Today’s feature is a rare nine furlong two-turner for colts, a preliminary allowances/optional claimer. Horses are beginning to filter up from warmer climes, such as favorite Cosmic (2-1). The competition seems to be Pluracity (7-2) and British Columbia (5-2).

The race shape seems to favor the Shug McGaughey-trained favorite. Pluracity is a much improved speedster since Allen Iwinski took over his training, a horsemen profitable with his allowance horses and repeater types. He should control the pace.

But Pluracity will be closely shadowed by British Columbia who has shown improved early speed since the addition of blinkers two starts back. The fact that he is drawn inside his main-speed rival and also hails from a live barn, Kiaran McLaughlin’s augurs well for his chances. But it appears that these rivals might soften themselves for the stretch challenge to come.

That challenge will come from Cosmic, a well bred three-year-old from the Grade 1 winning champion, Heavenly Prize. He showed improved speed himself in his Florida finale, racing close to a moderate pace, before unleashing a strong finish that earned the field’s best performance figure.

If he can afford the reaction likely to come from that lifetime best effort, he should handle this group on pedigree and match-ups alone.

Taking British Columbia to win, no price restrictions, and exacta key boxes with his main rivals here.

Running Totals: (193) 64-41-22. Total Dollar Return: $401.80 [win selections only]