Off the Charts Trip Notes – January 9, 2014

This exclusive and free feature Off the Charts Trip Notes (Jan. 9, 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.


HOUSE ON TOILSOME (Race 2@AQU, January 1, 2014, one mile, Starter $20,000) Fourth choice in the field lunged at start, was taken back then angled to the rail while dropping to the rear of the field. Followed the field into the far turn while waiting a bit at the 5/16 pole, then split foes at the top of the lane. Made a good run but couldn’t get to the winner who had an easy lead throughout and finished a respectable a couple of lengths ahead of the favorite.


BETSY’S BOY (Race 4@FG, January 1, 2014, 5 ½ furlongs, Claiming $20,000) Next to the longest shot on the board bumped with a foe leaving the gate and moved to the rail, raced down the backstretch without incident. Just when he entered the turn he was forced to steady and take up, losing valuable position and ground. He rallied and stayed to the inside, made progress until mid-stretch when he swung out wide for room and then closed very well to get third and miss victory by less than a length.


IRONICUS (Race 7@GP, January 1, 2104, 1 1/16th miles turf, MSW) Third choice hit gate and was gathered back to last far from the lead. Remained last until the field entered the far turn and then rallied and swung very wide into the stretch, ran down leaders and won going away.


STRIKE DOWN (Race 1@PRX, December 30, 2013, one mile, Claiming 4L) Third choice in the wagering was away in good order and forwardly placed. He participated in a 4-horse battle from midway in the turn. In mid-stretch the eventual winner came in and forced difficulties upon STRIKE DOWN and others. STRIKE DOWN took up and was steadied hard, rallied again and got second in a very determined effort. The winner was disqualified and STRIKE DOWN was made the official winner.

Santa Anita

BLUEGRASS REWARD (Race 3@SA, January 1, 2014, 1 1/16th miles, Claiming $16,000) The second choice dueled for the lead once out of the first turn. When he was passed by the eventual winner and was about to be passed by the odds-on favorite, he found another gear and came back with great courage and lost a photo for the win. A very impressive and gutsy effort.


DANCE IDOL (Race 3@TP, December 30, 2013, one mile, Claiming $15,000 3L) Third choice in the wagering was off a beat slow and clung to rail throughout turn, which eventually led to him being boxed in. He dropped back to last when the field ran down the backstretch. Began to rally, while very wide, into the far turn and remained very wide into the stretch. Closed well but lost way too much ground to win and finished clear second a couple of lengths behind the winner.

JUDSONSPRETTYGIRL (Race 4@TP, December 31, 2013, 6 furlongs, Maiden Claiming $7,500) Second choice in the wagering was in tight down the backstretch along the rail. Shortly before the turn she was bumped twice and with the last bump slammed against the rail. The incident caused her to drop all the way to sixth. She didn’t give up and rallied to gain fourth.

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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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