Off the Charts Trip Notes – August 20, 2014

This exclusive and free feature, Off the Charts Trip Notes (August 20, 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.


TAKE WHAT YOU CAN (Race 1@AP, August 10, 2014, 6 furlongs, Claiming $5,000) The favorite was bumped out of the gate and then was bumped from the other side after a few strides and was taken back to next to last. Began to rally before the turn but then had to check slightly and hesitate for a while. She finally had some running room at the 3/8 pole but she was still far back and failed to gain much ground in finishing second on a winner that controlled a slow pace.

DOS de BASTOS (Race 7@AP, August 10, 2014, 1 1/16 miles turf, Claiming $25,000) The favorite was in tight all the way through the first turn and was forced to hesitate twice until the field got the backstretch. Traveled along the inside down the backstretch and could never get out, which left him vulnerable and in a neutral mode all the way in the far turn. Had to wait until the field got into the stretch before being able to run full out. From the furlong marker to the wire he was in tight quarters on the inside with a pair of foes to his outside, and finished second by a nose. Great effort.

Del Mar

PRESSURE TIME (Race 3 @DMR, 5 ½ furlongs, Claiming $16,000) The second choice was squeezed at the start and pulled back before advancing up the rail, eventually gaining fourth just before the turn behind a trio of frontrunners. As the field moved into the stretch he tried to get through on the rail in tight quarters but never could fully let go to the wire, eventually he was squeezed and checked, then came again after losing ground, finishing only 4 lengths back from the winner.


HURLER (Race 7@ DEL, August 9, 2014, 6 furlongs, AOC $10,000) The third choice was unprepared at the start and leaped in the air when the gate opened, instantly spotting the field 7-8 lengths. He remained last and failed to participate until the field was past the midway point in the turn. At that point the gelding launched a very good rally although very wide, and roared down the stretch for second only to lose by a length. His misfortune cost him far more than his margin of defeat.


BOLD PERSPECTIVE (Race 1 @GP, August 9, 2014, 6 furlongs, Claiming $6,250) The second choice challenged for the early then was held up in tight quarters about the half mile pole, was pulled back from trouble and dropped a few lengths behind the top two flights. Began to move away from the rail in the turn and was held up again at the 5/16 pole before trying to split rivals at the head of the stretch, when he was then bumped fighting his way through. Once clear the gelding made quick work of the field and won with great ease. Much the best.


BIRCHWOOD ROAD (Race 8 @SAR, August 9, 2014, one mile turf, Allowance) The fifth choice was greatly victimized and the unfortunate circumstances began in the first turn when he was shoved way out, check very hard with the rider barely able to stay aboard and forced to go very, very wide throughout the turn. Was gathered up and raced well in fifth down the backstretch. When entering the turn he had to wait and then tried to move between horses and got close to the leaders, but when in the stretch all room closed up around him and he was blocked on all sides, was forced to check hard around the furlong marker, fell back and swung out, then ran well to the wire, finishing sixth but only about 5 lengths behind the winner after a nightmare journey.


ZENSATIONAL JOSH (Race 6 @WO, August 9, 2014, 6 furlongs, Maiden Claiming $12,500) The third choice was bumped out of the gate and slow to begin. He then advanced slowly and was just behind the second flight when he went into waiting mode and then hesitated slightly when moving into the far turn. He made up ground along the rail and was then in very tight quarters and bumped by a foe at the 3/16 pole that forced him to bang against the rail. Around the furlong marker he was finally able to run and rallied very well to get third.

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About Editor

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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