Race 1: #7 Sherifco drops down in class and switches back to dirt for first start since September 26. Earned solid TFUS Speed Figures of 75 and 80 in first two starts despite encountering trouble both times. #1 Indian Fighter was bet hard in debut almost a year ago at Gulfstream, but missed the break and was dusted by the talented Social Inclusion. In for a tag first time back, but is a clear danger. #6 Aleander lacks for early speed, which may be an issue in this race, but he did have trouble at the break last time before racing on through the stretch.
Race 2: Wide-open $10k claimer drew a full field and may ultimately come down to trips. We were interested in #3 Magma at a big price off the layoff when this race was originally carded for Thursday's cancelled program, and we still think she's a horse to use somewhere at long odds, but she did not fare well with the re-draw and must work something out from the rail. #2b R Girl She Gone just failed to last after surviving a contested pace in her NY debut, and she was game to get third last time after getting in a bit tight in the upper stretch. #8 Midnightinpositano has been ultra-consistent and makes first start for trainer in the midst of a strong run, but Gullo gets a rating of just 48 off the claim. #4 Rosie My Way has the best back form to get to, and she did stumble badly at the start before racing wide last time.
Race 3: #4 Miss Bellamy raced greenly after giving early chase to a blowout winner over a sloppy track in debut, and tired late while floating out very wide. Adds blinkers for her second start. #9 Moonlit Posse also tried to show speed behind that runaway winner on December 10th, but she didn't have enough of it and wound up outrun. Also adds blinkers for this, and can be a danger if her speed is better in this spot. #11 Culminating is the ML favorite and owns the top last TFUS Speed Figure in the field (55), but she is lacking for early speed and may need the pace to come back to her.
Race 4: #2 Prophet's Cat posted lone career win over this track last year, and he was very unlucky when stopped in traffic on the turn and losing all position before racing on for 3rd last time. #3 Grand Strand was running races earlier last year that lay over this field, and, in his defense, spent the majority of his time for Rudy Rodriguez racing over sloppy tracks. Goes first off the claim for Jacobson (100 rating) as the horse to beat. #1 Two Seventeen hasn't been the same since enduring pair of extended layoffs. Perhaps stretching back out in distance will allow him to show more.
Race 5: #5 March finished gamely to get up for 2nd despite racing away from that gold rail on Cigar Mile Day. Son of BC Classic winner Blame stretches out for trainer who gets perfect 100 rating with second-time starters. #2 Dontbetwithbruno took money for Pletcher in his debut, but was also against the track on that November 29th card, and he worked hard chasing the pace all the way before tiring. Expect better from him over a fair track. #9 Titanor may be meant for turf down the line, but he showed enough in earning 74 TFUS Speed Figure on debut, despite winding up on a wide chase, to expect better from him this time.
Race 6: Our Pace Projector indicates that a fast pace is on tap for this strong route for 3yo NY-bred fillies, and that will be a welcome sight for #6 Building Permit, who was badly compromised while rating widest and last in slow-paced East View Stakes most recently. She has been wired in both starts since running away from maidens in the mud, and may be quite a bit better than she appears in a fairly run race. #10 Hot City Girl sat closer, but was also outside and compromised by the slow-to-develop pace when holding off Building Permit for 2nd in the East View. Think she has at least as much ability as that rival, but has taken the worst of the draw on the outside. Trio of impressive debut winners, #2 North Eight Street, #4 Liberty Island and #9 Bourbonstateofmind, are all eligible to be at least this good, but are all speed types and all debuted over wet tracks.
Race 7: #3 State Flag was up off the claim (Race Rating of 95, vs. today's 88) and never involved behind a front-running, blow-out winner last time. Earned TFUS Speed Figures of 94 and 93 when switched to dirt at Finger Lakes recently, which would make him very tough in here. #8 Lucky Lotto took to dirt quite well when settling for 2nd best to the streaking Artemus Paperboy (now won 4 straight for Jacobson) after a perfect trip last time. Won't get 8/1 on him this time, but a similar effort makes him a big factor. #5 Lubango has made pressured paces before being overtaken in the stretch in each of his last two starts. They may have him to track down late once again.
Race 8: #4 Prairie Stone made a promising return from a layoff to post a new top figure (88) despite being forced to contest the pace all the way. #7 Saythreehailmary's outfinished Prairie Stone last time, but had the easier trip of the two, and has given the impression that she may prefer shorter distances. #3 Lady Gracenote drops after game run for 3rd vs. better last time. She's the horse to beat, but is another who seems to prefer shorter distances.
Race 9: #10 Read the Mirage drops all the way down looking for a win, and he is clearly fastest of this bunch coming in, with TFUS Speed Figures of 73 and 76 in last two starts and races that are much faster than that from earlier last year. Had little chance while giving three-wide chase to a drop-down, front-running winner last time. Best alternative seems to be #9 Heading to Boca, taking a drop of his own after encountering some traffic trouble in slow-paced race last time.