2023 Private Terms Stakes Cheatsheet
By TwinSpires Editorial Team, Sponsored Content

By Vance Hanson (TwinSpires.com)

1. MARTY’S MAGIC (30-1) – Turned in a much improved effort in his debut on this circuit, far better than anything he had shown at his home base of New York; that was also at today’s distance, which is encouraging; the downside is that was in the slop, which he might have simply thrived in, and the main drawback is that he’s still a maiden after five starts; wouldn’t put it past him getting a small slice, but shocking them all would be a stretch.

2. FEELING WOOZY (8-1) – Has shown improved speed and form since adding blinkers in late January; the downside is that it appears there are enough other pace elements in the field to make things difficult for him, and the weakening third in the Miracle Wood S. last out suggests this distance might be stretching his limits even more.

3. CIRCLING THE DRAIN (6-1) – Triple Crown nom may have dropped both previous encounters against Feeling Woozy, but improved from both tries next out stretching out around two turns; indeed, he’s the only one in the field with a victory in a true two-turn race; the latter of those two being a two-length tally against entry-level allowance foes; probably wouldn’t need to improve much against the stakes veterans in the field to make his presence felt.

4. HOWGREATISNATE (4-1) – Unbeaten mark was snapped earlier this month in the Gotham (G3) after he dumped Acosta soon after the start; however, worth noting the colt continued to race riderless and actually was the second horse across the wire in a field of 14 (take that for what it’s worth); returns on short rest from what was virtually a complete race, but does offer some appeal based on his two-year-old form and two turns could be up his alley.

5. REGISTER (3-1) – Third time was the charm for this colt, who gutted his way to photo-finish maiden win over a mile at Aqueduct last out; although he earned a respectable 98 Brisnet Speed rating, he stretches out against winners this time over an unfamiliar track and will have other pace to deal with; potential underlay in this spot.

6. HAYES STRIKE (7-2) – One of only two Triple Crown nominees in the field (for what it’s worth), this McPeek trainee ran two solid races at Churchill Downs last fall, finishing a distant second over the slop in the Street Sense (G3) and then 1 1/4 lengths third to Instant Coffee in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2); although he didn’t make much noise in the Gun Runner S., nor in a stakes at Turfway in his first try over the synthetic, the form last fall still suggests he’s the probable class horse to beat in this spot.

7. RICCIO (15-1) – Hard to be enthused about his chances, given the results of his performance in open stakes so far; although his closest finish came in a two-turn event at Delaware in October, he was still nearly seven lengths adrift at the finish; probably needs a softer spot, but non-claiming options are hard to find for a three-year-old who passed his N1X condition very early in his career.

8. COFFEEWITHCHRIS (7-2) – Little wrong with his form here this winter with two open stakes wins in his last three starts, the latest being a stalk-and-pounce score in the one-mile Miracle Wood with Lasix added; was nice to see him more relaxed in the early stages of that heat, given his tendency to involve himself in early duels before, but a reversion to that style remains a concern as he tries two turns for the first time.