Best Bet: TAKE CHARGE AUBREY (10); Best Value: GUCCI FACTOR (8)
FIRST: Mertz looms the speed of the speed with aggressive ride. Abyssinian was a front-running second at 85 cents on the dollar in debut; logical, short-priced player. Ma Meatloaf was more than three lengths behind top selection in debut but could improve with race under belt.
SECOND: Blissful Breeze tallied solid late-pace figure when winning at this level last time; pairs up. Miss Jen owns speed and makes third start of form cycle; dangerous. Regal Dame also is quick from gate and was just a head behind top selection last out; right in the thick of this.
THIRD: Nutzforboltz took backward step in last after fast-figured placing in previous start; rebounds. Jupiter Rising logged only win on Belmont grass; very interesting. Phone Funky Munky has been on the bench since top-numbered win at Saratoga last summer; must consider.
FOURTH: Toohottoevenspeak was compromised by wide trip when a fast-closing second in last; rates close call. Major League gets price hike after clear-cut win in last; very dangerous. Holding Aces held off top selection by a head when winning on May 4; must be factored into the mix.
FIFTH: Grand Banks was a willing second in last and should have more to give in second start since November. My First Gal was a late-running third in lone start on Belmont turf and hails from potent sprint-to-route barn; very playable. Single Mission has been working sharply at Fair Hill training base; worth a look.
SIXTH: Lake Party logged three tight works since facing tougher last time out; call based on price potential. Anything Pazible was a determined maiden winner last time; dangerous. Daring Destiny is speedy and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead.
SEVENTH: Royal Asset is quick from the gate and projects as the swiftest of the swift with heads-up handling. Grand Sky has been idle since November but has shown a history of delivering big efforts off layoffs; very interesting. Banana Thief owns two wins on Belmont grass; must consider.
EIGHTH: Gucci Factor hails from potent layoff barn and owns a win, a second and a third in three starts at Belmont; call in contentious field. Calculated Risker tallied swift late-pace figure when a strong second in last; very playable. Horoscope was a fast-figured, front-end winner in last; dangerous.
NINTH: Brattata turns back to 7 furlongs and should pack amplified late kick in wide-open Soaring Softly Stakes. Mentality fired half-mile bullet since last start; improvement predicted. Strategic Dreams owns fast dirt numbers and is bred to handle switch to sod.
TENTH: Take Charge Aubrey was a tough-trip fourth in debut and has trained sharply in the interim; set for best. Reata’s Reward has finished second in both starts; continues trend? Trinni Ninja bounced in last start after fast-figured placing in previous race; rebound threat. Missbigtimes was well-bet when third in debut last summer and has worked swiftly for return; don’t ignore.