Best Bet: VERGER (7)
Best Value: SEA RAVEN (8)
FIRST: Marriage Fever gets class relief and returns to dirt; timid call in weak opener. Best Play also drops and owns fast back figures. Beautyinthepulpit is fresh and more than good enough on “A” game. Fleet First makes third start of form cycle; price will be tempting.
SECOND: Laura’s Patriot returns to distance of only career win. Majestic Bloom will prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Tapa Liath owns a win and two thirds in three starts; logical.
THIRD: Grassady switches to dirt after speed and fade in turf debut; improvement predicted. Brooklyn Major looms the prime beneficiary if pace meltdown ensues. Samadi Sky failed when favored in debut last summer but has been gelded and has trained sharply; dangerous.
FOURTH: Ray’s The Bar bested a next-out winner when a game second in last; more to come. Gio’s Calling makes third start since five-month layoff; worth long look. Kasseopia is training with a purpose for first stateside turf start; must consider.
FIFTH: Howie’s Tiz was a clear-cut second in last and owns faster back numbers. Wild Freud makes second start after more than yearlong layoff; worth long look at long price. Guyana Cat owns solid numbers on best efforts.
SIXTH: New York’s Zip should pack intensified late kick with cutback to 6 furlongs. Stormin Stephen is speedy but is a repeated failure at short odds; you’ve been warned. A Chip and a Chair delivered his best effort on Belmont grass last summer; very interesting.
SEVENTH: Verger tallied improved late-pace figure when third at Gulfstream last out; more to give. Captain Moss owns speed, fast figs and fired half-mile bullet last week; short price is the problem. Tizacinch was a hard-charging winner at 9-1 last time; playable price once again.
EIGHTH: Sea Raven compiled eye-catching work tab for first start in eight weeks; primed and ready. Mister Monolo is riding a forward line on the numbers and owns swift back figures; dangerous. Conviction made sustained rally to break maiden last out at Monmouth; right in the thick of this.
NINTH: Bar of Gold tallied swift internal and final figs when a determined winner in last and hails from streaking John Kimmel barn. Wavell Avenue owns fast numbers, loves Belmont and hails from Chad Brown barn; can you say underlay? Pangburn could impact if fractions get fast and furious.
TENTH: Southern Union notched improved late-pace figure in last start and worked three times in the interim; more to come. Brett the Jet needed last and tallied swift number on Belmont sod last Halloween; very playable. The Undersheriff is speedy and drops; dangerous. Cuckoo’s Saloon regressed in last after ultra-game placing in prior; rebound potential.