Off the Charts Trip Notes – Oct. 23, 2013

The exclusive and free feature Off the Charts Trip Notes (Oct. 23, 2013) searches out 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.


VEGAS NO SHOW (Race 8@BEL, October 9, 2013, 1 1/16 miles. Stakes) Longest shot on the board was in tight down the backstretch, hesitated slightly near the ¾ pole, ran under restraint in the turn and was boxed in heading toward the ¼ pole. Was behind a wall of opponents when entering the stretch, looked toward the rail and then came back out, eventually finding a small seam on the outside and then fought while bumped and squeezed between foes around the furlong marker. With determination the longest shot fought on got a head in front and prevailed for the much deserved win.

Finger Lakes

LAZEKA (Race 4@FL, October 8, 2013, 6 furlongs, Claiming $4,500) The third choice was away slowly, traveled along the rail and was checked abruptly and sharply near the 5/8 pole when crowded by a foe, moved to the outside and gradually made up ground. She then ran widest of all in the turn and was fanned 9-10 wide when entering the stretch. She rallied very well to finish fourth only a couple of lengths behind the placed horse.


SHADOW ROCK (Race 2@KEE, October 9, 2013, 6 furlongs, Allowance 1X) Fourth choice was traveling on rail less than a length behind leaders when he was crowded, forced to hesitate and pull back, losing 2-3 lengths. He followed the leaders in the turn and was then bumped and squeezed between others in the stretch, steadied near the 1/16 marker and tried to re-rally. Finished fourth less than 3 lengths behind the winner.

PHOTO SHOOT (Race 2@KEE, October 17, 2013, 1 1/16miles, Claiming $50,000) The lukewarm favorite was not ready for the start, dwelt terribly and then hopped to a very poor beginning at least 8-9 lengths from the back of the field. He remained last until he picked up the back markers with about a half mile to go and continued to move forward while being wide throughout the entire final turn, reached third not far from the leader but finished fourth beaten only 3 lengths after the undesirable trip.


SMART POWER (Race 7@LRL, October 9, 2013, One mile, turf, Allowance 1X) The fifth choice was crowded at the start and taken back near the rear, advance into the first turn and was steadied just before entering the backstretch, made progress while running down the backstretch and was then steadied again in the far turn and forced to be behind a wall of horses. He then rallied and swung a little wide to advance and moved back to the rail once in the stretch to finish a respectable fourth.

SPEIGHTER MAN (Race 8, LRL, October 9, 2013, One mile, AOC 3X) The sixth choice was bumped leaving the gate and forced to steady shortly thereafter being shuffled to last. Made a good run to stay in compact field and rallied well just before the stretch but was forced 6-7 wide. Ran well to be a close third.


FIGHTERTOWN (Race 5@PRX, October 7, 2013, 5 furlongs, OFF turf, Allowance 3X) The second choice was an impressive winner after running toward the back of the pack early, moved up in the turn, was fifth and bumped before the top of the stretch. Once in the stretch and until the 1/8 pole, the eventual winner was behind a wall with nowhere to go, tried to get through but was taken up and pulled back just inside the 1/8 pole. He then waited and circled around the wall now having to chase down a fast running closer who was moving away to a presumed easy victory, but FIGHTEROWN moved quickly, caught the winner and passed that foe easily under a hand ride.

SIR NEWCASTLE (Race 2@PRX, October 14, 2013, 6 furlongs, Starter $25,000) Moderately bet colt traveled behind horses down the backstretch after breaking disadvantageously from the rail. Rallied midway in the turn and was just a length or so behind the leaders at the top of the stretch but had no place to run. He initially tried outside but that closed and then ducked down toward the inside. Made a determined run but could not overcome the trip finishing a very close third losing the show spot by a nose.

Suffolk Downs

PIZZARCO (Race 2@SUF, October 8, 2013, 6 furlongs, Maiden Claiming $5,000) Fourth choice was hit extremely hard and lost balance at the start and was quickly more than a dozen lengths behind the others. She ran well and caught the field in the middle of the turn, weaved thru traffic, was fanned wide in the stretch, then hesitated behind another once in the stretch, went outward to have room and closed well to gain third.


FIGHTING CHRIS (Race 7@WO, October 9, 2013, 6 ½ furlongs, Allowance 3L) The third choice was away well and in early contention until the eventual winner crowded him short of the half mile pole forcing FIGHTING CHRIS to check and retreat losing 4-5 lengths. He rallied in the turn and was then fanned 7 wide trying to get a clear run. He ran very well in the stretch and closed but finished a close up third, obviously compromised heavily by the incidents in the trip.

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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 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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