Best bet: THE GREAT JOHANNA (9)
Best value: ODE TO THE HUNT (7)
FIRST: Bogulator was a strong second in only start on Big A grass and logged four tight works for first start in eight weeks. Windjammer makes first start with maiden-claiming tag; dangerous. Cleo should be favorably positioned near the front in weak opener.
SECOND: Status Asthmaticus was a clear-cut maiden winner in last and is favorably posted in compact field. Simona should pack amplified kick with cutback to sprint; dangerous. Dreams Are Pazible is speedy and drops; right in the thick of this.
THIRD: Regalian is a forward line on the numbers and logged two half-mile works since last start. Fifty exits top-figured, front-end score last out; regresses at short ticket today? Monteleone is firing bullets for first start in 11 weeks; big-time player.
FOURTH: Tale of Mist moves to the grass after earning solid late-pace figures in last two starts; call based on price potential. Diplodocus owns fast turf numbers but has been idle since July and will offer short odds; mixed message. Jo’s Bold Cat notched only career win on Aqueduct sod; must consider.
FIFTH: Postulation could play out as the controlling speed for solid Maryland-based barn; strong work tab seals the deal. Wake Forest is a graded stakes winner on grass and hails from Chad Brown stable; likely underlay. Memories of Peter was given some R&R after clear-cut win on Big A turf on Dec. 2; worth long look.
SIXTH: Zonic earned fast late-pace figure at 6 furlongs last time and additional quarter-mile should play to strength. Analyze the Bill has trained with a purpose since failing to impact when favored in debut Feb. 9; forward move predicted. Take It to Scale makes debut for Chad Brown; any questions? Panic Attack was a useful fifth in debut; improvement expected.
SEVENTH: Ode to the Hunt moves to grass, makes peak start of form cycle and owns fast final fractions on turf on “A” efforts. Major Force has been on the bench since breaking maiden on turf at the Spa in July; dangerous if ready. Polar City is speedy and can prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Smarter was a determined winner on Gulfstream grass last month; don’t ignore.
EIGHTH: Toughest ’Ombre exits routes and should pack amplified late wallop at 6 furlongs; call in wide-open turf dash. Sandy’z Slew owns stalker’s style and fired half-mile bullet drill last week; very playable. Spectrolite is speedy and 1-for-1 on Big A grass; very interesting. Blackout has been sidelined since failing to beat a horse Nov. 29; rebounds today?
NINTH: The Great Johanna has trained swiftly since speed and fade in debut; drop into maiden claimer is the clincher. Gypsy Jo was a fast-figured second when favored Feb. 2 and is working sharply for return; logical, short-priced threat. My First Gal was an even fifth versus arguably tougher last time at Oaklawn; worth long look. Emblazoner debuts after outworking 82 rivals in half-mile drill this past Saturday; could be the goods.