Off the Charts Trip Notes – January 17, 2014

This exclusive and free feature Off the Charts Trip Notes (Jan. 17, 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.


FIERY PINK (Race 4@FG, January 9, 2014, 5 ½ furlongs, Maiden Claiming $25,000) The third choice stood in the gate and watched the field take off before making an attempt to get going. Left behind she started to rally midway in the turn while going the widest, came into the stretch the widest of all and then moved out wider. She always seemed to keep coming at the leaders harder and harder, eventually finishing fourth less than four lengths from the winner and just a length out of show. Considering the trip, it was an excellent race for the only debut runner in the field.

Golden Gate

JOHNSKI (Race 7@GG, January 9, 2014, 6 furlongs, Claiming $12,500) The fifth choice had a slow start and was last from the beginning until early in the far turn. He began to make progress and showed a good turn of foot in the turn and was in contention behind a wall of horses at the top of the stretch. Openings closed and he hesitated, tried to go one way then another, threw his head several times and was screaming for racing room. Finally had a little room between rivals after reaching the 1/16th but it was too late for the win and had to settle for a good third that could have been much better.


AGGIE H (Race 7@GP, January 9, 2014, 7 furlongs, Claiming $6,250) The second choice was bumped slightly at the start, raced inside down the backstretch, was steadied approaching the far turn and hesitated. She was then widest of all in the turn while making progress, widest into the stretch and continued with a good effort to finish third.

CLEARBROOK (Race 8@GP, January 9, 2014, 1 ¼ miles, AOC) The favorite stumbled and had a horrible beginning nearly losing the rider and was left far behind the field. While she made up some ground it appeared to be an effort with little interest after the start.

CORINTHIAN’S GLORY (Race 3@GP, January 9, 2014, 6 furlongs, Maiden Claiming $12,500) The second choice was allowed to grab a very easy lead and then had a walk in the park with nothing to impair what was a long workout. The victory over a very small field was not as impressive at it will appear on paper the next time she runs.


HURRY UP KATE (Race 2@OP, January 10, 2014, 6 furlongs, Maiden Claiming $16,000) The favorite broke outwardly and bumped with a rival and then was forced to check after being in tight quarters, which left her significantly behind on a track that favored speed. She rallied in the turn, split rivals at the top of the stretch, came widest of all entering the stretch and ran respectably considering her trouble, finishing fourth.

SOLID SOUTH (Race 6@OP, January 10, 2014, 1 1/16 mile, Claiming $30,000) The third choice tracked the favorites from mid pack, traveled wide down the backstretch and was four wide into and throughout the entire turn. After following leaders that set a pedestrian pace ( ¾ mile in 1:17), SOLID SOUTH still got up to claim victory on a track that favored speed almost all day.

Santa Anita

TURN ON the BRITES (Race 1@SA, January 9, 2014, 7 furlongs, Claiming $25,000) The third choice had a very eventful trip. After breaking sharply he was taken back and then followed the leaders on the inside down the backstretch. Made his move when the field entered the turn and about the quarter pole he was near the throat of the leader only needing a small amount of room along the rail to go forward, but he was cut off and steadied slightly, fell back entering the stretch, came again with plenty of run and tried to get through a tightly packed group but was denied room and steadied again. He was pulled back and taken down to the rail as a final option and once free to run showed that he was much better, getting up to win.


VIOLET ROAD (Race 7@TAM, January 8, 2014, one mile turf, MSW) The fifth choice had a nightmare trip, which began when she was bumped just out of the gate, squeezed, then pinched back, clipped heels, and after managing to stay together after that, was last by over a dozen before she could actually take an uninterrupted stride. She was still last at the half mile pole and far back before she began to rally. Entered the stretch wider than all others and was still far back when she was finally able to run straight toward the finish line. She closed with a flurry and even had an uncertain moment near the 1/16th pole, but not only did she barely miss the show position, she was only about a length form the winner in a tight finish.


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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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