EAST LEX left his debut well behind when stepped to a route and switched to turf as he finished a good third last time out and there should be more to come. He gets the nod over Lascari, who can improve on an encouraging introduction, and the more experienced Turn Of Events.
GRAN CAUSEWAY had a few of these in arrears, including Luckytobeinamerica (third), when filling the runner-up berth in a similar C&D event last month and a repeat performance can see him go one better today. That said, King’s Castle has been in fine form in more valuable claimers at Indiana and is a big threat on his Gulfstream debut.
This looks a good opportunity for OR’EFFICE to gain a deserved success after a couple of very close seconds over this C&D, form which sets the standard in this contest. He can go one better, possibly at the main expense of Rag Tag and Newsworthy.
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Todd Pletcher always has to be feared around here and any market support for his newcomer She So Naughty would be interesting. Private Message has joined new connections on the back of two disappointing efforts and the booking of Luis Saez takes the eye but CHEZ PAREE has displayed promise on both starts and a reproduction of her latest fourth could suffice.
Finnegan is a fascinating contender on his return from nearly 18 months off the track for trainer Wesley Ward and any market support would be interesting. Valdocco has finished runner-up on his last two starts and could be ready to strike but FOLLOWHISFOOTSTEPS has won two of his last four and he looks well berthed to adopt his favoured positive tactics.
Fast Fionnuala scored by nearly four lengths when making a winning debut over this trip at Tampa last month and this will reveal more while Sweetheart Deal finished runner-up in a 100k event when last seen in August and the booking of Ortiz for this return is interesting. However, LORILOUPIES scored by seven lengths on just his second start last time and is marginally preferred.
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POSITIVE PHIL has been knocking hard on the door of late and deserves to win a claimer of this nature. Under top pilot Tyler Gaffalione, he can get the better of Conquistador and My G P S.
JUST FOR ONE DAY appeals as the unexposed quantity in the race who should have more to offer after his maiden success here last time. Overdeliver is holding his form well and Beau Luminarie is another interesting contender.
ENVOUTANTE is progressive and represents a powerful barn, so it could be worth siding with her on just her fourth start. Highland Glory will surely be thereabouts and Mimina’s Team is another to consider.
Royal Squeeze held off Garter And Tie to claim top honours 12 months ago and should put up a bold defence of his title. With Verve is improving nicely, while Sunshine Millions Classic principals Noble Drama and Red Crescent are respected, but maybe NETWORK EFFECT can take the necessary step forward from his comeback second.
ISLAND COMMISH has been freshened up since numbering Summer To Remember among his victims in the Kitten’s Joy Stakes at the beginning of the year. He can make it four in a row, but South Bend has also had the measure of Summer To Remember and is a lively threat. Proven Strategies, the returning Don Juan Kitten and unexposed Gufo also merit a mention.
Dance Till Dawn, Beach Dreaming and Paint The Corners were promoted to the podium positions, in that order, over C&D, but the former has since let the form down. Britesideoftheroad also has a last-start disappointment to atone for, so perhaps LITTLE CODE can make a successful start for her new barn.
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