This is a very difficult handicapping puzzle, which is further complicated by the overall lack of pace. The Pace Projector is predicting a situation that favors horses on or near the lead, but identifying those potential pace players is no easy task. One horse that I believe may be more forwardly placed today is INSTA ERMA (#12).
This three-year-old filly is facing a field that is primarily composed of her elders, but I think she could be ready for the rise in class off the layoff. Bill Mott does fine with runners returning from breaks of this type (84 trainer rating), and Insta Erma has at least one race back at Gulfstream that suggests she can be competitive at this level. Her win on April 10 was a strong effort. Not only was she visually impressive striding out to the line, but she was pulling away from a decent, stakes-placed filly, Rontos Lily. The cutback to seven furlongs is a question mark, but Bill Mott has decent numbers with turf sprinters, and this filly gives the impression that she possesses the quickness to be successful at this elongated sprint distance.
I would use her with Lady Kreesa (#2), who will appreciate getting back to Belmont Park, Connie Nistel (#5), a wild card Chilean import that has done her best work sprinting on turf, Welcoming (#7), who may be the class of the field as she drops out of stakes company, and mid-Atlantic shipper Koala Queen (#8).
Exacta Key Box: 12 with 2,5,7,8