Best bet: REGALIAN (6)
Best value: FOR POPS (4)
FIRST: Matinee Babe is fresh and projects as the main speed with aggressive ride. Ouro Verde was game second in last and a neck behind top selection on Nov. 22; very dangerous. You Promise wheels back in a hurry after improved fourth last week; price will be tempting.
SECOND: Shoot the Gap is riding a forward line on pace and final figures. Irst has been idle since August but owns fast numbers on best. Alpha Team took backward step in last after pairing up placings in prior two; must consider.
THIRD: Royal Inheritance could get the early jump in small but competitive field. Sounds Delicious has been on the bench since March but has won all three starts by more than 21 combined lengths; big-time player. Kelsocait could be ideally positioned in stalker’s seat if pace meltdown ensues.
FOURTH: For Pops chased swift splits when caught four wide on the turn last time; softer setup in this pace dynamic. Summer Bourbon tallied rapid numbers when a determined winner in last; very dangerous. Love That Jazz owns speed and fast figures; right in the thick of this.
FIFTH: Clairvoyant Lady gets confident price boost after sitting out “jail” time after claim; set for best. Daring Prospect was a six-length, front-end winner in last; razor-sharp and very dangerous. Wildcat Belle is rested and owns fast numbers on “A” efforts.
SIXTH: Regalian was over his head in the Jerome Stakes last time but owns fast late-pace figures on best; rebounds. Polar Outbreak ships in for capable Maryland barn after second to a much-the-best winner last time at Laurel. Factor This was fifth in the Jerome last time after clear-cut maiden win in prior; bounce-back threat.
SEVENTH: Decorator Jenn regressed in last after fast-figured efforts in prior two; wheeling back on five days’ rest seals the deal. Holiday Disguise owns field’s fastest figures but has been sidelined since last May; mixed message. Frost Wise is riding a two-race winning streak; right in the thick of this.
EIGHTH: Road to Perfection was pace and position compromised when a better-than-it-looks third in last; forward move predicted. For Honor is training sharply for first start since October; very dangerous. Special Risk raced wide against slow fractions when fifth last time but logged clear-cut wins in prior two outings; must consider. B Three was an improved second to a runaway winner last week; worth long look.