Best Bet: DANEGELD (9); Best Value: TALE OF MIST (7)
FIRST: Desert Lights gets confident price hike after earning fast late-pace figure when second in last; more to come. Dark Money, another that exits game placing, looms a logical, short-priced contender. Sicilia Mike needed last and owns swift back numbers; don't ignore.
SECOND: Idaka was second to a runaway winner after poor start in last; call based on price potential. Afleeting Glance lost rider last time but packs potent kick on best; must consider. She's an Alpha has finished second in last four starts; runner-up again?
THIRD: Beta tallied improved internal numbers when a wide fifth last week; quick return is the clincher. Royal Suspect was second as the favorite in last; be no surprise. King of American could impact if pace meltdown ensues.
FOURTH: New York Banker drops and projects as the main speed; handicapping 101. Emma and I could be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall. Rosies Surprise is riding a forward line on the numbers; price will be tempting.
FIFTH: Wudda U Think Now logged rapid final fraction when a determined winner in last; pairs up. Yankee Division is fresh and owns fast numbers; big-time player. Danebury is fleet-footed and can prove very tough on a soft lead; right in the thick of this.
SIXTH: Purple Hearted adds blinkers after useful fifth in debut; forward move predicted. Reggae Music Man owns speed and has delivered strong efforts in both starts; could easily take this. Tough Workout, one of five newcomers in field, ships in from south Florida for Todd Pletcher; follow the money.
SEVENTH: Tale of Mist made sustained rally to win last; amplified kick with cutback to 6 furlongs. Shamrocked is speedy and gets class relief; potential underlay. Vicar's Legend also drops and packs strong late punch on "A" game; worth long look.
EIGHTH: T Loves a Fight made forward move on late-pace and final numbers last time; more to give. Secret Rules has finished second in last three starts; second best once again? Happy Farm was a front-running winner in last; very interesting. Celtic Chaos makes third start of form cycle; price will be tempting.
NINTH: Danegeld is training consistently and drops in first start since July; ready to roll. Dutchmen Forever was a late-running fifth in 14-horse field on New Year's Day; worth long look. Royal Kaz is quick from the gate and could prove very tough on a soft lead. Liquor displayed newfound speed in last; very interesting.