“Off the Charts” Trip Notes – November 25, 2015


Carella (Aqueduct – 11/15/15 – Race #1 – #2 – 6f on the dirt) – top rider Javier Castellano was aboard on this day, and she had to take up sharply right after the gate break. She stumbled a quite a bit, and once she found her composure, she set down for a run at the leaders. Down the lane she was carried out by the second place finisher and still continued on well with the guiding hand of Castellano to grab the show money. – Two-year-olds are tough as they sometimes have to learn on the job. She got a pretty good introduction on this day, and if Castellano stays aboard. Bet early and often next time out.

Zababa (Aqueduct – 11/15/15 – Race #6 – #7 – 6 1/2f on the dirt) –  Irad Ortiz had the call for Steve Asmussen, and she chased the leaders looking solid and ready. – She was asked by Ortiz and he had to take the overland route going six wide into the stretch. She finished up an honest 4th as the beaten favorite, and dollars to donuts you’ll get a much better price next out.



Miss Gifted (Del Mar – 11/14/15 – Race #4 – #5 – 5f turf) –  Santiago Gonzalez at the controls for John Sadler. – She was squeezed at the start, and had to take up to begin the turf sprint. Going short on the turf is a tricky game in itself, and all it takes is a brief hold up and the race can be all but over. Once she settled out and saved ground along the rail, her rally down the lane caught my eye as she finished with great energy. Talented rider for a top-notch stable. They had a good excuse here, and you’ll be wanting to see her name in the entries very soon !


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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 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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