Best Bet: CONGAREE DRIVE (3)
Best Value: MISS SWISHER (9)
FIRST: Morethanjusthello ships in from South Florida, returns to dirt and should be favorably positioned near the front in small field. Resilient One runs late in sprints and looms the prime beneficiary if fractions get fast and furious. Phocea was a clear-cut second behind a runaway winner in last; don’t ignore.
SECOND: Katie Ice is riding a two-race winning streak and should offer playable price in compact group. Awesome News was a front-running winner at this level in last; big-time danger. Champagne Ruby was second to Awesome News in first start since five-month layoff last time; right in the thick of this.
THIRD: Congaree Drive owns speed, drops and projects as the controlling front-runner on the fence with aggressive ride. Code Red is training with a purpose for return from three-month layoff for Mike Hushion; very interesting. Shesmyheartandsoul was a determined winner in last; razor-sharp and very dangerous.
FOURTH: Jeanne’s Speight compiled three tight works since shipping in from SoCal; drop into maiden claimer seals the deal. Forres Lily lost a head bob for all the money last time; dangerous. Bigkat and Camille is training with a purpose for first start since August; must be factored into the mix.
FIFTH: Risetotheoccasion was a tough-trip sixth versus pricier field last time; call based on price potential. Gambler’s Ghost is fleet-footed and will prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Skill Not Luck makes first start since claimed by David Jacobson; more than good enough on “A” effort.
SIXTH: Two Hot Betty was eliminated at the start after stumbling out of the gate last time; worth another chance at generous odds. Cosi Bella noticeably picked up tempo of morning drills in preparation for first start since September for Chad Brown; easily could take this. China Rider bested a next-out winner when a game second last out; must be considered.
SEVENTH: Imasuperstar engaged swift splits and paid the price last time; speed of the speed with stretch to route. Pax in Terra packs powerful late punch and will be in the garden spot if top selection hits the wall in the lane. Bellamy Way owns two wins and a second in three starts on inner track and fired 5-furlong bullet last week; right in the thick of this.
EIGHTH: Tribecca is speedy and projects as the swiftest of the swift in closely-matched field. Blue Belt logged solid final fraction when a front-running maiden winner in last; dangerous. Shiraz should pack amplified late kick with cutback to 6 furlongs.
NINTH: Miss Swisher was victimized by poor start in first outing since June last time; deserves another chance on surface of only win. Moneybrook owns speed and will prove very tough on a soft lead. Dean’s Ticket also is quick from the gate and owns fast final figures; right in the thick of this. Bahnahno could impact at fat ticket if pace meltdown ensues.