Off the Charts Trip Notes – May 8, 2013

Off the Charts Trip Notes (May 8, 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.

At Arlington Park

STOUPINATOR (Race 5 @AP, May 3, 2013, 5 furlongs, Allowance 2L) A determined filly broke from the rail and advanced without incident until the turn. She was forced to wait throughout the turn and just before the stretch she was taken up and steadied and lost ground. Once into the stretch the filly swung wide to have a run and began to rally. She then had to move back toward the rail when the leader drifted outward. She closed furiously but missed the Winner’s Circle in a very tight photo. A tough trip kept the best horse from cashing the top check.


At Churchill

BELL BY THE RIDGE (Race 6 @CD, May 1, 2013, One Mile, Turf, Claiming $50,000) Six year old gelding was second choice and encountered trouble entering the first turn by taking up sharply and losing many lengths. He made progress down the backstretch and then bobbled closed to the 3/8 pole, swung out wide to have a run and came closing to winning. He tired in the stretch and finished third after a horrible trip.

TREE HUGGER (Race 9 @CD, May 1, 2013, 1 1/8 miles Turf, Allowance 1X) Moderately wagered Filly misbehaved before the start and then stumbled when leaving the gate spotting the field several lengths. After racing last down the backstretch the filly began to advance in the turn but could not advance due to traffic. Once into the stretch the traffic worsened, forcing TREE HUGGER to wait even more, only to be bounced around until she finally found room wide and closed well from mid-stretch to gain show.

FRAT MAN (Race 2@CD, May 2, 2013, 4 ½ furlongs, MSW 2 YO) Juvenile leaped in air at start and gave the field a nice head start in a short dash. Was rushed up and used to get in to contention at the top of stretch. Went a little wide and kept trying but started to grow tired and faded. The gelding may become a winner with a decent start.

GIVE HER SPACE (Race 5 @CD, May 2, 2013, 6 furlongs, Maiden Claiming $50,000) Maiden filly was in the air when the gate opened and by the time she took a step she was 7-8 lengths behind.  She ran very well after that. The filly was fifth at the quarter pole and continued to run with determination, collecting show about 5 lengths from the winner. A good start may have resulted in a win for the Larry Jones trainee.

I’LL CALL (Race 6 @CD, May 2, 2013, 1 1/8 miles Turf, Allowance 1X)  Favorite stumbled at the start and was placed on the rail with a snug hold behind traffic into first turn. Advanced down the backstretch and took third where he remained heading into the stretch. He raced with uncertainty as a loose horse was a threat to the field. I’LL CALL ran well enough among the conditions to hold third and looks to be a solid contender at this level.

BROKEN SPELL (Race 7 @CD, May 3, 2013, 3yo f stakes, 1 1/16 miles Turf). This filly from the D. Wayne Lukas stable was full of run when she was blocked badly at the 1/16th pole, costing her any and all chance. When she got clear, she finished well to nab the show spot in this renewal of the $150,000 Edgewood Stakes.

FUSAICHISWONDERFUL (Race 8 @CD, May 3, 2013, 7 furlongs, Grade Three) Sharp early and close to the pace this filly first encountered difficulties by being in a wait mode all the way down the backstretch. Had to take up at about the ½ mile pole, and then forced to wait most of the far turn. She was completely blocked at the quarter pole and could not find a way through the wall ahead of her until the 1 /16th pole. She showed she had plenty of run but her opportunity came too late. Without the trouble she was the winner.

DREAMING OF JULIA (Race 11@CD, May 3, 1 1/8 miles, Grade One) The favored filly in the Kentucky Oaks lost all chance of a victory when the gates opened in the Kentucky Oaks. She was squeezed in the beginning and forced to start near the rear. She appeared to be tenuous in her proceedings after the terrible start and gradually made progress down the backstretch but did not seem up to par. She was steadied just after the half mile pole and then had no choice but to enter the stretch wide to try and rally from an already vulnerable position. She showed great courage to get up for fourth, just missing the show position. It will be easy to forgive her finish in this race.

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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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