Off the Charts Trip Notes – June 3, 2013

Off the Charts Trip Notes (June 3, 2013) spotlights 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.


LISA’s MAD AGAIN (Race 5@AP, May 24, 2013, 7 furlongs, Claiming $7,500 2L) The mare had a bad start by stumbling and losing several lengths to the field. She made progress down the backstretch and moved into the turn splitting rivals and was in contention when the field entered the stretch. She was forced to wait for a while around the 3/16 pole and went closer to the rail trying to find room. She closed well and was determined to go through the small opening along the rail, which she did and eventually ran down the pacesetter but being second best to the favorite, who closed outside the others.


VIC THE KICK (Race 2@CBY, May 24, 2013, 6 furlongs, Claiming $15,000 3L) A good effort after a long layoff was spoiled with an incident in the stretch. The gelding was making a winning move at the top of the lane but the eventual winner moved next to him and placed him in tight quarters with another runner, who drifted out. Jockey Scott Stevens was forced to check and lost all momentum, eventually finishing fourth. An objection against the winner was denied but the stewards did disqualify the other opponent who bore out in the stretch elevating VIC THE KICK to the show spot.


PONTOS (Race 4@CD, May 24, 2013, 5 furlongs, MSW) Juvenile colt received a great education in Louisville when he broke a step slow, was slammed and started last. He was trying to make progress when advancing and just before the half mile marker became uncomfortable while in tight quarters and was throwing his head. Rider Jon Court did a very good job to keep the colt focused on business and let him run a ways at the back and then swung the youngster about 6 wide entering the stretch. Court continued to work on the colt keeping him outside of all others. He followed instructions and closed well to secure second defeated only by a single length.

FIRE ALARM (Race 5@CD,May 24, 2013, 1 1/16 miles, Claiming $50,000) Fairgrounds shipper was made the favorite at close to even money in a field of seven only to disappoint due to a rough trip. The gelding was moved toward the rail when entering the far turn and then was boxed in while in the turn. Came out about 4 wide in the stretch and tried to advance while in tight quarters around the furlong marker, was steadied and then threw in the towel.

SHERIFF SILVERSTAR (Race 8@CD, May 24, 2013, One mile, Claiming $30,000) Third choice in a field of seven, the colt was traumatized by a foe on several occasions. Contesting the lead his foe appeared frightened after the opening quarter and bore out to the right disturbing SHERIFF SIVERSTAR, who kept to the task. He was then shoved to the outside in the latter portion of the far turn and when entering the stretch. Then, in upper stretch the foe abruptly went to the right when struck by a left-handed whip and slammed him hard. SHERIFF SILVERSTAR managed to keep his mind on business and finished a very good third, defeated only a couple of lengths after a very bothersome trip.


MEG’S ANGEL (Race 5@DEL, May 25, 2013, One mile, turf, $25,000 Claiming 2L) The filly remained on the inside from the gate until entering the far turn when she flashed speed and moved up with ease, was then blocked the latter portion of the turn and moved to mid-stretch hoping to find an opening. There was no opening in the middle of the course and she angled toward the rail trying to find room and then was forced to check sharply and losing ground. The filly then came back out and ran well to pick up the show spot. A very good effort compromised by plenty of bad luck.

Golden Gate

FLAMMABILITY (Race 7@GG, May 23, 2013, One mile, turf, MSW) Traveled well down the backstretch and moved up to challenge going into the turn before being forced to check and dropped back to sixth position. The gelding continued to run well but was forced to wait for about a 1/16 of a mile while still in the turn before finally getting free and going wide when entering the stretch. Rallied very well down the stretch to capture the show spot but was much, much better than the finish indicates.

Lone Star

CHARLIE’S MAILMAN (Race 6@LS, May 23, 2013, One mile, Claiming $7,500 3L) The gelding broke well from the outside post but was still forced to go wide into and throughout the turn. He advanced well on the outside down the backstretch and gained favorable position stalking the leading duo into the far turn and made a very good move to vie for the lead at the top of the stretch. While running at the leader the eventual winner challenged on his outside and both were surely going to nail the leader when the eventual winner came over on top of CHARLIE’S MAILMAN forcing him to check sharply and not only lose the top spot but the place spot as well. The steward’s did disqualify the winner, which elevated CHARLIE”S MAILMAN to second.


TIZNOW A TITAN (Race 1@MTH, May 25, 2013, 6 furlongs, Claiming $10,000 2L) Traveling down the backstretch he was forced to check sharply while in between foes, which shuffled him back losing several lengths. When entering the far turn he was boxed in while wanting racing room. The four year old remain blocked when entering the stretch and waited even longer before being pulled outside of the pack at about the furlong marker. He closed extremely well  and barely missed the top prize by only a head. A shred of luck anywhere and TIZNOW A TITAN wins easily.


CAROUSEL LADY (Race 2 @PIM, May 24, 2013, 6 furlongs, Maiden Claiming $8,000) An inexperienced 3 year old filly took on her elders and was immediately greeted to the racing world by being slammed at the break and shoved back to last. Even that and the messy track did not keep her from advancing up to fifth in a field of eight just when the leaders entered the turn. Though still far back, CAROUSEL LADY continued to advance and was fourth when entering the stretch. She appeared to sputter for a while not knowing where to go but with her rider’s urging she moved out to the center of the track and began to close well. She easily gained the show spot and was within a couple of lengths at the end.


COMMAND FORCE (Race 7@WO, May 25, 2013, 7 furlongs, Allowance 1X) An extremely slow start and the gelding veered in toward the rail leaving him quite a bit behind. He was hustled into contention and stayed along the rail. Had to wait midway in the turn and waited again while looking for a place to go when entering the stretch. An avenue never opened and he ran evenly thereafter finishing a good fifth about 3 lengths behind the winner.

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About Editor

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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