Off the Charts Trip Notes – October 7, 2014

This exclusive and free feature, Off the Charts Trip Notes (Oct. 7, 2014), finds horses throughout the country who encountered some type of noteworthy 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.


ROPE A DOPE (Race 5 @AP, September 20, 2014, mile 1 1/16th turf, Claiming $25,000) The fourth choice was shuffled slightly at the start, was along the rail in tight quarters down the stretch the first time and then steadied when in the first turn. He began the backstretch still in tight quarters and under tight restraint and remained behind a wall of horses until the stretch. He swung extremely wide to get out for running room when entering the stretch. He rallied very well and got up for fourth only a couple of lengths from the winner.


FOND OF SARAH (Race 7 @SUF, September 20, 2014, 5 ½ furlongs, MSW) The favorite slipped at the start and hit the gate, began to run and arced in and out before going outside, got the lead before the first quarter mile and went on to embarrass her field of opponents and win by almost eight lengths without being pushed in the stretch. A very impressive run by a debut, two year old filly that beat the boys.


COPENHAGEN COWGIRL (Race 4 @WO, September 20, 2014, 1 1/16 miles, Claiming $10,000) Longshot was bumped at the gate and forced to start last, which is not her usual position. She went a little wide in the first turn and began to make progress down the backstretch, She went widest of all in the far turn and entered the stretch wider than all others. She rallied well and ran with determination to get fourth only a couple of lengths from the winner.

SQUEEZE THE KING (Race 9@WO, September 21, 2014, 1 1/8 miles, Stakes) Longest shot on the board was away on the rail and immediately showed plenty of run but was forced to check off heels several times before reaching the first turn. The gelding continued to be forced into tight restraint and remained behind foes with nowhere to go and was never quite free to run. He never quit and finished fourth but it appears that what could have been his best day, past him by.

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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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