“Off the Charts” Trip Notes – November 15, 2015


Break Away (Aqueduct – 11/6/15 – Race #4 – #2 &#5 – 1 1/16 on the turf) –  This filly was bumped at the break losing rider Eric Cancel. She was 4-1, and the public thought she looked worth a bet. I did as well, and look for her to come back ready to fire.

Tante Zoe –  John Velasquez aboard, and she stumbled badly when the gates opened. She never regained her full momentum. She saved ground all the way around, and Johnny V was savvy enough to save her gas for the next effort. – She was the post time favorite as they went to starting gate.

Life’s a Stage (Aqueduct – 11/6/15 – Race #6 – #1 – 1 1/16 on the turf) Angel Arroyo in the irons, and his filly had to move wide at times during the race. Once she straighten away for a clear run, she lacked needed room at the 5/16th’s pole and wrapped it up to call it a day. – I liked the way she moved, and with a little racing luck she’ll be a player once the real running begins.

Brimstone (Aqueduct – 11/7/15 – Race #5 – #5 – One mile on the dirt) –  Joel Rosario in the saddle for Michael Matz, and his mount stumbled badly at the break and slammed into River of Magic.  Joel got his runner back on track and made a wide move keeping an eye on the leader, but failed to reel in the eventual winner down the lane. He’ll give them fits next time he goes to post.

Danza Cavallo (Aqueduct – 11/7/15 – Race #8 – #3 – 1 1/2 turf) –  Jose Ortiz had the call for Chad Brown, and his filly was tough to handle from the break, and had to check up off heels down the backstretch. She shuffled back during her effort to move off the rail, and once she leveled out for the stretch drive she showed good energy as the bridesmaid to eventual winner Gold Espony.


Forever Plus (Churchill Downs – 11/4/15 – Race #1 – #7 – One mile on the dirt) – jockey Julien Leparoux was in the irons, and his filly bobbled at the start of the race, and two-year-olds usually don’t recover to give their best efforts after a compromised beginning. After correcting his mount, Leparoux shifted his filly into contention moving wide down the lane making a strong bid only to come up short to the pace setting winner.  – She’ll gain much from this race, and look for a winning effort next time out.

Open Range (Churchill Downs – 11/4/15 – Race #3 – #4 – 6f on the dirt) – rider Brian Hernandez was aboard, and his runner left the starting gate awkwardly. He dropped over to the rail saving ground, and made a solid move in-between runners down the lane in tight quarters. – Give him an even break and some running room, and we may see him getting his picture taken next out.


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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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