“Off the Charts” Trip Notes – July 21, 2015

Arlington Park

Big Tom Prado (Race #3 – 7-18-15 – #6) He was in tight at the break, and took up just a bit to make matters worse. Once he guided to the inside, he saved ground under a wrapped up even effort fourth. If there is a cleaner start, I could see this one having a versatile style that makes him dangerous. Wrapping up late kept plenty of gas in the tank for the next out effort.

Belmont Park

Sweet Dreams (Belmont – Race #3 – 7-18-15 – #4)  A very nice New York-bred who has tons of upside. I have watched the replay about a dozen times and cannot figure out how he lost. My only answer was that he hooked a “bear” on this day, and with an effort near the same will have him dancing in the winner’s circle.

Belterra Park

Ziete Machos (Race #6 – 7-18-15 – #8)  A bit fractious in the starting gate, and hustled up into contention. He was five wide in mid-pack, and once he leveled out he made up ground without strong urging. – A clean trip and a better post has him looking tough.

Four Scips (Race #7 – 7-18-15 – #1)  Hit the gate upon starting, and never looked settled. Once he hustled up into action he looked to be home free when he was bested by a rail skimming win from Star of Aspen. A clean break and honest fractions make this runner ultra-tough.

Lady Buckeye (Race #8 – 7-18-15- #6) Very impressive winner from the Tom Drury barn. This is one you’ll need to keep an eye peeled for.  I would look for Team Drury to find a nice stake at Thistledown, and it wouldn’t surprise many if she comes right back and wins at a square price. Her late turn of foot gave a new definition of acceleration down the lane.


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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 Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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