Best bet: SHANNON'S GIRL (1)
Best value: MILLS (5)
FIRST: Shannon's Girl owns fast late-pace figures and should pack enhanced kick with cutback to 6 furlongs. Jasminesque bested top selection by more than a length when a strong second in last; very dangerous. Ghostly Beauty was a wide fourth in same last race as top two selections; right in the thick of this.
SECOND: Rucksack regressed in last after determined victory in prior; sitting on rebound. Absentee could be the prime beneficiary if pace meltdown ensues. Thesis exits game placings in last two and now makes first start since claimed by Jason Servis; could easily take this.
THIRD: Pins and Needles owns stalker's style and could be ideally positioned in field with ample speed. Appletini, one of the front-runners, could prove very tough if able to hold inside position. Nan's Plan was a clear-cut winner in lone dirt start; very interesting.
FOURTH: Apurate exits change-of-pace placing in last start; added ground plays to strength. Orsay makes turf debut for Chad Brown; isn't that enough? Speedy Vanessa is from a dam that has thrown three grass winners; don't ignore.
FIFTH: Mills wheels back in a hurry and returns to main track after non-stressful seventh this past Saturday; rates call based on price potential. Playthatfunnymusic makes first start for new barn after winning second straight just 12 days ago; big-time danger. Guns of Steel is speedy, drops and owns fast back figures; more than good enough if all is well.
SIXTH: North Dakota passed runners and improved on beaten lengths at every point of call last time; Friday's marathon trip should play to strength. Estill owns speed and could prove to be a very tough customer on a soft lead. Betterment was a determined second in last; right in the thick of this.
SEVENTH: Breaking Bread logged three tight works this month for first start for Eddie Barker barn; breakthrough effort predicted. New Year's Wish overcame poor start when a front-end winner in last; speedy and dangerous. My Roxy Girl took backward step in last after clear-cut win in prior; very playable on the bounce back.
EIGHTH: Rejected Again is fleet-footed, fresh and drops to lifetime low; call in weak nightcap. Victory Boulevard was second to a much-the-best winner in debut; very playable. Super Wicked Charm compiled tight work tab for first start for Steve Asmussen; could be the goods. My Sacred Place makes first start with maiden-claiming tag for Jason Servis; right in the thick of this.