Best Bet: HAIKAL (6); Best Value: NEEDS NO ICE (1)
FIRST: Needs No Ice was pace compromised when second to a runaway winner last time; more to give. Big Expense owns three seconds in four starts at the Big A; big-time player. Got the Gist is speedy and drops to lifetime low; worth long look.
SECOND: Borsa Vento owns sprinter's speed and could play out as the quickest of the quick. It's All Relevant gets confident price hike after fast-figured win in last; very dangerous. No Distortion logged fast late-pace and final numbers when a clear-cut second in last; don't ignore.
THIRD: Sassy Agnes set hot splits when a front-running winner in last; main speed once again. Cartwheelin Lulu also is quick from gate but could be relegated to "chaser" in this pace dynamic. L. A. Page could be the prime beneficiary if front-end meltdown ensues.
FOURTH: Rouxhere is training swiftly and makes first start with maiden-claiming tag. Craigville Beach also gets class relief and should offer fat ticket. Bret's Legacy compiled tight work tab for first start since August; right in the thick of this.
FIFTH: New Year's Wish needed last and should capitalize on unchallenged lead. Parlapiano runs late and could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Forever Daisy was eliminated at the start last out; don't ignore.
SIXTH: Haikal notched rapid late-pace figure when a hard-charging second in debut; cutback to 6 furlongs intensifies kick. Mine the Coin gets Lasix and has drilled three times since front-running third in same race as top selection; dangerous. American Mandate was second at 90 cents on the dollar last time; fails at short odds again?
SEVENTH: Morning Breez is fleet-footed and could get the early jump in bulky field. Candid Desire owns fast figures and favorable stalker's style; very playable. Benevolence consistently delivers strong efforts; right in the thick of this.
EIGHTH: Have Another owns sit-and-pounce style and fired crisp, 5-furlong work for return from eight-week freshener. Royal Asset, another last-race winner, owns speed and fast figures; very dangerous. Bon Raison owns fast numbers on best efforts and will be aided by cutback to sprint; very interesting. Allured tallied swift final fraction when breaking maiden by more than three lengths last out; don't dismiss.
NINTH: For Pops logged tight work tab for first start since August; main speed with aggressive ride. Samadi Sky makes third start of form cycle and packs potent kick on "A" efforts. King Kranz wheels back in a hurry after even fourth just eight days ago; very interesting. Halloween Horror has finished second in last two starts; must be factored into the mix.