Three-year-olds are in the spotlight in today’s mile and a sixteenth Whirlaway on what could be a wet winter surface given Friday’s rains.

The race has attracted a field of seven, including an uncoupled stable entry from Todd Pletcher. The logical contenders are, from the rail out; Roman Emperor (7-2), Cave’s Valley (5-2) and Texas Wildcatter (9-2).

Roman Emperor finished third as the Count Fleet favorite, likely reacting to his lifetime best effort in his prior start. He simply was flat in that inner-track debut and some horses just need a run over this sometimes quirky ground. He finished determinedly while never a serious threat, but showed a glimpse of versatility. With a race over the track, the pole, and a race shape that seems to fit his style nicely, he’ll likely be very hard to beat. He has a bullet work following his Count Fleet third and Jeremy Rose takes the re-ride.

Cave’s Valley has been somewhat in and out from a performance figure perspective, but the good news is that today looks like in day. He won two starts going long at his Delaware base at 2 then finished unplaced in the Delta Jackpot to conclude his freshman year, earning a lifetime best pace figure. The son of Stephen Got Even will have little problem with the trip and he’s been working well for Mike Trombetta. Mario Pino ships in to take the call.

Texas Wildcatter is the longer and more interesting of the two Pletchers. His late-run style suits today’s conditions more than does the speedy style of his more accomplished mate, Spanky Fischbein. Most impressive winning a Philly Park allowance race by over 10 lengths, he worked a bullet five-eighths on the Belmont training track in preparation for his surface debut. Strong finishing Norberto Arroyo Jr. accepts the mount.

Logic is as logic does: Taking Roman Emperor to win at 5-2 or more, boxing him in the exacta with Cave’s Valley, and making a trifecta part-wheel of those two in the top slot, with all three runners second and third.

Running Totals: (169) 62-36-18. Total Dollar Return: $387.20 [win selections only]