Off the Charts Trip Notes – July 25, 2013

The exclusive and free feature Off the Charts Trip Notes (July 25, 2013) searches out 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.

Arlington Park

ELUSIVE KNOLL (Race 3@AP, July 18, 2013, Maiden Claiming, 7 furlongs, Claiming $12,500) The moderately bet filly bobbled slightly at the break and proceeded to gradually improve position along the inside. She was forced to wait behind horses through most of the turn before finding herself in second chasing the leader at the top of the stretch. She was moved back to the inside to try and get past the leader, who was also the favorite, but that move proved to be harmful when the leader moved over and crowded her. She was forced to swing out and make a run with about a 1/16 remaining but she had to settle for place.

TOBACCO FOX (Race 6 @AP, July 19, 2013, about one mile, turf, Claiming $25,000) The third choice was away a little tardy and stayed along the rail down the backstretch. He was checked slightly around the 5/8 pole but maintained position and rallied midway in turn. He was right behind leaders at the top of the stretch


TRICKY SHANE (race 2 at DMR, July 20, cl $40, 1 mile turf).  Mario G. butchered the ride on this live turf runner. He steadied him multiple times from the 3/8th pole to the finish and despite this horrific trip, the gelding was beaten just a couple of lengths for all the money.  Can win back for O’Neill at same level next time out.

KHAL DROGO (Race 6@DMR, July 18, Mdcl 50,000, 5 1/2 f). Two year old spotted about five lengths to the field at the start before making a strong middle move. Flattened out after that in a race that he can move forward off for low-profile, high percentage barn.  A drop and rider change would be big pluses next time out.

TROPICAL MOON (Race 3@DMR, July 18, 2013, 6 ½ furlongs, Maiden Claiming $20,000) Moderately bet firster was slow into stride and saved ground along the rail. Was making an advance going into the turn but was steadied fairly hard causing her to drop back. She continued to run and in the middle of the turn was steadied again causing her to lose all hope. She stayed along the rail and finished eighth.


VEE’S ACCOLADE (Race 11@SAR, July 20, Cl 20b, 6 furlongs). Deep closer rallied from well off the pace and went six wide at the top of the lane before well for the show spot.  What was impressive was how he finished against the grain of the racetrack, while also spotting 4-5 lbs to the top two finishers.  The fourth place finisher was another three lengths behind in the field of 10.

Ellis Park

HOLIDAY DRAMA (Race 7@ELP, July 20, 2013, one mile, turf, MSW) Three year old filly waited slightly going into the first turn but secured good rail position and raced inside down the backstretch. Shifted out several wide going into the stretch and tried to rally between rivals but was blocked inside the 1/8 pole. Altered course but was blocked and then was forced to wait before shifting out again. She finished a respectable fourth but her chance to win late in the contest was clearly compromised.


JUSTINGO SHINER (Race 2, PRX, July 21, 2013, one mile 70 yards, Claiming $7,500) The gelding was fourth choice in the wagering and started poorly by hesitating and then lunging at the start of the race. He was rushed to be in contention and contest the early lead only to be fanned seven wide throughout the entire first turn. He was part of a 6 horse battle for the lead that stretched all the way across the track when they entered the far turn, only to be squeezed and checked abruptly, losing  a great deal of ground and all chance to win. He continued to run and actually finished well defeated only six lengths.

Presque Isle

EVACUATION ROUTE (Race 4@PID, July 18, 2013, 6 furlongs, Claiming $5,000) The favorite stalked the leading pack down the backstretch and gained very favorable position once into the turn. From the middle of the turn to mid-stretch, the gelding was being held back, forced to wait and never could find a place to go while being trapped on the inside. Once enough room was available he launched a furious rally on the inside, and although he seemed hopelessly defeated, came so close to catching the winner a very tight photo was required.


MOLINARO PARTENZA (Race 8@WO, July 17, 2013, 6 furlongs, Maiden Claiming $10,000) Fifth choice in the wagering was squeezed and taken back within a few strides from the gate. He then steadily advanced and was in contention when entering the turn where he was forced to steady behind horses and waited until midway in the turn. Still behind the group of leaders when entering the stretch, the gelding was swung wide and eventually moved about 7 wide and finished full of run gaining the place position.

MIYOSHI’S SAHARA (Race 5@WO, July 21, 2013, 6 furlongs, MSW) Usually a quick breaker from the gate, this filly was off a little slow and became trapped on the rail and shuffled into the last flight shortly after the race began. She never had a good chance to get into contention and appeared to lose interest. Tardy break and rail kept this filly from showing anything.

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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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