Off the Charts Trip Notes – from, October 5

Off the Charts Trip Notes (October 5, 2012) 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 Belmont Park

TOWERING MOON (Race 5 at BEL, Oct. 5).  This guy was the favorite and the first time starter from the Bruce Brown outfit lived up to the backing. He overcame a slow break, made a menacing move on the far turn and drew off as much the best. Son of Malibu Moon has a future.

SUMMER FRONT (Race 9 at BEL, Oct. 6, Jamaica H.) Very reliable turf runner was making a winning move up the inside at the 1/16th pole when the winner came over on him just enough that he had to steady, losing all chance. With a clean trip down the lane, this guys wins this stakes.

At Keeneland

Z CAMELOT (race 4 at KEE, Oct. 5, 1 1/16 miles poly, mdspwt). Mountaineer shipper broke from a tough outside post and then went very wide at the top of the lane. Continued on well in the stretch run to be a sneaky good, fast closing fourth behind the gate-to-wire winning favorite. That was his first start in two months and he should move forward off this effort.

STRIKE THE NOTE (race 7 at KEE, Oct. 7, 1 1/16 miles turf, 2yo stk). This More Than Ready colt was placed in an ambitious spot, stepping up sharply in class off a maiden win and stretching out around two turns. Despite that, he was in contention late in this race when he was slammed hard in between horses, losing any chance to hit the board.  Trainer W. Bret Calhoun has a promising turf runner in this young colt.

At Santa Anita

ENGLISH RHYTHM (Race 4 at SA, Sept. 28th, Cl 25-2L, 1 mile turf). This guy loves the turf and he showed it again in his comeback race in late September. Off a 150-day layoff he made a wide, sweeping move at the top lane to challenge the eventual winner down the stretch. Gave way some in the final yards to settle for 2nd in a race he had to need. Should be very tough back at the same level and surface.

BEAU DIABLO (Race 9 at SA, Oct. 7, mdcl 30, 5 1/2 f). First time starter from a barn that has been cold at the meet but typically hits at a very high rate with debut runners ran a “winning” race en route to a 2nd place finish at odds of 12-1. Washington-bred colt made a strong move turning into the stretch but was stuck on the inside. Tried to go up the inside but then the rider swung him outside. It was too late as a fresh closer came storming down the middle of the stretch to grab the victory. Can win back at this level.

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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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