Not Phar Now (#1) will be the half of the Rob Atras entry that starts, and he was the one that I prefer over Montauk Daddy. Not Phar Now got the job done first of the claim for Atras last time, aggressively spurting clear in upper stretch before getting leg weary late. Seven furlongs looked like his limit last time, so this turnback to 6 furlongs should benefit him. He earned a respectable speed figure last time and would be tough here if maintaining that form. Rob Atras is 6 for 16 (38%, $2.21 ROI) second off the claim with last-out winners on dirt, so this runner must be respected. Yet there are a couple of class droppers who make this a difficult spot for the Atras runner.
MO GOTCHA (#4) seeks to get back on track as he drops in for a tag for the first time in his career. He would be pretty formidable if able to recapture his form from 2020 when he was routinely earning superior speed figures. He went off form this winter, but a few of his recent efforts aren’t as poor as they seem. He was wide against a rail bias while overmatched on Dec. 19. Then last time he was actually contesting the pace for a furlong before getting shuffled back to last on the rail. He still finished with interest and galloped out best of all. Jeremiah Englehart puts the blinkers back on, so he should be more forwardly placed this time.
I could also use fellow class dropper The Right Path (#6). Like Mo Gotcha, he’s racing for a claiming tag for the first time. Yet he’s doing so while returning from a layoff. He seemed to tail off last summer, but he certainly has the back class to beat this field if he could recapture his best form. However, even then he would need some pace to close into, and it’s unclear if he’s going to get that here.
Exacta: 4 with 1,2,6
Trifecta: 4 with 1,6 with 1,2,6