Off the Charts Trip Notes – July 15, 2014

This exclusive and free feature, Off the Charts Trip Notes (July 15, 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.


TOEWS (Race 1 @AP, July 5, 2014, 6 furlongs, Claiming $10,000) The third choice was bumped out of the gate and then traveled close up along the rail. All was well until he was checked and taken up at about the 5/16th pole and forced to retreat to last. He then swung wide into the stretch but had too much to do in order to win. He did rally enough to get fourth a couple lengths from the place position.


BE BULLISH (Race 2 @BEL, July 5, 2014, 6 furlongs, AOC $62,500) The third choice was away well and with the leaders when the line of front runners came over to the rail and pinned him in, forcing him to check and take up, retreating to next to last, and losing interest. It took a while for him to get going again. He later rallied into the stretch and swung wide finishing fourth about 4 lengths from the winner.

SPOT (Race 4 @BEL, July 5, 2014, 1 1/16th miles, Stakes) The fourth choice in the wagering was away well and moved to the outside. When entering the far turn a foe came over in front of him causing him to check and take up, retreating to last. He had to restart and swung wider to stay away from foes and rallied down the middle of the track to lose the show position by short head.


STARSTRUCK (Race 6, July 5, 2014, 1 3/8 miles turf, Stakes) The third choice enjoyed a good trip under restraint for the first mile of the journey and stalked the leading duo until they reached the top of the stretch. She made her move by swinging out and was joined by the eventual winner to overtake the leaders, and while in between foes in very tight quarters, clipped heels after being bumped and almost fell at the 1/16th pole. The incident caused her to drop all the way to ninth when at least place seemed certain.


DIVINE MICHAEL (Race 3@GP, July 6, 2014, One Mile, Claiming $6,250) The second choice was a touch slow leaving the gate but advanced up quickly to challenge for the lead. He was traveling well, and just as the field entered the far turn a foe from mid-pack rushed between horses and crowded him. He was forced to check sharply and he instantly lost 4-5 lengths. To his credit he fought back, rallied and was barely edged for place and only a couple of lengths from a winner that got a dream trip along the rail.






SUMMATION TIME (Race 6@MTH, July 5, 2014, one mile turf, MSW) Debut runner was steadied at the start and compromised, yet got down to business and made his way past foes in an orderly fashion down the backstretch. He challenged for the lead at the top of the stretch and went wide showing a little greenness, but straightened out after the second turn and ran very well and finished with determination to barley miss the victory. A very impressive effort for a debut runner.


LOUISVILLE BOUND (Race 4 @PRX, July 5, 2015, 7 furlongs, Allowance 1X) The fourth choice was away well and stalked the early leaders hesitating slightly before the far turn and then proceeded to travel throughout the turn blocked and under tight restraint. He then made a move at the top of the stretch and bulled his way between foes and was bounced around, but got through, and went on to win going away by several lengths.


STAR CONTENDER (Race 8 @WO, July 4, 2014, One Mile turf, AOC 2X $62,500) The fourth choice in the wagering was under a tight hold early and stayed along the inside waiting for room all the way down the backstretch. He was still waiting throughout the turn and about the time he was ready to roll he was trapped behind a wall in front as they turned for home, and he continued to be held under tight restraint. In mid-stretch he was trying to go in or out and was then checked and pulled back losing significant ground. He came back again and found a hole inside the final pole and finished with a flurry to get second a little over a length behind the winner. He appeared to be the very best in the race by far.

TINY BEAR (Race 6 @WO, July 5, 2014, 7 furlongs turf, Allowance 1X,) The third choice was in tight at the break and was forced to start last. She began to run well after the first 1/16 and started passing opponents with much ease while wide down the backstretch. She was very wide throughout the turn and extremely wide entering the stretch. She closed well once into the stretch and made up significant ground to finish fifth. She easily lost much more ground than her defeated margin.

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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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