Off the Charts Trip Notes – July 5, 2014

This exclusive and free feature, Off the Charts Trip Notes (July 5, 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.


NO TIME TO KID (Race 7 @AP, June 21, 2014, 1 1/16 miles, Claiming $5,000) The sixth choice in the wagering was bumped and crowded at the start, was taken back and began last moving to the inside and was quickly more than a dozen lengths from the leader. He was still way back when the rest of the field reached the far turn. He began to rally when the field hit the quarter pole but was still last and more than a dozen lengths from the lead. He swung very wide to have racing room at the top of the stretch and began to rally, and although he was late to the wire, his cyclonic finish secured fourth place less than two lengths from the winner. An excellent effort considering the ground he lost at various stages of the race.


VAGARIOUS (Race 7 @BEL, June 22, 2014, one mile, MSW) The third choice had a horrible beginning, with his nose going to the ground as he stumbled, got up in last position and was hustled into the battle only to be taken back after passing several due to tight quarters, dropped all the way to last and seemed well neaten, but began to rally near the quarter pole, traveled four wide into the stretch, cut back to the inside and ran well in the stretch to get up for third, about five lengths behind winner. The various episodes cost him far more than the difference in victory and defeat.


KING DAVID (Race 8 @CD, June 20, 2014, 1 1/8 miles turf, AOC $80,000) The sixth choice was squeezed and bumped at the start and forced to take back to last. He was in hand into the first turn with run, advanced to be fourth down the backstretch, still in hand, with no place to go. Began going wide while in the turn looking for room and was partially shut off from the outside and had to wait. Arrived at the top of the stretch behind a wall of horses and had to wait almost all of the stretch. Was finally able to run much too late to make a difference but finished fifth only four lengths from the winner.


WILD ABOUT JASS (Race 2 @GP, June 22, 2014, 1 1/16 miles turf, Claiming $25,000) The second choice traveled most of the race covered up behind horses, she began to rally midway in the turn but was forced to go wide around the leaders to have a run, which she had at the top of the stretch and challenged the eventual runner-up. The longshot winner came to her outside and caused her to check about a marker from home and she had no chance thereafter, finishing fourth after pulling up due to the incident.

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BLUE DISTORTION (Race 4 @PRX, June 21, 2014, 5 ½ furlongs, Claiming 2L) Longshot was away well on the inside and moved up to contend but was forced to wait about the 5/8 marker and was held back. Just before reaching the far turn he was checked fairly hard while in tight quarters and lost more ground. He kept running and had to wait along the rail just before the field reached the stretch, and when he tried to slip through he was bumped hard, but he continued to run with determination, eventually finishing a very respectable third just a few lengths behind the winner.

Santa Anita

ARGYLE CUT (Race 5 @SA, June 21, 2014, one mile turf, Stakes) The longshot ridgling was checked a little at the start and floated to the rear after the circumstances and trailed the field all the way to the mid-point in the far turn, where he commenced to rally and threaded his way between foes and made excellent progress becoming a major threat, when at about the furlong marker he had to steady, then ran on and steadied again, throwing his head, then ran on and closed very well only to lose by about a half-length from a trouble free closing winner on his outside.


UNCOMMON GOOD (Race 4@WO, June 21, 6 ½ furlongs turf, MSW) Longshot started well and was then taken back to mid-pack, stayed along the rail and began to move just inside the far turn, was forced to wait in the middle of the turn until the top of the stretch. She was in traffic once in the stretch, tried to move out but moved back in and was then cut off, swung a little outward and the had to go back inside. She closed very fast was free to run, although it was too late to catch the leaders, but she did very well and secured a very close third place.

CONQUEST TSUNAMI (Race 8 @WO, June 21, 2014, 5 furlongs, 2YO stakes) The odds on favorite won this one like an odds on favorite should, and better. This Keeneland Sales grad broke his maiden at Keeneland in April and came back for his stakes debut in Toronto and had nothing but a public workout. Jockey Pat Husbands said in an interview afterwards that he had never ridden a baby that “left the gate so hard.” The colt broke very fast, went right to work, assumed command and followed instructions like a classy horse should. He never broke a sweat, stayed away from the rail per command, and ran straight in the stretch appearing to breeze to the Woodbine wire. Could have won by much, much more.

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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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