Off the Charts Trip Notes – November 6, 2012

Off the Charts Trip Notes (November 6, 2012) 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 Belmont Park

SWITCHEROO (Race 9 at BEL, October 25, mdcl turf sprint). Very weak ride as the jockey had the 3-1 co-favorite stuck on the inside throughout and did not anticipate that, with rivals to his outside, he was not going to get clear. Steadied at the top of the lane, costing valuable momentum and closed fast to just miss the bob for second. May not have won but lost all chance with a “sleep at the wheel” ride.

At Churchill Downs
SWEET DISH (race 6 at CD, October 28, Maiden fillies , 2YO, 6 furlongs main track). Bred for early speed on her sire’s side, Sweet Dish jumped at the start in her debut and was then hit from one side forcing rider Julien Leparoux to take up position at the rear of the field before the young filly could take a genuine stride. Fifth choice in a field of 11, Sweet Dish raced in the center of the track in the back flight. Leparoux took the opportunity to do schooling and kept her out of trouble and to the outside before moving her inward toward the rail once in the stretch. The Rusty Arnold trainee found another gear around the 16th pole and closed very well showing she had plenty of run. She finished sixth and barely missed participating in the superfecta. Take particular note if Arnold tightens the screws and brings her back in 5-6 weeks with Leparoux aboard.

At Keeneland

BLU MON (Race 10 at KEE, October 26, cl 7.5, 1 1/8 poly). Weak ride from a weak rider, but the regular jockey of this very consistent horse. Arienne Cox bided her time in mid pack on this 12 year old, who then made a big move on the far turn. Cox got the gelded son of Maria’s Mon blocked with no where to go. She then decided to duck to the inside, as a last resort. That didn’t work as the rail was tight and the top finishers got the jump on this runner. Effort will be better than it looks on paper.

QUEEN’S AWARD (Race 8 at KEE, October 26, Allow n$y, 6 1/2 poly). This 5 year old mare came into this race in razor sharp form and appeared to be the one to beat. If not for an unlucky trip, she would have got her picture taken. Jockey Pedroza had a ton of horse under her when she made a menancing move on the turn for home. Unfortunately, a hole closed up on her and was blocked; meanwhile the winner had a clean trip down the lane. Finished 2nd to a nice horse in her own right, but Queen’s Award best in this spot. She wins on any type of surface but seems extra good on all weather right now.

At Woodbine

DUBAI DOT (race 8 at WO, October 26, cl 16, 7 furlong poly). This is a filly that loves 7 furlongs on the poly and she should have won this race. The jock failed to anticipate the traffic at a critical late stage and got this 4yo stuck in a bad spot in the stretch run. Finally, she altered course around horses and finished full of run to finish a very close third.  With a clean trip she was an easy winner in this spot.

COMMAND FORCE (Race 2 at WO, October 24, Maiden, 2YO, 6 furlongs polytrack). First start for Mark Casse trained gelding that was second choice in field of 7. Command Force literally walked out of the gate and was hopelessly left behind with no chance. Rider Pat Husbands kept him in the middle of the track and made sure he had a good workout. Canada’s best trainer will probably have any problems corrected next time out.

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About Editor

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 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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