#4 Chaps (9-2) tries a route distance for the first time off a close third-place finish over 5 furlongs at Churchill last month. 5-year-old has won one of seven starts on grass and trainer Kenneally wins with 21% of his runners going from a sprint to a route. Gelding can be forwardly placed throughout with Lanerie remaining aboard.
Trainer Motion wins with 20% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days and saddles #2 Nakamura (8-1), who has not raced since closing to finish fifth in the Red Smith (G3) at Aqueduct in November. Son of Animal Kingdom finished second over the course and distance in the Sycamore (G3) last fall and has been working well for Motion, who has won with 18% of his runners since the beginning of this year. Gelding can be running late under Velazquez, who has won with 40% of his rides for the barn in the past two months.
Maidens on grass include #12 Petrus (5-1), who closed to finish fourth at this level over the course and distance in his debut last month. Trainer Dickinson won with four of his last 12 second-time starters and son of More Than Ready is out of Cellars Shiraz, who won the Herecomesthebride (G3) and who is the dam of Long Island (G3) winner Inimitable Romanee. Chestnut has worked well since his first outing and can be along from off the pace with Jose Ortiz taking the mount.
#2 Moana’s Tale (4-1) gave way to finish unplaced in the Sweetest Chant (G3) in her latest at Gulfstream in early February. Daughter of Bayern broke her maiden by seven lengths two back for trainer Gargan, who wins with 26% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days. Filly can be forwardly placed early and tough at this level with Carmouche up.
Tim Hamm wins with 15% of his first-time starters and sends out newcomer #3 Imperial King (12-1), who has a good win-early pedigree, being by Gemologist and out of a mare by Macho Uno. Gelding’s works include a solid 5-furlong move in 1:01 3/5 at Tampa last month for Hamm, who won with two of his first eight runners at this meet. Gray appears ready for a good first outing with Lebron in the irons.
#1 Heavenly Curlin (8-1) has not been seen since finishing a well-beaten third over one mile at Aqueduct in mid-February. Daughter of Curlin cost $625K as a yearling and has been working well for trainer Casse, who wins with 16% of his runners that have not raced for 90+ days. Filly can be near the front early and the one to beat if taking to this artificial surface.
#7 Indian Secret (5-1) debuts here for trainer Barton, who wins with 18% of his first-time starters. Filly has a good win-early pedigree and has been working forwardly for Barton, who has won with 13% of his runners this year. Dark bay can win at first asking with Laviolette in the saddle.