Best bet: PLAY ME A MEMORY (8)
Best value: CANDY PROMISES (5)
FIRST: Hurricane Stella was given a month to recuperate after hard-fought placing in last; short price in short field. Bartoletta is firing bullets for debut for Shug McGaughey; follow the money. New Year’s Wish makes first start for Linda Rice; must be given serious look.
SECOND: Nutzforboltz packs potent late kick on best efforts and should offer playable price in weak field. High Moon capitalized on soft splits when a front-running winner on Fair Grounds grass last out; vulnerable favorite? River Knight’s speed gives him a puncher’s chance; don’t ignore.
THIRD: Wildcat Belle holds on edge on pace and final figures; prohibitive price is the problem. Loose has worked twice since “geared down” score March 4; very dangerous. Daring Prospect is speedy and gets class relief; must consider.
FOURTH: Goodnight Moon is rested and should possess enhanced late wallop at 6 furlongs. Kapalua Starlight looms the main speed in first grass start; could easily take this. Blissful Breeze makes turf debut for Mark Casse after finishing third in last two starts; right in the thick of this.
FIFTH: Candy Promises tallied swift final fraction when a hard-charging winner at a mile last time; late kick is the key in probable pace dynamics. Heaven’s Runway owns fast figures and makes first start since claimed by David Jacobson; big-time player. Alright Alright is fleet-footed and could prove very tough on an unchallenged lead.
SIXTH: Presumptuous owns stalker’s style and notched crisp half-mile workout April 3; set for career best. Takechargedelilah has trained sharply since besting a next-out winner by more than five lengths when second in debut; very dangerous. Free Kitty owns five seconds from nine starts; always a runner-up?
SEVENTH: My Lightnin Strike logged rapid late-pace figure when breaking maiden by nine lengths last out; more to come. Salty Smile, a visually impressive 11-length winner in last; has worked three times in the interim; very dangerous. Paranoia is fleet-footed and could play out as the speed of the speed with aggressive handling.
EIGHTH: Play Me a Memory logged endurance-building 5-furlong workout April 5 and projects as the controlling speed with top-notch front-end rider at the helm. Miss Aja Brown cuts back from routes and should pack amplified wallop at 6 furlongs; very playable. May Flowers also runs late and is training with a purpose for first start since October; right in the thick of this. Mominou was an eye-catching winner in first grass start but may have been aided by fast fractions; proceed with caution if price is short.
NINTH: Fielding Gold was pace and position compromised in last after fast-figured win two starts back; rebounds at a generous price. Dubb entry: Combat Controller is working sharply for first start since seven-week freshener for Rudy Rodriguez and mate Donji owns fast back numbers; potent pairing. Joy Drive logged crisp half-mile work since decisive win last time; must be factored into the mix. Karma Delight exits fast-figured efforts in last two starts; regresses at short ticket today? Bunyaan overcame tough trip to win last; price will be tempting.