Off the Charts Trip Notes – April 25, 2013

Off the Charts Trip Notes (April 25, 2013) 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.


GOOD TICKLED (Race 5 @KEE, April 18, 6 1/2 furlongs, $50,000 Claiming 2L). Normally forwardly place, GOOD TICKLED was squeezed at the start between two horses and was forced to start slowly at the back of the pack. The colt had no choice but to stay at the back and when approaching the stretch had to wait slightly before an opening was available in mid track. Once free to roll the colt passed all rivals except the winner, who was clearly the best, and finished second after being overlooked on the tote board.

PSALM SINGER (Race 1 @KEE, April 20, About 7 furlongs, Maiden Claiming $50,000). The favored filly was heavily compromised at the start. She was bumped and then rider Julien Leparoux stood up to check her after a couple of strides. Once allowed to run she progressed nicely until she was forced to hesitate twice due to the antics of a foe. Once passed that one she was wide in the turn and came several wide into the stretch, but was still behind others. Leparoux directed her back to the inside for racing room and she finished to gain the place position, 3 lengths behind the winner, who secured an easy lead with moderately soft fractions.

DAYLIGHT RIDE (Race 8 @KEE, April 25, 1 1/16 miles off the turf, All 2x). The four year old daughter from the Augustin Stable looked spectacular in the post parade. She was making her first start on the main track and would have placed much, much higher if not stuck down on the inside from the top of the stretch to the finish. It was her first start of the year, so she should move forward in a big way and even bigger way back on the surface she prefers, the turf.


MZ ATTICA (Race 1 @LS, April 18, One Mile, Maiden Claiming $50,000) Sent off at more than 40-1 this filly immediately encountered trouble from the gate being force 8-9 wide into first turn. Slowed down and looked for space in turn and was able to get inside after wasting a tremendous amount of real estate. She raced well down the backstretch and in the far turn moved up to third, then taking second a couple of lengths behind the leader. The rider first moved out, then in, and finally back out trying to get aim on the leader. MZ ATTICA caught the eventual leader, who had set ridiculously slow fractions and bumped in stretch, but lost by a very short nose. The stewards conducting an inquiry regarding the stretch run but there was no change.

DOUBLE OURS (Race 8 @LS, April 18, 5 ½ furlongs, Allowance 2X). Part of the favored coupling, DOUBLE OURS broke slow and was then squeezed back resulting in a horrible start 8-10 lengths behind the leader.  He was hustled to reach the back of the field and then went widest of all throughout the entire turn while passing most of the field, remained wide once entering the stretch and picked up the show spot finishing 3 lengths behind the top pair. The colt could have easily won this race with a fair trip.

LIVING LAVIDA LETA (Race 1 @LS, April 20, 5 ½ furlongs, Claiming $5,000). The third choice in the field pursued two leaders down the backstretch and advanced on the rail to threaten for the lead, was then taken up slightly around the 3/8 pole and fell back, almost to last in the turn. Once entering the stretch she rallied again and finished a very good third, hardly noticed, behind two embattled leaders. The stewards held an inquiry but no change was made.

RUNAWAY CRYPTO (Race 6 @LS, April 20, One Mile, Claiming $7,500). Second choice broke well and was sent early to gain position on the rail. The gelding was behind a trio of leaders entering the turn and looked to be in perfect position before being boxed in with a closer that came wide at the ¼ pole. Rider Jamie Theriot then had to wait and tried twice to move through a hole but was forced to wait again. Behind by 4 lengths at the furlong marker, RUNAWAY CRYPTO swung out to the middle of the track and closed very well to secure second, losing by less than a length. With a clear run this gelding would have proven to be the best of the bunch.


GRAND MAST (Race 8 @PIM, April 20, 6 furlongs, Allowance 1X). The odds-on favorite was a bit slow from the gate and then forced to the main track portion of the chute by a foe. GRAND MAST was far behind with a position that appeared to be hopeless. The 3 year old got busy and caught the back of the field before the far turn, was then forced wide throughout the turn and was widest of all into the stretch. He continued to close furiously, passing foes, and was defeated by a diminishing head in a tremendous effort. A normal start and GRAND MAST would have crushed the field.


BOLD BIRDIE (Race 2 @WO, April 20, 5 furlongs, Allowance 1X). Second choice in a field of 7. This filly was off a beat slow and squeezed at the gate. She was immediately left far behind 7-8 lengths from the tail of the field before the first pole was reached by the leader. When the field reached the top of the stretch she was far back and still 9 lengths back with a furlong to go. Pat Husbands swung her out to the center of the track where she was hand ridden to the wire. She finished third after passing 5 rivals and closed 9 lengths in the final furlong.

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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 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.


  1. Bill Mentes says

    Thanks to whoever nailed Diamond Lucy.

    • That was me, Bill. But Art had a nice winner yesterday in a returnee at Woodbine: COMMAND CENTER (Race 2 at WO, October 24, Maiden, 2YO, 6 furlongs polytrack). First start for Mark Casse trained gelding that was second choice in field of 7. Command Force literally walked out of the gate and was hopelessly left behind with no chance. Rider Pat Husbands kept him in the middle of the track and made sure he had a good workout. Canada’s best trainer will probably have any problems corrected next time out.

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