“Off the Charts” Trip Notes – April 1, 2015

Where’s The Moon (Sunland Park Race 11 – Sunland Derby – 3/22/15, #3 Saddlecloth) had run two excellent races with blinkers, and wore them in the Sunland Derby too, but the ‘game plan’ went out the window when this horse was checked going into the first turn and was shuffled back to last.  Got clobbered like every other horse by Firing Line, but showed good energy rallying well on the second turn and finishing well for second.  Does not appear to be a Kentucky Derby contender but fits in decent N2x allowance races and minor stakes anywhere out West.


Wireless Future (Turfway Park Race 11 – Spiral Stakes – 3/21/15, #4 Saddlecloth) WAS the quality speed, but he had shown the ability to relax off the speed a bit and in the Spiral got stuck needlessly in the midst of a three-way speed duel.  The pace wound up being 2 seconds (10 lengths) faster than I anticipated (killing my Spiral bets) but more importantly killing any chance Wireless Future had to win.   This one can fire back big time.

Power Jam (Santa Anita Race 2 on 2/14/15, #3 Saddlecloth) is just super fast and is a significant gate to wire threat in the Sunland Park Derby.  He can also rate off the speed in the “2 path” and by my figures he has a lot more talent than Lord Jim, who may also run as an uncoupled entry for trainer Bob Baffert.


The Truth Or Else (Oaklawn Park Race 7 on 3/14/15, #1 Saddlecloth).  This horse is pretty decent, but on the day of the Rebel you could see how aggressively jockeys were staying far OFF the rail.  Unfortunately nobody got the memo to jockey Calvin “Borail” Borel, who kept trying to have his mount make a charge up the rail.  This unfortunate trip coupled with the dominance of American Pharaoh being able to set a very slow tempo made for a 4th place finish, but this horse could come right back with a top two finish in the Arkansas Derby with some racing luck.  At the very least he looks to be a legitimate stakes horse.

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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 Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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