“Off the Charts” Trip Notes – Feb. 25, 2016

At the time of this post there are just over 70 days until we’ll be watching the 142nd renewal of The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports – the Kentucky Derby!   But don’t jump the gun just yet, here are some runners you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled the next time they take the track.

Fair Grounds

Mo Tom (Race #11- 2/20/16 – #2 – 1 1/16 on the main track) – Jockey Corey Lanerie was in the saddle for Thom Amoss, and this race was on the minds of every horse player that watched the Risen Star Stakes. – This son of Uncle Mo was far back in the field and didn’t move too early. Lanerie had two graded stakes to his credit this day, and the best was yet to come. He received a little urging and came off the rail briefly to pass tiring runners and dropped right back over to the fence. – Saving ground was a perfect move as he was starting to accelerate when Bistraya drifted over causing the colt to swerve and check sharply. Once Lanerie was in the clear they were inside the 1/8th pole when his mount picked up his action and started to close strongly. – Distance shouldn’t be a problem, and if all things come back fine. He’ll learn from this effort and only get better down the road.

Gulfstream Park

Twenty in One (Race #3 – 2/15/16 – #2 – 7f on the dirt) – Closed very fast down the lane under the guidance of Rafael Hernandez in a 3/4 time of 109.2. – She caught a “speed fest” on this day, and anything that isn’t as salty should fit her like a glove for the Tomlinson barn.

Purely Bay (Race #7 –  2/15/16 – #11 – One mile on the turf) – J.J. Castellano had the call and his runner was making a “second off the layoff” run. Castellano knew he couldn’t catch the leaders as he weaved through traffic trying to save ground, but his dead last explosive run may be just what handicappers could expect next out. Looked like he had plenty in the tank wrapped up, and that may work out well for the punters.

 

Akron Gold (GP Race #5 – 2/21/16 – #8 – 1 mile on the turf) –  Joel Rosario was named, but was on the shelf due to an injury. – J.J. Castellano picked up the mount, and this three-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’ Oro was pushed out going into the first turn. She settled nicely after the losing some ground, and spun around the field at the 5/16th’s pole three wide. She drew off and looked like a winner, but was bested in the shadow of the wire. – All said and done, losing ground on the first turn and going wide as they approached the stretch may have been just enough to get beat this day. Hard to fault the connections as they few mistakes, so I’ll file this one under bet with both hands next out.

SANTA ANITA

Fourth Watch (SA Race 3, 2/6/16,  6 1/2 furlongs turf)  This Tapit 3yo filly was very professional coming up inside in 6.5f turf debut to win going away.  You simply don’t see many first time starters win like this.  She’s got a bright future for Carla Gaines and owner Spendthrift Farms.

Lucy De (SA Race #1 – 2/15/16 – #4 -One mile mdn turf event) –  Santiago Gonzalez had the assignment for Mike Puype, and did absolutely nothing wrong. – This may be a case a running a “winner’s race” but not getting your picture taken. This was a very strong effort, and they were bested by the (1-2) chalk getting nailed at the wire by a head. – If Gonzalez stays aboard and Puype keeps to task, you’ll want to bet early and often when they enter.

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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 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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