Off the Charts Trip Notes – Dec. 27, 2014

This exclusive and free feature, Off the Charts Trip Notes (Dec. 27, 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

Dec. 20th, Gulfstream Park R5, 2yo, N1x allowance 1 mile (turf)

Dubai Sky was parked 3 to 4 wide the entire trip and held well in a good winning effort.  This one does not own a strong turn of foot but may be able to grind it out near the lead at longer distances.  Dr. No tried to make a run along the rail coming into the stretch, was blocked for a run and had to switch into the three path, costing him a better placing.

Dec. 20th, Gulfstream Park R7, 2yo, Maiden Special Weight, 7.5 furlongs (turf)

Battle Red has had a lot of chances to break his maiden but this guy has had his share of bad luck too.  In this race he was 4 wide on the first turn and 3 wide on the second turn, only to lose by a head in a stretch long battle.  The horse that defeated him, Reconfigure, was under a hold between horses on the first turn (not ideal), then was sent after the leaders 4 wide on the second turn and into the stretch to prevail.  Both horses seem capable to breaking their N1X condition by the end of the long Gulfstream Park meet.

Dec. 20th, Gulfstream Park R8, 3yo, Tropical Park Derby, 1 1/16 miles (turf)

Cement Clement, dismissed at 25/1 odds, demonstrated why loose speed is so dangerous in two-turn grass races.  Tough beat for the people that had the foresight to use him.  This one may surprise more people in paceless races.

December 20th, Los AL T-bred, Los Al Futurity, 1 1/16 miles (dirt)

Dortmund was really disappointing to me here.  As noted after his Churchill Downs’ allowance win, he did not change leads in Kentucky, which did not concern me too much because his jockey, Martin Garcia, did not try to get him to “switch” and he won by over 7 lengths.  In the Los Al race Dortmund STILL did not switch leads, but even more peculiar Garcia did not try to get him to switch either, even though the race was in doubt.  Usually getting a horse to “switch” will allow a horse to finish 2 to 3 lengths quicker because the horse will feel less fatigued late.  Not the kind of performance you want to see out of a horse aimed for the Classics.

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About Editor

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.

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