Best Bet: PALLADIAN BRIDGE (2)
Best Value: CARTHON (4)
FIRST: Have Another tallied much-improved number when a tough-trip fifth in last; timid call in race in which only two of the six have started. Shoe Loves Shoe is firing bullets for Maryland-based barn; could be the goods. Red Spark was an even fourth in debut and should move forward with experience.
SECOND: Palladian Bridge notched swift late-pace and final figures when winning last; pairs up. Sabrina Ballerina is speedy and will prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Sing for Beauty was a game second in last; right in the thick of this.
THIRD: Just Got Out was bested by two next-out winners when a late-running third in last; stretchout to mile plays to strength. Loyal Heart owns sprinter’s speed and could capitalize on uncontested lead. Flick of an Eye bounced in last after top-figured victory in previous start; rebound threat.
FOURTH: Carthon owns speed, adds blinkers and projects as the controlling front-runner. Can You Diggit owns stalker’s style and is working with a purpose for first start in 52 days; very dangerous. Promise the Sky is improving and starts from the rail; right in the thick of this.
FIFTH: A. P. Cino was a 9 3/4-length winner on Dec. 7 and gets confident price boost after sitting out “jail” time; more to give. Lynx also jumps in class after tallying 5 1/2-length score in first start for Rudy Rodriguez; very playable. Runs for Luck owns early zip and must be given a puncher’s chance in field that’s light on speed.
SIXTH: Degrom makes first start with maiden-claiming tag and first start since gelded; improvement predicted. Goldenmeyer displayed speed in debut and could prove very formidable if able to secure clear lead; worth long look. Mahalo John is fresh and owns field’s fastest final figures; right in the thick of this. He’s Cheeky lost rider in last; must consider Rodriguez-trained runner.
SEVENTH: Benevolence logged swift late-pace figure after rough start last time; primed for best in third start since September. Chico Grande is fresh and looms the speed of the speed with aggressive handling. Foreset also is quick from the gate but must avoid front-end duel with Chico Grande; must take the good with the bad.
EIGHTH: Spartiatis exits fast-figured fourth in last and fired 5-furlong bullet last week; more to give. Proven Commodity is fleet-footed and rested and could prove very tough if able to clear other front-runners. Bond Vigilante is riding a two-race winning streak; right in the thick of this. Ostrolenka owns fast back numbers; don’t ignore.
NINTH: Afleet Martini compiled four sharp workouts since determined victory on Dec. 3; keeps on giving. Jay’s Way tallied fast internal and final numbers when an ultra-game second in last; big-time threat. Kick Off was victimized by wide trip when nearly four lengths behind Jays Way on New Year’s Eve; could easily close the gap. Mister Monolo exits same last race as second and third selections and easily could move forward in second outing since four-month absence; very interesting.