“Off The Charts” Trip Notes – April 6, 2014

Horses to Watch

Aqueduct

NO IT’S NOT ME (Race 5@AQU, 6 furlongs, Claiming $12,500 2L) Longshot was unprepared for start, hit the gate at the beginning, stumbled and was last when the proceedings began. She was rushed a bit into contention, was in between rivals and behind a wall of foes for approximately a quarter mile beginning midway in the turn. After being in an extended wait mode she was finally able to swing out in mid-stretch and make a run even though all was lost by then.

CLEARLY PERFECTION (Race 9@AQU, 5 ½ furlongs, Maiden Claiming $16,000) The fourth choice was bumped hard a few strides out of the gate and squeezed, pulled up and was quickly last and far behind. Still last at the quarter pole, he moved up on the inside and was forced to wait, moved toward center of the track and was shut off having to check, then managed to get through, and even though it was much too late to win, made an impressive finish to grab fourth place only 3 lengths form the winner.

HALDANE (Race 5@AQU, March 13, 2014, Starter, 6 furlongs) The third choice in the wagering was taken back slightly while in tight quarters around the five furlong marker, proceeded to enter the turn wide and midway in the turn showed a great deal of run. The mare was then blocked at the quarter pole and had to wait, then once entering the stretch tried to wiggle between foes and while she did get through it cost her some time. She eventually had to swing out and rallied well to get second just a length from the winner that had a clear trip in the stretch.

Fairgrounds

COLE’s MAGIC VOW (Race 6@FG, March 19, 2014, 5 ½ furlongs turf, Optional $15,000) The third choice was blocked soon after the gate opened and was left last behind a barrier of foes, and in the turn, while still last, checked slightly and was forced to wait, but upon entering the stretch swung very wide and proceeded to pass foes without much trouble and won under a late hand ride and proved much the best despite the trouble.

GOOD SOUTHERN GAL (Race 2@FG, March 13, 2014, Claiming $5,000, 6 furlongs) The fifth choice traveled along the rail and waited a bit when entering the turn and remained in that posture until the field reached the top of the lane when she was taken up when close on the heels of several horses in front of her. She was able to swing out about 5 wide and rallied very well for a respectable second.

Gulfstream

SMARTS (Race 4@GP, March 19, 2014, one mile turf, Claiming $16,000) The fourth choice went along the rail and was behind leaders. He went into wait mode when the field moved into the turn and waited the entire turn for a place to go. When the field entered the stretch he was cut off, bumped and completely boxed in. Late in the race he was able to get out and closed with good energy to get fourth just a couple of necks from second.

THOMAS HILL (Race 9 @GP, March 19, 2014, 5 furlongs turf, SOC $20,000) Second choice was away well but very rank for most of the race. He was steadied down the backstretch and continued to be a handful for his rider the entire trip. Still, ran well enough to be in contention the entire trip and finished fourth a couple of lengths from the winner.

EVOLUTION ROCKS (Race 6 @GP, March 12, 2014, Optional 2X $62,500, 6 furlongs) The favorite had a paid workout by easily destroying the field and stopped the clock with a sizzling time. The five year old was urged mildly and felt the whip a couple of times at the top of the stretch but there was no need. Completely embarrassed foes with only a light sweat.

Laurel

BORRIGONE (Race 3@LRL, March 12, 2014, Claiming $5,000, one mile) The fourth choice bobbled at the break and was then forced to steady and pulled back to last. The mare showed interest and gradually moved up but widest entering the turn. She continued to move forward and was in third about 3 lengths from the leader at the top of the stretch. She remained widest of all but showed determination and lost by only a head while the winner hugged the rail the entire trip.

PARX

LUCY ACTION (Race 1@PRX, March 11, 2014, Maiden Claiming $25,000, 6 furlongs) Third choice in the field bobbled at the start, and was then checked again when a rival moved over toward the rail. She was rushed up and battled along the rail, actually had the lead at one point, but eventually faded to fourth. She was moved up to third after the stewards took action against the horse that interfered with her after the break.

CECILEABRATION (Race 6@PRX, March 17, 2014, one mile, Claiming $7,500 4L) Longshot gradually made progress along the rail and was moving well through the turn when the rider opted to go to the middle of the track instead of remaining on the inside. The move turned out to be a mistake as the filly steadied near the quarter pole while she was just behind the leaders. After losing ground she went back to the rail while in the stretch and ran on gamely finishing fifth less than 3 lengths from the winner.

Penn National

UNDRGROUNDREGULATR (Race 6@PEN, March 19, 2014, 6 furlongs, Claiming $7,500) The favorite was away mid-pack along the inside but was checked hard and taken up before the half mile pole and lost valuable ground. He was then forced to go very wide to have a chance when entering the far turn and remained widest throughout getting up to third when the field turned for home, but the lost ground and tough trip took its toll and he faded to be an also ran.

Sam Houston

CAT FROM ROME (Race 10 @HOU, March 11, 2014, Claiming $7,500 2L, 7 furlongs) Longshot in a big field traveled along the rail and was behind several foes entering the turn, but did not change position. When approaching the top of the stretch the wall in front of him grew wider as he continued in a hesitating posture. Once into the stretch he angled out several wide and made a determined run to finish a good second.

Santa Anita

CHAIN LIGHTNING (Race 5@SA, March 13, 2014, Maiden Claiming $30,000, 5 ½ furlongs) The favorite stumbled badly at the start with her nose nearly touching the ground, when up righted she was then slammed hard from the outside. After the traumatic beginning she was rushed up into contention and traveled wide in the turn while making progress, she then entered the stretch about 5 wide and was soon finished for the day.

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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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