Best Bet: VULCAN’S FORGE (3); Best Value: COMEONCOMEONCAT (7)
FIRST: Littlefirefighter is speedy, rested and training with a purpose; all systems go. A Dixie Twister owns fast figures and could be ideally positioned in the stalker’s seat. Anna Rae gets confident price hike after clear-cut win in last; very dangerous.
SECOND: Vip Nation was compromised by poor start in last but tallied improved late-pace figure when third in previous race; rebounds. Go Kelly Go owns two seconds and two thirds from four starts; likely underlay. Blue Eyes bested top selection by a head when second on Dec. 9; right in the thick of this.
THIRD: Vulcan’s Forge overcame soft flow when a hard-charging winner in last; more to give. Takaful is firing bullets for first start since stopping in BC Sprint last year; must respect. Green Gratto’s speed always gives him a puncher’s chance.
FOURTH: Shipsandgoods runs late and 7-furlong distance should play to strength. Port Arch was a game second after stumbling at the start in last; dangerous. Mr. Massena took backward step in last after logging four seconds in previous five starts; must consider.
FIFTH: Power Nap packs solid late kick in big field with ample speed. Big Guy Ian is fleet-footed and needed last; be no surprise. Blaze’n Prospector owns fast numbers and drops to lifetime low for David Jacobson; dangerous if all is well.
SIXTH: Jack Straight ships in for capable barn after fast-figured, front-end maiden score at Penn National; ready for prime time. Monteleone is fleet-footed and training sharply; very dangerous. Wegotoldyougotsold drew off to swift-numbered maiden victory in first start on Big A loam; right in the thick of this.
SEVENTH: Comeoncomeoncat outworked 106 rivals in Jan. 20 half-mile drill after speed and fade in debut; duly tightened. Belleville Spring has finished second in all three starts; prefers minor spoils? Collective Effort, three seconds and four thirds in seven starts, is another that has failed to close the deal; you’ve been warned.
EIGHTH: Playinwiththebigboys steps up to the big time after compiling solid slate at Finger Lakes; rates close call. Cotton Candy Cutie is speedy and training swiftly for Rudy Rodriguez; big-time threat. North End has been idle since May but owns field’s fastest final number; mixed message.
NINTH: Nyromaniac is riding a forward line on the numbers and lands in weak nightcap. Velvet Trinni owns speed but lacks heart; must take the good with the bad. Missimpazi was third when favored in key race last out; dangerous. Status Asthmaticus is lightly raced and quick from the gate; ample room for improvement.