7th: ALW/N2L, 3+, 1m (P5, P3, DD)

Dessman the horse to beat and Wild Popit SCR’d last week for this spot. Tikhvan Slew ran some good races against real horses as a 3yo and may come back a serious 4yo..

Most Likely: #5 Dessman 5-2 WON ($4.80)
Next Best: #1 Wild Popit 4-1 4th
Best Value: #6 Tikhvan Slew 15-1 6th
Exotics Use: #9 Soaring Bird 9-2 8th

8th: Count Fleet (G3), 4+, 6f (P4, P3, DD)

Deep, compelling edition of this with ’17-’18 winner Whitmore seemingly positioned to bid for a 3rd after settling for the placement last year v. Mitole. Bobby’s Wicked One will try to run them off their feet, but there’s a host of presser types lined up, including 6/4-1-0 at Oaklawn Share the Upside. Hidden Scroll won his return race, but that was against 6 tomato cans and this pace will be far more testing. Sadler/Hronis invader Flagstaff adds Rosario and will keep in touch with the leaders for one of those inside-outside trips at which Joel excels. Hog Creek Hustle will run late. Mr. Jagermeister (3/1-2-0 at OP) has never topped the Beyer century mark (99 top), but a duplicate of his behind-the-speed Phoenix Gold Cup would play well at a big number. Really fun event..

Most Likely: #9 Whitmore 5-2 WON ($8.20)
Next Best: #2 Flagstaff 7-2 2nd
Best Value: #6 Mr. Jagermeister 15-1 9th
Exotics Use: #4 Bobby’s Wicked One 3-1 11th

9th: OC/N$Y, F&M-3+, 6f (P3, DD)

No shortage of pace-interested parties signed on here, which makes you wonder if Break Even can rebound from dismal 4yo debut (Spring Fever) when :45 half mile pace did her in. She ran best last year with Bridgmo, who is great on the front end with very light hands. Rosario is an interesting choice for her by Cox, as he too has a deft touch. Shanghai Tariff & Heavens Whisper are the other major players, but at 10-1, think you want Headland prominent in your mix with Hobby a stunning 5/6 at meet when tabbing Martin Garcia. Note too that ‘other’ Cox runner Meadow Dance is making 4yo debut here and while she’ll need to improve to win, she’s worked well for her seasonal bow..

Best Value: #4 Headland 10-1 3rd
Next Best: #6 Break Even 3-1 WON ($5.20)
Exotics Use: #1 Shanghai Tariff 5-2 4th
Super Add: #8 Heavens Whisper 6-1 5th

10th: Apple Blossom (G1), F&M-4+, 8.5f (DD)

Wowza.. An amazing assembly of 14 fillies and mares. As in the Count Fleet with Bobby’s Wicked One, question here is how readily Serengeti Empress can secure the lead without being hard used. Cookie Dough to her immediate inside figures to stretch her early and given Geroux’s new found aggressive style, returning Come Dancing may be forward as well. Drawn midfield, Street Band feels like the right filly at the right price (15-1, but expect lower), 3rd/layoff with a stalk and finish skill that can place her anywhere. Coming off a breakthrough G1 win in the Beholder, McCarthy’s Ce Ce (Espinoza) was highly compromised by the #14 draw. Go Google Yourself (B.J. Hernandez), herself in the #12, wants to find the same stalking position as Ce Ce, so it’s hard to see how Espinoza isn’t less than 3 wide into the turn unless he takes back to sit mid-pack with an eye on making more of one run. And she may be talented enough to do just that. Lady Apple’s Houston Ladies Classic effort puts her squarely in the picture on paper, but she’s another who has to work a trip out from a wide berth. Point of Honor got a tightener at GP for her 2nd start as a 4yo, but not sure how her deep closing style fits today. Baltas’ Horologist (15-1, and expect higher) has a behind the speed gear that could play well here and an effort back to her mid-summer NJ/PA form could impact this. Her one turn mile try at LRL in March was sneaky good. Ollie’s Candy is poised for a big try with another inside-out efforts. Just a spectacular race that is a welcome treat under the circumstances..

Best Value: #6 Street Band 15-1 4th
Next Best: #11 Serengeti Empress 4-1 11th
Exotics Use: #1 Ollie’s Candy 12-1 2nd
Super Add: #14 Ce Ce 7-2 WON ($9.80)

11th: CLM/$50k, 4+, 8.5f

Best Value: #5 Degrom 6-1 3rd
Next Best: #10 Matrooh 5-1 7th
Exotics Use: #2 Kurilov 7-2 4th
Super Add: #7 Spikes Shirl 15-1 11th

P5 Grid:

7: 1-5 (A), 6 (B), 9 (C)
8: 2-4-6-9 (A), 3-11 (B), 1-10 (C)
9: 1-4-6 (A), – (B), 5-8-9 (C)
10: 6-11 (A), 1-14 (B), 5-9 (C)
11: 5 (A), – (B), 2-10 (C)

Simple (A+B): 3x6x3x4x1 = 216 x .50 = $108
All A’s: 2x4x3x2x1 = 48 x .50 = $24

P4 Grid:

8: 2-4-6-9 (A), 3-11 (B), 1-10 (C)
9: 1-4-6 (A), – (B), 5-8-9 (C)
10: 6-11 (A), 1-14 (B), 5-9 (C)
11: 5-10 (A), – (B), 1-2-7 (C)

Simple (A+B): 6x3x4x2 = 144 x .50 = $72
All A’s: 4x3x2x2 = 48 x .50 = $24