Off the Charts Trip Notes – February 18, 2013

Off the Charts Trip Notes (February 18, 2013) spotlights horses throughout the country who encountered some type of significant or meaningful 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.

At Laurel

RAM (Race 7 at LRL, Feb. 9, cl $5,000b, 6 furlongs). Coming off a troubled trip last time out, this guy found trouble again. Top jockye Jeremy Rose went to the inside at the 1/8th pole and that proved to be a costly mistake as his runner was completely shut off, losing all chance. Margin of defeat is exaggerated big time.

At Santa Anita

PERFECT SET (Race 4 at SA, Feb. 9, mdspwt, 1/8 miles turf). Comebacker was a “live” longshot in this race despite the presence of an unknown jockey, Flavien Prat. Unfortunately, this jock helped decide the outcome as he kept this horse wide throughout on the backstretch and then swung him 7-8 wide at the top of the stretch, losing all chance. Got up for third in a sneaky great performance for Dick Mandella. Would like to see a major rider switch for his third lifetime start.

MIDNIGHT LUCKY (Race 5 at SA, Feb. 16., mdspwt). Wow! The well meant Baffert trainee drew the rail post but that was no matter to this super talented 3yo filly. She rated kindly in second behind a fast pace, took over on the turn, and drew off to a crushing victory while under wraps the final half of the stretch run. Big future for this daughter of Midnight Lute.

At Sam Houston

DIAMOND LUCY (Race 3 at HOU, Feb. 11, mdspwt, 6f). Fair Grounds invader appeared very well meant and if not for a poor decision by the rider, she may have gotten her picture taken. Three year old, making her first start with blinkers off, was making a winning move up the inside, to pass the eventual front-running winner (debut horse), when she got shut off. Altered course and finished strong to be a very hard luck third.

At Tampa Bay Downs

THE GREAT ZAMBONI (Race 3 at TAM, Feb. 15, Cl $8,000, 5 1/2 furlongs). Bet down to odds of 3-1, this guy was placed in a tough spot on the inside of horses on the backstretch and had to steady out of trouble. He lost momentum but never gave up, rallying late to be a non-threatening second behind the front running winner.

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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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