Race 1: No one to trust in MCL route for NY-breds to kick off card. Perhaps #2 Norm the Giant can show more as he stretches out for an underrated trainer in start #2. Drops a bit while adding blinkers, and his debut race has already produced a pair of runners who have come back to run well, including runner-up Copernicus, who blew away maidens with ease on Thursday. #7 Wild Ham is the field's lone MSW dropper, which makes him of immediate interest. Had little to offer first time out, and his Breeding Rating of 67 for dirt routes fails to inspire confidence, but the class drop should help him some. Both #4 X Max (improved suddenly last time) and #5 Igotthediscoinme have speed and that can make them dangerous, assuming they can avoid each other early.
Race 2: Remarkable 10yo millionaire #7 Be Bullish is the horse to beat, as he has been seen back in good form recently. Pace Projector indicates that the runners on or near the early lead will have the best of it, which would be to his benefit, as it was in convincing win last time. Interested to see what we get from #2 Piquant, who rebounded to post a solid win two starts back. He was oddly ridden last time, and at one point appeared to be in the midst of being eased out of the race, before re-rallying through the stretch. Best race makes him a player in here. #5 Hurry Up Alan has run very well in both career dirt sprints, and he is dangerous off the Jacobson re-claim.
Race 3: Pace Projector indicates that a fast pace is coming for the $125k Rego Park. #5 Deficit Hawk impressed in debut win here a few weeks ago while tracking away from a fast pace (81 TFUS Speed Figure) and may be in position to capitalize once again. #1 Breakin the Fever was beaten to the lead by #2 Regal Minister when they ran 1-2 around the track on November 16, and they may be destined to hook up early in this spot. Regal Minister will appreciate the turn back he gets here.
Race 4: #1 Promise and Hope was a big price when finishing behind a couple of these last month, but considering the disastrous start he was off to in that race, we thought he did well to be as close as he was at the end. #8 Ekhlaas got the best of a fast duel in that same race before being overtaken by a pair of perfect-trip closers in the stretch, including #4 King Rontos. May be destined to hook up once again with the speedy #2 Jackson P shipping in, but he has drawn perfectly on the outside.
Race 5: #1 Second City ships across the country off the Jacobson claim (100 rating) after posting his first win in over two years last time. He's the kind of horse that the good claiming trainers do well with, in that he has the back form to get to, and Jacobson has consistently proven dangerous with the horses he brings in from out of town. #7 Springcourt has spent time in most of the top claiming barns on the circuit, and he has held good form for all of them. Drops back down, but he's at his best with some pace to close into, which, according to Pace Projector, could be a problem for him today. #5 Big Town projects for a better trip up close and goes first off the claim for dangerous owner/trainer combo.
Race 6: #9 Sea Raven goes off the layoff with a trainer change to Leah Gyarmati (100 rating first off trainer change, from a limited sample). Lightly raced, with handy speed to be up close in a race expected to favor that running style, and his three dirt routes from last year make him a player in here without further improvement. #7 Fleet First is dangerous second off the layoff with room to improve, as well. Needs to find early speed of some kind to avoid continuously being compromised by dynamics and trips. #8 Howaboutwe makes his second start back from a long layoff, as well. Can have another chance or two after running mostly in the wrong races as a 3yo.
Race 7: #2 Whispering has handled distance before, and she was pushed wide vs. a strong rail when unable to impact her last race. TFUS Speed Figures of 89 and 90 for her two starts prior to that make her a big player in here. #3 Checkupfromzneckup dominated maidens in the slop with an 88 two back, and she was also stuck outside against that gold rail on Cigar Mile day. Still came through with a strong effort, and is the horse to beat. #4 Majestic Marquet continues to go well out of town, where she can be kept around two turns. Needs some pace out in front, but she's a consistent and capable closer.
Race 8: #2 Wealth to Me figures to appreciate the distance more than most in this field, and he will appreciate dropping out of stakes company for this. Good effort running over the 21-for-32 lifetime Lucy's Bob Boy in the mud two back. #7 Percussion takes big class drop after coming up empty in the Queens County. That makes two disappointing efforts in a row since returning from a layoff, and places him in the position of having to prove that he still has it in this spot. Recent good run that #6 Classic Sense has been on seems to be more a matter of excellent placement than anything else, but he earned a new TFUS Speed Figure top of 96 last out, and he likes a wet track, which seems likely to be in play on Saturday.
Race 9: Like that #5 Dr Disco was freshened a bit off the re-claim, as he had been on a long run of races throughout 2014, but fact that he is entered back for $10k after being taken back for $20k is reason to tread lightly. #3 Won Great Classic may have simply gone off form, but he was chasing from the outside last time, a day when the rail was strong, and he has viable excuses for each of his two starts prior to that, as well. Best race puts him there, and he's too big of a price to ignore. #10 Mop Head couldn't gain on front-running Say Mr. Sandman last time and settled for 2nd best. Game in dueling down heavy favorite Big Lute two back with a 90 TFUS Speed Figure.