Kaz’s Beach (#1) is the horse to beat in this New York-bred allowance, but I’m starting to get a little tired of this guy. He’s had his chances to break through at this level twice in a row now and has simply hung in he late stages. He got a good trip on Jan. 23 and was third best, and then last time he appeared to have dead aim at victory passing the sixteenth pole but was passed from the outside by a longshot. He can win if he repeats any of those recent performances, but I don’t want to take a short price on him.
The TimeformUS Pace Projector is predicting a situation favoring horses on or near the lead, which could work to the advantage of Inside Info (#4). However, this gelding will have to prove that he’s regained his early speed after failing to attain a forward position when last seen in October. It’s a good sign that Linda Rice scratched out of a claiming race earlier in the week to run here instead.
Yet of those who figure to be forwardly placed I’m most interested in former Rice trainee NOT PHAR NOW (#2). This horse was offered up for a tag for the first time in his last start and unsurprisingly ran off the screen. While he wasn’t facing any serious competition, he earned a competitive 99 TimeformUS Speed Figure without being asked for his best. This gelding had previously shown some promise against maiden special weight foes, arguably running one of his best races on Dec. 20 when chasing wide against a rail bias. I think his prior connections may have been a little hasty dropping him in for a tag. Now he’s in the barn of Rob Atras, who is a strong 5 for 16 (31%, $2.31 ROI) first off the claim with last out winners in dirt sprints. I expect this horse to get an aggressive ride from Kendrick Carmouche and he might not look back.
Exacta Key Box: 2 with 1,4,5,7
Trifecta: 2 with 1,4 with 1,3,4,5,7