1- MIDNIGHT EMPRESS- Midnight Lute homebred filly comes up from her Parx home base to debut in this state bred filly 40k maiden claimer at six furlongs. Is a sibling to a couple of very mediocre state breds, who are competitive at lower levels on this circuit and while that obviously isn’t a ringing endorsement, this filly certainly isn’t facing any high caliber horses in here. Taylor has sent a few firsters to NY over the past several years who have run solid in their debuts and he has this one in a good spot to threaten at first asking.
A- 2- Apollonius, 4- Bustin Lulu
B- 5- Strange Fruit
12- HAPPY FARM (MTO)- This nine year old has retained his excellent career form and hasn’t lost a step since being claimed by Miceli in early September. Was a game winner going seven furlongs at this 2x optional claimer level in his latest and shortening back up today to his most preferred trip of six furlongs should only help his cause. With rain in the forecast for tonight and into Sunday, there’s a good chance that this race will come off the grass, allowing this gelding into the race. Should that end up being the case, he has handled off tracks and I see no reason why this old pro won’t run big once again.
A- 2- Saint Selby, 11- Sheriff Bianco (MTO)
B- 10- Nabokov (MTO)
4- LES BON TEMPS- Took back to back stakes restricted to 2 year old filly state breds to close out her 2022 season. In those two wins, she raced inside, before angling off the inside nearing the stretch on her way to victory. She then came off a two month freshening in February to make her first start for Rice in the Maddie May for 3 year old state bred fillies at one mile, where she sat close to the pace on the outside, before not having the needed kick to get by the eventual gate to wire winner in an okay 2nd place finish. Shortened back up to six furlongs for her second start of the year in the East View and got discouraged chasing outside of the very promising state bred filly, Maple Leaf Mel, before weakening to run 3rd. With a more inner draw today, she should be able to get back to the kind of trips that she won with late last year and she isn’t facing any tiger like she did in her latest. Can rebound with one of her better races in here.
A- 2- Little Linzee, 6- Midtown Lights
B- 9- Athena Beach