5- ARMY TIMES- Into Mischief homebred makes career debut for C. Brown in this Sp. Wt. going 6 1/2 furlongs. Been training along steadily here in NY and should be tough from the outside in this small field. 1- OCASEK- Is another making his first career start for C. Brown in here. This Candy Ride colt has been training primarily at Payson in Florida and is an obvious contender in a Sp. Wt. that might come up on the weak side. 2- SHREVEPORT- Comes back off a 9 1/2 month layoff for Mott and while this now 4 year old was okay in his first two career starts, I don’t necessarily trust him at a short price. That said, he did face a solid field in that second start and is another who is an obvious factor in here.
5- NEW YORK SUPREME- Just missed when 2nd in a 25k NW2L claimer going this 6 1/2 furlong distance three races back in January, before hovering outside and lacking a finishing kick when 4th going 7 furlongs for that same number in next start. Hesitated at the start, was then head strong to pull into outside contention and loom a threat at the five sixteenths, but had nothing left in the stretch when a tiring 3rd at this 16k NW2L level in latest. Appears to be a horse that does her best running when taken back off the pace a bit, but without much in the way of speed types in here, it will be interesting to see what tactics they’ll use today. Whatever the case, she likes this 6 1/2 furlong distance, she fits nicely with this field and she should be a strong contender in this spot. 6- JUST A NYQUIST- Drops down and cuts back from one mile, where she was soundly beaten against better in her latest two. Is placed where she belongs by a barn that has done well this winter and she’s the horse to beat in here. 4- HOLIDAY JAZZ- Was claimed by D’Alessandro off a dismal race as the favorite at this level, where she never made the early lead and faded after chasing wide. Does her best running when forward early and she might get her way with a favorable pace scenario today.
2- FOR PROFIT- Makes first career start for Clement going 1 1/8 miles in this state bred Sp. Wt. restricted to three year olds. This colts pedigree suggests that routing isn’t going to be an issue and he draws nicely toward the inside. Passes on the weaker one mile state bred Sp. Wt. in today’s finale to debut going two turns in this tougher race and while that race is open to 3’s & up, it appears to be a softer spot than this. Can run big at first asking for a barn that has laid low in NY this winter. 5- LUCKY LUCKY LUKE- Just kind of took a wide stroll going one mile and seventy over the synthetic at Gulfstream against open Sp. Wts. in first start 2/4. Was brought up here to face fellow state breds in a Sp. Wt. going one mile for his second career start, where he was slow to gather himself coming out of the chute, before being taken very wide down the backstretch and putting in a sustained wide run in a solid 3rd place finish 2/26. Will make his second start for Duggan today and stretches out to two turns for this. Any forward move off his latest makes him a danger. 6- ENGINEER EMPIRE- Made his debut in the same 2/26 race that LUCKY LUCKY LUKE came out of, where he raced in the first flight, came under urging to get into striking range, but didn’t have the finishing punch in the stretch in an okay 5th place finish. Should be fitter for his second start today and any expected improvement makes him a contender.
7- TRUCULENT- Has been the beaten favorite in his latest two going one turn miles when running for 10k two back and 16k in his latest. Drops back down to a 10k claimer for this two turn 1 1/8 miles event and this horse has done his best running when going two turns. Following four straight starts going one turn miles, this horse is going to appreciate getting back to the trip he likes most and anything near his best makes him very tough in here. 1- KUMAR- Hasn’t done much in his latest four outings. However, he was a solid 2nd, where he was awarded first purse money, in a 12.5 claimer when last going this two turn 1 1/8 miles here in January. Is the likely pace setter from the inside and he can factor from the bell. 2- MICROSCOPE- Drops back to a 10k claimer after a never involved last place finish for 16k going one mile in latest. Stretches back out to a trip where he just missed for 8k two back and he shouldn’t be ignored today.
2- RUN DEVIL- Was a game winner of a 25k NW2L claimer going 7 furlongs with blinkers added two back 2/19. Followed that up with a win in a starter allowance going one mile last week, where she tracked a longshot leader, before overpowering her in mid stretch en route to the victory 3/18. Is wheeled right back in this 1x optional claimer at one mile and although she was beaten by DANCING SOPHIA three races back, this mare was coming back at that one in the final furlong after being passed by her just outside the quarter pole. Is 2 for 2 with the blinkers on since then and Weaver looks to strike while the iron is hot with the quick run back today. Will have to take another step forward, but I think she can and that makes her a strong threat once again. 1A- DANCING SOPHIA- As mentioned, this filly got the best of the top pick in a 25k NW2L going this one mile trip in the slop 1/13 when she slipped inside of her on the turn to take command from the pace setter turning for home and then was able to hold off her re-rally. Returned in her next start to crush a starter allowance field again going this distance in her latest and this in form filly is the horse to beat. 4- SUSPENDED CAMPAIGN- Got put in tight between horses in the final sixteenth when finishing 3rd, but got elevated to 2nd, at this 1x optional claiming level going 1 1/8 miles two back 1/12. Lost contact with the field early and then finished mildly, though never factoring, at the same level going this one mile trip in follow up race 2/24. Didn’t like the lack of interest last time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she rebounds with a strong showing in here.
