From inside to outside, the principal contenders are Tamberino (4-1), Light Tactic (3-1) and Karakorum Starlet (2-1).
Tamberino certainly is sharp enough to pull off a minor upset as she goes for her third straight score. She won the filly division of the Stallion Stakes two starts back at 7/8s an underscored her preference for the winter surface [(5) 2-2-0] when she turned back successfully to win here 36 days ago. Her lifetime best came on this surface and, make no mistake, this is her best distance (7) 3-2-0, too. She has carried weight successfully in the past (122 here) and the connections of Tom Bush and Alan Garcia won’t hurt.
Light Tactic might be the public choice at post time. By definition the fastest filly on performance figures, she’s undefeated at the distance (2-2) and over the surface (1-1). She made a favorable visual impression winning the Personal Bid last out and trainer Rick Schosberg has been on a tear. Ramon Dominguez has a return call. The only negative in today’s resume is she’s picking up five pounds (123) this afternoon. Mate One Tough Belle is better than an empty stall.
Karakorum Starlet almost never runs a bad race and always earns a competitive figure. She was a game second in the Interborough Handicap on New Year’s Day while earning a new pace top. She is, however, coming back quickly and her early line odds are unattractive.
Taking Light Tactic to win at 2-1 or greater, and making exacta and trifecta key boxes first and second with Tamberino and Karakorum Starlet.
Running Totals: (160) 58-34-17. Total Dollar Return: $365.30 [win selections only]