“Off the Charts” Trip Notes – July 30, 2014


SACRED GIFT (Race 2 @AP, July 20, 2014, 6 ½ furlongs, Optional Claiming $30,000) The fifth choice stalked the leaders and midway through the turn was on hold with nowhere to go until the 1/8 pole. With room to run he finally had room and split rivals and got up for second.

Ellis Park

LADY RELAUNCH (Race 5 @ELP, July 19, 2014, 6 furlongs, MSW) The fourth choice hopped at the start and began last after the terrible beginning, gained ground and showed plenty of run advancing up to the second flight in the turn but was blocked, had to wait and forced to take up, moved down to the rail and rallied again to gain a good third about 3 lengths from the winner. Appeared to be much better than her final position.

Indiana Downs

FINLEY’S SUNRISE (Race 2 @IND, July 18, 2014, one mile, Maiden Claiming $10,000) The fourth choice ran well and was reeling in the leader near the top of the stretch while another foe was alongside. At the furlong marker both foes came in on the runner and squeezed him forcing him to check and pull up severely dropping all the way to fourth.


SAM SPARKLE (Race 5 @SAR, July 19, 2014, 7 furlongs, Claiming $50,000) The fifth choice tracked the early pace on the inside just behind the leader and awaited room, when just past the half-mile pole one foe went down and forced him to steady. He rallied up the rail after the incident and caught the leader near the furlong marker and went on to score easily.

Suffolk Downs

CHOIR GIRL (Race 1 @SUF, July 19, 2014, One mile, Maiden Claiming $5,000) The favorite bore out in the first turn at least 10 wide, came back to travel wide down the backstretch, was then fanned 7-8 wide in the second turn, rallied well and almost caught the winner. She must have lost at least a dozen lengths in the trip. Blinkers may help her a great deal.


RUNAWAY PEPPER (Race 7 @WO, July 19, 2014, 7 furlongs, Starter $12,500) The third choice hopped after a very slow start and began at the tail of the field and remained there, traveling wide down the backstretch following a slow pace, until the field entered far turn, when he rallied 6 wide and remained in that position until the stretch, and under a hand ride embarrassed the field going away. Much the best and he could have won by much more.

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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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