4- WINNING DRIVE- Rallied outside and looked like a sure winner in the final sixteenth, only to get sucker punched by the eventual winner, who snuck up the strong rail to nail him on the line in a tough beat nose defeat in a 10k claimer in latest. Was claimed by Kantarmaci out of that race and he’ll confidently move this horse up several classes to this 20k claimer even though he can run him anywhere now, as it’s been 30 days since that claim. Although this 7 year old hasn’t won in nearly two years, I like that Lezcano takes the ride today and this horse can run big in here. 3- FLAMINGO HAWK- Has been away for 4 months after being essentially eased in a 2x optional claimer going six furlongs here in November and is dropped to 20k for his return. Has a few races last summer at Saratoga that would likely dominate these should he run back to them and is an obvious strong threat if he’s anything close to the horse of then. 7- CAERUS- Is one of those inconsistent Persaud trainees that can run big on a given day. Drops from 32k to 20k here and if the pace is swift, this horse can put in a threatening late run.
2- BIG VENEZUELA- After back to back solid 2nd place finishes going seven furlongs at this starter allowance level, this gelding was stretched out to a one mile starter allowance in his latest 2/18. In that race, he set the pace before drifting turning for home, but would run on gamely through the stretch to narrowly miss the place spot behind a runaway winner. Shortens back up to six and a half furlongs here and with his inner draw, he can sit a nice trip in here. Should get back to one of his better races today and he’s dangerous for an underrated trainer. 1- WIN FOR GOLD- Was claimed away by Giangiulio from the Rice barn after a nice win in a 25k NW3L claimer at six furlongs in latest 2/20. Moves into a starter allowance for the new barn and while it isn’t easy improving a horse off of Rice, Giangiulio has had a very solid run this winter herself and this gelding should run another big race today. 6- MIDNIGHT WORKER- Made a run inside of BIG VENEZUELA at the head of the stretch in that one mile starter allowance on 2/18, but flattened out to finish 4th at a trip that is likely a bit too far for him. Came back to finish a respectable 3rd when shortened back up for a six furlong starter allowance in the mud in latest. Is going well right now and he’s not out of this by any means.
2- FANCY FELINE- Has been stuck in this state bred filly 1x allowance condition for over a year, but that includes a couple of 2nd’s behind some nice NY bred fillies when getting beat by, Funny How, in October and Granny’s Connection in latest. Had the blinkers removed for that latest race after wearing them for five consecutive starts and Bond will keep them off for today’s race. Has been inconsistent, but if she can show any slight improvement off her latest and with no Granny’s Connection to contend with in here, she can finally get through this condition. 7- SARATOGA GAZE- Is a private purchase coming off a five month break and will be trying the dirt for the first time today. While it is absolutely possible that this mares new trainer is just giving her a race before turf racing starts next month, Hennig has been going very well this winter and if she handles the dirt she’s going to be a factor in here. 5- ROYAL CURRENCY- Took eleven tries to finally break through the maiden condition in November. Has since run solid in her three tries in this state bred 1x allowance condition and she should be somewhere in the picture once again today.
1- MIRACLE MIKE- Put in a nice rail run to finish 2nd in a state bred Sp. Wt. behind a decent NY bred in first career start in the slop at Belmont in June. Was a no show when a well beaten 4th at odds on at the same level at Saratoga in second career start in July. Got to think it’s quite possible something happened physically to him in that race, as he was put away for six and a half months following that second start. Showed nothing in his return in a 6 furlong, 3 year old state bred Sp. Wt. in his return last month and will now stretch out to one mile while adding blinkers for this. Won’t be facing much in here and though he’ll be facing some older horses for the first time today, this appears to be a very soft spot. Tough to have confidence in anything in this race, but maybe the addition of blinkers will wake this colt up enough to get him somewhere in the neighborhood of that promising debut run. 3- REFUAH- Four year old gelding has never really run a bad one on dirt, but has been the beaten favorite in his last two at this level and distance. While those races did come over sloppy tracks, the argument can be made that he improved on those tracks and still lost. Not sure he wants to go this far, but he’s a strong contender nonetheless. 4- INDIAN MISCHIEF- Makes his career debut for Rice going one mile and if he has any ability he will obviously factor against this weak group. 2- FERRIS MULER- Hasn’t shown anything in his first two career starts in age restricted state bred Sp. Wts., but he actually took some sneaky money when going off at “only” 14-1 for these connections in his first career start. Is another who will be facing older rivals for the first time today and it wouldn’t shock me if he were to wake up to get a piece of this.