“Off the Charts” Trip Notes – April 25, 2014

AQUEDUCT

RETTALFA (Race 4 @AQU, April 16, 2014, 6 furlongs, Claiming $12,500) The second choice broke inward and was slammed hard at the break, which forced her last early. She then traveled outside and gradually made up ground and began to rally at the top of the stretch, had to wait for a brief moment to determine which route to take and tried to catch the pacesetting winner, who was allowed to set two soft fractions early. RETTALFA closed well but finished second by a little more than a length.

HERE HE FITZ (Race 6 @AQU, April 16, 2014, one mile, Claiming $16,000) The third choice was sent from the gate to secure the lead and did so. He owned the lead until the top of the stretch when the runner up came to him, bumped him and got the lead. The runner up continued to bump him in the stretch and forced him in very tight until the final 100 yards when HERE HE FITZ came back and got through along the rail with determination to win.

KEENELAND

SUCCESSFUL BROTHERS (Race 1 @KEE, April 16, 2014, 1 1/8 miles, Maiden Claiming $50,000) The favorite broke toward the rear and was bumped and checked in the first turn, forced to go a little wide in the turn, was then near the back of the pack all the way down the backstretch. Began to rally and caught widest of all into stretch, was still 6 lengths behind the leader at the furlong marker, continued to close and won by a ½ length.

DARING DANCER (Race 8, April 17, 2014, One mile turf, Grade III) The third choice was away a little out of step and bumped, recovered to be fifth into the first turn and traveled the backstretch without incident. Stayed along the rail during the turn and eventually became trapped and lost position. When the field hit the top of the stretch she was completely bottled up and under tight restraint, bumped and forced to wait. She moved toward the center but was forced to move a little back inside to find room and when a space opened she accelerated, got through and won impressively.

Lone Star

ARCTIC COMET (Race 4@LS, April 17, 2014, 1 1/16 miles, Claiming $5,000) The fourth choice was away toward the rear and stayed to the inside. The big field began to bunch when it entered the far turn and the gelding had no room to run. Just before the top of the stretch he was checked sharply and fell back to the rear, but regained composure and launched a very good rally, coming in track center and negotiating traffic to finish sixth but only a couple of lengths from the winner.

PARX

NICKYROCKSFORPOPS (Race 5 @PRX, April 15, 2014, Mile 70 yards, Maiden Special) A big long shot fired out of the gate, battled with the odds on favorite for a half mile, and then proceeded to embarrass the field even though traveling very wide from the rail on the muddy track to win by nearly 10 lengths.

Penn National

DIMENSION (Race 2 @PEN, April 17, 2014, One mile, Allowance 1X) The favorite stumbled badly and went to his knees at the break narrowly avoiding a disaster. Once in motion at the rear, he began to hurry to catch up and took second once the field got to the backstretch where he began to chase a runaway pacesetter. Collared the pacesetter in the stretch and won. Could have been a much easier victory without the early problems.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Rich Nilsen’s expert analysis of the Kentucky Derby along with wagering strategies.

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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 twice. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. 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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