Off the Charts Trip Notes – August 15, 2014

This exclusive and free feature, Off the Charts Trip Notes (August 15, 2014), finds horses throughout the country who encountered some type of noteworthy 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.


EXPORTER (Race 6 @AP, July 26, 2014, 1 1/16 miles turf, Claiming $16,000) The favorite was unable to get rolling quickly due to in tight quarters at the start, he gradually moved up to fourth and traveled along the rail down the backstretch well in hand. When entering the stretch he was behind a wall of foes and tried to go to the rail for a run but that avenue closed, he checked and lost ground at a critical moment in the race, but rallied again, while very crowded and fought his way to second.

SUPERSTAR LEO (Race 10 @AP, August 2, 2014, 6 furlongs, MSW) The favorite was bumped on both sides out of the gate and was then held back early. Once he was in the turn he was in tight quarters and forced to wait and even checked momentarily just before the stretch. In the stretch he waited for another foe to pass him before swinging out just inside the 3/16 pole, but once he was clear to pull out he drove past all foes under a hand ride with no whip and won with great ease by 3 lengths still going away. It could have been much, much worse for his opponents.

Del Mar

NEXT SPEAKER (Race 2 @DMR, August 2, 2014, 6 ½ furlongs, Claiming $16,000) The second choice was a little slow to begin but challenged early before being taken back behind the leaders. He followed the pacesetters into the turn and stayed inside and began to move in the stretch. Just before reaching leaders inside the furlong marker he became trapped, had to wait and lost all chance because of no room, watching the others go to the wire. He finished fifth 2 lengths from the winner but was better than the running line will indicate.

PERSONAL DIARY (Race 9 @DMR, July 27, 2014, 1 1/16 miles, AOC $80,000) The favorite was away without incident and was satisfied to be last and hugged the rail into and throughout the entire first turn. Once into the backstretch she made progress on the inside with little encouragement and moved with ease. Into the far turn she looked to be an easy winner but was boxed in just before the top of the stretch and was in neutral mode until about the 3/16 marker when she steadied off heels and was desperate to find room, and when she did after swinging out, her effort was tremendous and she was defeated only by a head. By far, the best in the field.


SWISS ARMY WIFE (Race 2@DEL, August 4, 2104, one mile turf, Claiming $50,000) The second choice was steadied slightly underneath wire the first time and soon thereafter was steadied extremely hard in the first turn. She stayed along the inside full of run and was just behind the leaders in the far turn when she was steadied in traffic. She finished fifth about 5 lengths form the winner after an eventful trip.


PRINCE RAJA (Race 1 @MTH, July 26, 2014, 6 furlongs, Maiden Claiming $20,000) The second choice had a horrible beginning and started last with the rider barely able to stay on his mount. He was then rushed up into contention and then was bumped repeatedly throughout with two collisions knocking him sideways. He tried to continue but the horrific trip took its toll, and when he was in fourth midway in the turn it became apparent he was done. The trip was extremely rough.


GREYGOOSE MISS (Race 1 @PRX, Aug., 5 furlongs, MSW) The odds-on favorite stumbled badly at the start and was then used hard to get the lead. She held the lead and fought bravely losing in a photo with the terrible start costing her the race.

GABRIEL’s FLAME (Race 8@PRX, July 27, 2014, 6 furlongs, Claiming $15,000) The second choice was unprepared for the start and began very slow losing valuable ground. He raced behind the field and began to move forward when entering the turn but traveled widest of all throughout the entire turn and then entered the stretch extremely wide. The gelding closed with determination and was defeated by a nose, a small margin compared to the ground he lost.

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UNBEILEVABLE DREAM (Race 8@SAR, August 4, 2014, one mile turf, Allowance) The second choice bobbled at the break and then was very uncooperative with her rider, who kept a tight restraint on her for most of the race. She saved ground along the rail and had little place to go. She had to wait the entire turn and began to rally to when room opened up between the furlong marker and the 1/ 16th pole. She ran on with interest and finished fifth only a few lengths from the winner.

MAGNOLIA LANE (Race 1@SAR, July 26, 2014, 1 3/16miles turf, MSW) The third choice was restrained and hesitated first under the wire due to traffic and was then in tight quarters in the first turn. She traveled close up but pinned on the rail under tight restraint the entire backstretch. She had no way out in the turn and was forced to wait and just before she could do her running was squeezed and banged around, dropping to last near the furlong marker. To her credit, she rallied and came again with determination even though she only had time to pass two foes she still finished less than 6 lengths from the lead.


RESERVED (Race 6@WO, August 2, 2014, 6 furlongs, 2YO, MSW) The third choice was squeezed and checked at the start and began last. She followed the field into the far turn and advanced with ease behind the leading group but was always in a wait mode with nowhere to go. She stayed along the rail and made up ground when free and was going to swing out but then swung back to the rail and rallied very well just missing the debut win by a nose. Clearly appeared to be the best filly in the race.

PANKHURST (Race 1@WO, August 3, 2014, 5 furlongs, 2YO, MSW) The fourth choice for trainer Mark Casse and rider Patrick Husbands broke alertly from the outside and was then positioned behind several frontrunners but wide. She wasn’t asked for run until the turn when she began to pass horses without encouragement but was kept widest of all. When in the stretch she was still kept wide and safe and Husbands appeared not to be encouraging the filly, but yet schooling her. She ran evenly in the stretch with no problem. This race appeared to be a public workout for this debut runner and she seemed to follow instructions well.

CONQUEST TSUNAMI (RACE 6 @WO, July 26, 2014, 6 furlongs, Stakes) The prohibitive favorite. A promising 2YO from the Mark Casse barn, ran a super impressive race, with excellent split times and final time, away from the rail, and was encouraged only at the top of the stretch for a brief, fleeting moment before waltzing to the wire in nothing more than a public workout. An excellent prospect to watch for.

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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 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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