ZABAVA represents a barn in top form right now and the four-year-old can make amends for her narrow defeat at this track last month by beating Take Charge Tina and Niko’s Dream to the victory today.
Top Seed, Beau Luminarie and Brutus all merit respect in an open contest but the preference is for OVERDELIVER, who is unbeaten at this track and that includes his victory in a valuable race over a mile when last seen in January.
TEMPLE won a $150,000 stakes race at Aqueduct in November and his two subsequent placed efforts, at the same level, suggest that he could take plenty of stopping this afternoon. Others to consider are Largent and last year’s UAE Derby winner Plus Que Parfait.
DECORATED INVADER wasn’t beaten far in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf when last seen in November and would prove tough to stop if running to that level once more following a break. Vitalogy struck in Grade 3 company over C&D last time after an absence, while Summer To Remember is progressive and also merits plenty of respect.
NETWORK EFFECT wasn’t disgraced in Grade 1 company behind Maximum Security at Aqueduct in December and, now tackling calmer shores at this different track, is fancied to take some beating for the dynamic duo of Chad Brown and Javier Castellano. Chewing Gum is progressing nicely and could be a threat, while Olympic Village is another name to note.
RARE FORM wasn’t disgraced in Grade 2 company last time and, now at a more realistic level, is fancied to take some beating under the guidance of Gulfstream specialist Luis Saez. Identifier has been successful in three of his last six outings, while Sir Anthony makes some appeal back from a break.
Cheermeister made it back-to-back Grade 3 victories here last month and is right towards the top of the shortlist here, alongside Walk In Marrakesh, who has been denied by the narrowest of margins in her two outings on this side of the pond. However, it is hard to ignore the claims of ONYX, who finished 2019 by winning three in a row and can extend that winning run here.
JACKSON landed a Grade 3 over 6f last time and could follow up here stepping up to 7f. He looks the pick of the recent winners on show, with Todd Pletcher’s promising Last Judgment and Home Base others to note.
Jakarta arrives here in fine form and has to be considered along with Getmotherarose, who landed the Grade 3 Honey Fox Stakes here last month. However, this looks the perfect opportunity for Chad Brown’s multiple top-level winner NEWSPAPEROFRECORD to make a victorious return to the track and she could be tough to beat if anywhere near her best.
GENTLE RULER has won five of her last six starts and landed a Grade 3 event by nearly three lengths over a similar trip at Keeneland in October. Her fitness has to be taken on trust but she has won on the back of an absence before and is preferred to Mean Mary and Elizabeth Way.
TONALIST’S SHAPE stretched her unbeaten record to five when successful in a Grade 3 event over a mile here last month and she is difficult to oppose given her rapidly progressive profile. Spice Is Nice finished runner-up behind the selection last time on just her second start and rates the biggest danger ahead of Lake Avenue.
ZULU ALPHA has impressively notched a Grade 1/Grade 2 course double and could take some stopping in his bid to complete the hat-trick. Bemma’s Boy’s last couple of efforts at Grade 3 level have been encouraging and he is likely to give another good account, while Channel Cat is clearly much better than showing last time when he was bumped at the start
A chance is taken on EL TORMENTA, who is used to competing at the top level (winning in Grade 1 company two starts ago) and he has run well fresh in the past. There are plenty of potential dangers, however, including Sombeyay, Social Paranoia and English Bee.
TIZ THE LAW has won three of his four starts thus far (unlucky on the other occasion) and he could strike again. Ete Indien chased home the selection on his penultimate outing but bounced back with his own impressive victory last time. He can show up well, as can Independence Hall, a triple winner himself.