Off the Charts Trip Notes –

Off the Charts Trip Notes (June 27, 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
THE MIXER (Race 6, June 23 at BEL, Maidens Claiming 6 furlongs, originally scheduled for turf but run on muddy main). Fifth choice in field of 8. Eventful trip for this debut runner. Leaned up against the inside of the gate when opened by the starter and was very slow to depart. Stayed very wide down backstretch and moved into contention by going 5 wide in Belmont’s big far turn. Came out of turn and was making bid when another horse slightly brushed him and then broke down. Despite the distraction the gelding continued to run and finished third.

At Canterbury Park

DE BALA (Race 8, June 23, maiden cl, 6 furlongs). This guy made a long sustained run and his momentum caused him to corner wide at the top of the stretch. He never gave up trying and continued on well to gain second behind the 6-to-5 gate to wire winner. Solid effort.

At Churchill Downs

THAT’S ME (Race 7, June 23 at CD, Maidens at 6 ½ furlongs). Second choice in field of 12. The filly experienced a nightmare of a start with her nose touching or nearly touching the ground when stumbling from the gate. An excellent job by the rider to avoid a fall and a catastrophe. Started last and once she had motion she was taken wide and kept away from the field. Entered the far turn tenth and very wide and maintained that poor position throughout. When straightened into turn she was about 7 wide and began to roll 3/16ths from the wire. Ran exceptionally well and finished third. A remarkable race considering the horrible start.

LADY DURLYN (Race 6, June 23, starter allowance, 7 furlongs dirt). This runner was not going to threaten the winner who was wrapped up in the final yards, but she was blocked inside with no where to go in mid stretch of this starter allowance. Altered course late and continued to finish willingly. Sneaky good effort and will be dangerous in the right spot for sharp barn.

AMERICAN BEAR (Race 11, June 23, maiden, 1 1/16 miles). The favorite broke from a tough outside post and after clearing the first turn 3-4 wide he received a brutal ride. Jockey got him into all sorts of trouble, moving him inside of three horses on the backstretch and from there it was trouble with a capital T. Jock put a strangle hold on the horse most of the far turn and when he finally got clear at the 1/8th, he had little left. With a clean trip this one contends at the same level next time out.

At Delaware

WAKINA (Race 3, June 23 at DEL, 6 furlongs). Longest shot on the board in field of 6. Very tight field out of the gate with this filly initially settling in second flight but was forced to check and take up with about a half mile remaining. The filly was 5 wide the final portion of the turn and stayed in that position in the stretch. She never quit and fought off other challengers to take third.

At Woodbine

COJAC (Race 9, June 23 at WO, mile 1/16). Fifth choice in field of 7. Tardy with a slight hop from gate. A confirmed sustained energy runner was left behind and then fell victim to a pedestrian pace of 26 1/5, 51 1/5, and 115 4/5. Taken wide 6 furlongs out and remained there into the far turn. Traveled 5 wide in turn and came out of turn 6 wide trying to catch the slow pace. Ran valiantly, never gave up and finished a very respectable third. The 5 year old gelding should do much better with a respectable pace next out.
Miss Hemingway (Race 2, June 24 at WO, 5 furlongs, 2 year old maidens, Polytrack). Zipped out of the gate and was well positioned early, then fell back and eventually last in middle of turn. Started to run again once moved outside. Entered turn 6 wide and ran on to be a good but unnoticed sixth. Obviously inexperienced. Blinkers will probably do wonders for this filly.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-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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