.
FIFTH: Bree’s Got Heart delivered strong efforts in both starts and should offer generous ticket in wide-open field. Bonita Bianca was a visually impressive winner in debut; very dangerous. Tainted Angel, an uncoupled barn mate (Rudy Rodriguez) of top selection, logged four tight works since claimed; very interesting.
SIXTH: Kharafa overcame soft flow to win last; more to give. Tapitation notched swift late-pace figure when less than two lengths behind top selection last time; could easily close the gap. Macagone drops back in with NY-breds and is a front-end threat on best. King Kreesa is right in the thick of this on “A” game.
SEVENTH: Tellmeafookystory logged solid final fraction when breaking maiden last time; pairs up at a price. Gold for the King was a fast-figured win in Finger Lakes stake last time; very dangerous. Mission Command, another last-race winner, is training sharply for Rodriguez; big-time player.
EIGHTH: Highway Star tallied improved late-pace figure when winning last and should offer solid ticket in evenly-matched group. Bar of Gold packs solid late kick and added ground could play to strength. Wonder Gal won this race last year and could easily repeat; likely short price is the problem.
NINTH: Fourstar Crook has won six in a row and hails from Chad Brown barn; need more? Feeling Bossy is 2-for-3 on Belmont grass; price will be tempting. Invading Humor’s speed must be respected; not the worst place to land.
TENTH: Royal Posse is fresh and delivers strong efforts with machine-like consistency; call in contentious Empire Classic. Hit It Once More was overmatched in Pennsylvania Derby last time but returns to NY-bred ranks and is a big-time front-end threat on best efforts. Governor Malibu crushed five rivals in tune-up for this race last out; must be respected.
ELEVENTH: Lover’s Key was narrowly defeated by a next-out winner when a tough-trip third in last; more to come. Discreet Image has finished second in both starts; continues trend? Super Mama was two lengths behind top selection when fifth as the favorite on Sept. 22; short price once again. Mazmania has trained with a purpose since debut; improvement expected.