Top pick: #2 (Far Bridge) (7-2) - This 3-year-old has run just two races but has been impressive. Far Bridge won an allowance at 1 1/16-miles in March, waiting patiently for room around the final turn, darting through an opening, then showcasing a late burst of acceleration to win by 3 1/2 lengths. With bloodlines to English Channel and Kitten's Joy, two of the best U.S. turf horses of the last 10 years, Far Bridge looks like a Grade 1 up-and-comer.
2nd pick: #4 (Talk of the Nation) (10-1) - This horse just impressed at Tampa Bay Downs going 2-for-2 on turf. Talk of the Nation won the 1-mile Columbia Stakes and an Allowance at this 1 1/16-mile distance. For races at 1 1/16 length, the final quarter-mile tells a lot about how a horse is likely to perform. Talk of a Nation finished the final quarter-mile very strong in both races, including 22.5 in the Columbia Stakes. The 1:33.45 time wasn't far off from the course record of 1:33.23 set in 2021.
3rd pick: #11 (Carl Spackler) (3-1) - Carl Spackler had the misfortune to debut in January against Far Bridge, ultimately coming in second in a turf-route maiden race at Gulfstream. He had no trouble winning the next race, showing positional pace along with a lightening-quick final quarter-mile in 22.60 seconds. Jockey Jose Ortiz will be atop for the third straight time, so this horse should be in the running.