Off the Charts Trip Notes –

Off the Charts Trip Notes (June 11, 2012) spotlights horses throughout the country who encountered some type of significant or meaningful trouble in their most recent start or just gave an extremely impressive performance. Please note that horses spotlighted in Off the Charts Trip Notes are never an automatic bet back, but rather runners to give a serious look at given the trips and the trouble spotted by our expert handicappers at  Horses below listed in track name order.

At Belmont Park

WESTERN TRYST (June 3rd, 7f turf stakes,NY-bred). Three year old trained by Phil Serpe encountered a tough trip en route to a well beaten 2nd place finish. He was steadied with a half mile to run, was stuck inside going into the stretch, then altered course to finish willingly behind the gate to wire winner. With a clean trip he would have vied for the win.

At Churchill Downs

COUSTEAU (Race 1, June 7 at CD, 6F). Second choice in field of 8. Despite a little trouble out of the gate, Cousteau appeared to be undergoing on the job training instead of all out attempt to win in his debut run. Not long from the gate Cousteau was under very tight restraint and appeared to be disallowed from advancing. At the top of the stretch he wanted to get out, which would have allowed a run but was moved back in to remain directly behind the majority of the field. Was asked to run just inside the final furlong and finished very well to gain third. It appeared to be an attempt to rate the colt and have him become accustomed to dirt being kicked in his face. Cousteau appeared to have plenty of run at all times in his debut outing.

At Delaware Park

QUEEN CHATANIKA (June 4th, allowance, 6f dirt). This speedy runner returned to the Mid Atlantic off a 2nd place finish going 4 1/2 furlongs at Charlestown only five days ago. Instead of going to the front, she broke dead last and spotted the short field 2-3 lengths at the start. She was full of run on the backstretch and made a sneaky good, steady run against the prevailing speed bias at Delaware Park. This was a better than it looks 4th place finish.  Look for her in a spot where she can control the tempo up front, as long as she is not wheeled back too quickly again.

At Emerald Downs

TRIBALTIQUE (June 3rd, race 5, claimer, 6f). The Golden Gate shipper was the 3-2 favorite but he received a questionable ride from top jockey Mawing. He suffered a wide trip and had no where to go at the top of the lane. This trouble cost him the race as he finished very well but came up a head short behind the second choice in the wagering who had the early jump on him.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is an 18-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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