Race 1: Pick 5 kicks off with 2yo maiden fillies stretching out around two turns. #1 Midnight Citra will be a short price, and likely difficult to beat, from her inside post. She has run all of the fastest races on dirt (TFUS Speed Figures of 78-74-82, next highest dirt figure in the field is 65) and projects to be the clear speed. #4 Kayleigh's Road exits the same race as Midnight Citra, which was only her debut. She is eligible to improve quickly, and her dam was a route winner with a 103 TFUS Speed Figure top a few years ago. #6 Bonnet Plume has raced on through the stretch of both career starts so far while unable to have a real impact on the outcome either time. Gets lasix for the first time.
Race 2: #1 Kathy's Humor was a big price when 2nd best to her winning stablemate on debut here last month, but she ran well in her own right despite some traffic trouble in the stretch. Trainer has been hot since racing shifted to Aqueduct, and he has been getting strong performances from his 2yos recently. #8 Fenwick Hall was the favorite in Kathy's Humor's debut, and she was very game after contesting the pace throughout. Has drawn well on the outside once again. #3 Whodattcat was also in that November 8th race, and she took plenty of money before getting stuck in a wide trip for a trainer who isn't known for first-out success. First-time starters #4 Kacy Lauren, #5 Bourbonstateofmind and #6 Zippa Tequila are all eligible to be runners for top barns, but this is no easy spot.
Race 3: #6 Night Patrol had gotten good prior to hitting the sidelines last summer, and he made a positive impression when returned from that long layoff over a demanding 7-furlong distance at Churchill Downs. Is nicely drawn outside and may turn out to be a smart claim for these connections. #5 The Big Deluxe is a need-the-lead type, but he's tough when he gets things his way, and Pace Projector indicates that he can be in early control here. #1 Jeter has been a consistent presence in these races for several different trainers, and he has looked good in his last two races, including that last one when stuck on a wide chase off of a slow pace in allowance company.
Race 4: #1 Son of Dixie doesn't figure to have any issue with the stretch-out in distance, and he came away from his most recent race an unlucky loser after altering course around horses and winding up along a dead rail in the stretch to fall just short. #7 Grand Strand hasn't panned out after a somewhat promising start, but he was outside all the way on a track that was favoring the inside here 6 days ago and can do better. #6 Grandpa Len is impossible to take on top at 1-for-26 lifetime, but he will generally run a race that will put him in the mix, and his better form is on dirt.
Race 5: Pick 5 will close out with an almost universal single in #4 Big Lute. He has earned layover TFUS Speed Figures of 91 and 92 for his last two starts, and we are not trying to beat him. His uncoupled stablemate, #1 Artemus Paperboy, exits a winning effort and seems the second likeliest winner, which only makes Big Lute's position that much stronger. #3 Private Irving A rallied to long overdue win last month, but he has some early speed in his arsenal and is a prior winner on the inner dirt.
Race 6: Opening leg of the Late Pick 4 likely to have a much different look come post time, as a ban on shippers from Finger Lakes (there are 4 of them entered here) is going to prevent those horse from running. That being the case, we'll try #8 Man of Mystery, who never got involved in fast-paced race off the maiden win last time, but earned solid TFUS Speed Figures in his prior two starts and projects for a nice tracking trip in this race. #9 Thnxtomyuncle and #11 Groupthink are competitive on form, but are both tough to take on top at this point. #7 Imposing Figure steps up off of front-running maiden win and will benefit from the likely scratches, but he figures to take plenty of action and is going to have to run better than he did last time to win this. For a longshot to include, #1 Native Hero has run well enough to be competitive here and may have come out of no-show effort last time with an issue as he went to sidelines for 119 days following that race.
Race 7: #1A Huge Asset is likely to draw in as his entrymate will be unable to ship down from Finger Lakes, and he has the kind of early speed that can be dangerous in this field. Recent TFUS Speed Figures in the 80s make him strongly competitive in here. #2 Salisbury Knight is the ML favorite from a good post and he owns the top last-out speed figure in the field (90). We didn't like #10 Spider Roll last time, as he exited a perfect-trip win over a blank field in getting maiden win, but he may have been compromised while rating in a race dominated on the front end.
Race 8: Pace duel may be looming between speedy pair of #1 Bridgehampton and #4 Winning Image, who are the best alternatives to ML favorite #6 Willet in the $100k Garland of Roses. We are having a hard time trusting Willet based on her current form, though we acknowledge that she may be tough to hold off. Winning Image is 14-for-32 lifetime and exits 106 TFUS Speed Figure win in the slop at Parx, something to keep in mind considering the forecast around here. We have been waiting for Bridgehampton to step up and be competitive in tougher races since her blowout win back in May with a 103 figure. She has run only twice since, both times in tougher spots.
Race 9: #8 Worbothor makes second career start for a hot trainer while dropping from MSW to MCL (100 Trainer Rating for Steve Klesaris), cutting back from route to sprint (100 rating), and switching from turf to dirt (98 rating). Good enough for us in this field. #4 El Viejo Verde will need to find some stamina, but he has plenty of speed and gets a positive trainer change for this. #11 B. B.'s Remington bombed at a short price last time, but his race two back makes him the horse to beat, and that came over a sloppy track.