Best Bet: AT GUARD (8)
Best Value: DITCH EM (4)
FIRST: Holy Gold was a clear-cut second to a much-the-best winner in debut. She’s Always Ready logged four tight works last month for first start; follow the money. Big Hay Alice should improve with addition of Lasix.
SECOND: Sakara gets class relief and owns fast late pace figures on best efforts. Hotinthehamptons owns speed and makes first start since gelded; dangerous. Inside Straight was second to a repeat winner in only grass start; right in the thick of this.
THIRD: Galardonado tallied swift late pace and final figures when a handy winner in last at Keeneland; more to give. Because I’m Happy returns to claiming ranks after chasing sizzling splits in last. Repole Stable entry: Rockford has won two in a row and mate Dad’z Laugh consistently delivers strong efforts; just one goes with Jose Ortiz listed on both.
FOURTH: Ditch Em moves to grass after strong placing behind repeat winner in last; transfers razor-sharp form. Spa Duchess is training with a purpose and makes first start with maiden-claiming tag. Ranger’s Express failed when favored in last but owns fast figures on best efforts.
FIFTH: Little Jerry drops after logging career-best pace figures in last; forward move predicted. Sioux fired 5-furlong bullet since fast-figured win in last; very dangerous. Mills was second to a repeat winner in last; very playable. Hereditary could impact if fractions get fast and furious.
SIXTH: Dream Doctor tallied solid final fractions in both lifetime starts; rates top call if able to escape AE list. Indian Soldier could prove very tough as the speed of the speed in big field. The Undersheriff also is fleet-footed and is training strongly for first start since Halloween; big-time player. Slapstick was a fast-figured second on Belmont grass last fall; right in the mix.
SEVENTH: Runaway Posse owns two wins and two seconds in five starts on Belmont sod and compiled solid work tab for first start since New Year’s Eve. Asset Inflation also loves Belmont grass (three wins, two seconds in six starts) and will prove very tough on an unchallenged lead. Dark Roast also is speedy and will offer generous price; worth long look. Dettifoss makes turf debut and could impact if pace meltdown ensues.
EIGHTH: At Guard has trained strongly since front-end score in last; controlling speed with aggressive ride. Conquest Harlequin notched swift final fraction when winning last at Keeneland; added furlong should play to strength. Taoiseach overcame rough start to win last; don’t dismiss.
NINTH: Frazil tallied rapid late pace figure in last on Big A dirt and is 1-for-1 on Belmont turf. The Imposter consistently logs fast turf numbers and has trained crisply since last start. Chelios has worked strongly since claimed after winning two in a row on inner track; confident class hike adds to appeal. Political Farce logged career best number on Belmont grass last spring; don’t ignore.