Best bet: GLENNEVAN (5)
Best value: TO THE VICTOR (6)
FIRST: Starry Messenger adds blinkers after tough-trip seventh in last; forward move predicted in third start of form cycle. Primo Pentimento is speedy and will prove very tough on a soft lead. Two Down One to Go also is fleet-footed and must be factored into the mix.
SECOND: Risetotheocccasion gets positive price hike after determined win in last; onward and upward. Bond Vigilante is speedy and drops; short price is the problem. Draxhall Woods was just a nose behind top selection on Dec. 1; right in the thick of this.
THIRD: Persky’s Spirit adds blinkers and projects as the controlling front-runner in weak maiden field. Bahnahno runs late and looms the prime beneficiary if top selection wilts in the lane. Freckle de Freck goes turf to dirt and long to short; amplified kick predicted.
FOURTH: Diversify has won both starts by a combined 10 lengths; tight recent work tab seals the deal. Chilly Bon Bon was a fast-figured, front-running winner in last; very dangerous. Thirst for Glory is riding a forward line on the numbers and owns a win on the inner track; don’t ignore.
FIFTH: Glennevan gets class relief and favorable cutback to sprint; intensified wallop expected. Two Times Book fired half-mile bullet Nov. 27 and can prove a tough customer on an unchallenged lead; big-time player. Too Wild to Repent could be ideally positioned in the stalker’s seat; worth long look.
SIXTH: To the Victor was a clear-cut victor in last start and could pair up wins at generous ticket. Royal Saint drops and owns fast back figures; very dangerous. Marble Falls regressed in last after swift-numbered second in prior; rebound threat.
SEVENTH: Splendid Gold was a handy winner on main track on Dec. 3 and tallied career-best number on inner surface last winter; more to come. Uncle Southern delivers strong efforts with machine-like consistency; dangerous. Pretty Enuf is riding a five-race winning streak; must be considered.
EIGHTH: Hangry goes turf to dirt, makes second start since nine-month layoff and notched lifetime top on inner oval last winter. Red Hook Express closes in sprints and could be aided by additional ground. Foggy Mountain Cat is fleet-footed and could play out as the main speed. Schout Bay logged three tight works since last start; very interesting.