Off the Charts Trip Notes – September 14, 2013

The exclusive and free feature Off the Charts Trip Notes (Sept. 14, 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.


ALPHA KITALPHA (Race 3@AP, September 2, 2013, mile 1/16th turf, Allowance 2X) The favorite and winner missed the break and raced widest of all down the backstretch and then was 4 wide entering the turn. She traveled so easy and passed foes after the adversity that it is certain she could have defeated the field much more than what she did.

WEDDING TRIFECTA (Race 6@AP, September 2, 2013, one mile – off the turf, Maiden Claiming $25,000) The fifth choice broke outward and bumped, losing a little real estate and then within the first 1/16th was sandwiched and forced to steady dropping back to next to last and losing several lengths. She was widest down the backstretch and widest in the turn. The filly was level with the back runner midway in the turn and began to pick it up but was forced about 6 wide into the stretch. She ran very well and tried hard but could not get to winner. This filly has a long stride and needs to run on the outside and be unhurried. It is obvious that she needs more time to mature but showed some promise with her effort after losing so much ground.


DISTINCTIVELYALADY (Race 3@DEL, September 2, 2013, 5 ½ furlongs, MSW) The favorite broke in air, crowded and was taken back. She was 8 lengths back after the initial quarter mile. She made a good middle move and eventually finished third, which is as good as could be expected under the conditions.

Del Mar

BIG MACHER (Race 2@DMR, September 2, 2013, 6 ½ furlongs, Claiming $30,000) The fifth choice broke from the rail and had a horrible start by stumbling and losing ground, then ducked to the rail and hopped. The colt was 14 lengths behind after the opening quarter. He caught the back of the field at the turn but remained last on the rail. In the middle of the turn he began to rally, advanced and swung about 6 wide when entering the stretch. Once he straightened out he began to run with determination. He finished sixth only 4 lengths from the winner. His finish was truly remarkable considering his horrible start.

STATION HOUSE (Race 3, September 4, 2013, one mile –turf, Stakes) Heavily bet second choice bobbled at the start, tried to advance quickly and was steadied. Tried to advance again and was steadied again. He traveled wide entering the backstretch and angled toward the rail. When entering the turn it was obvious that the young colt had lost interest, which was probably dulled by his frustrating trip.

Ellis Park

SHANNON NICOLE (Race 3, September 2, 2013, one mile-turf, MSW) The odds on favorite broke in air and was forced out several wide in first turn and was widest when entering the backstretch. She gained good position with a half mile to go but was then faced with the leader setting a glacial pace, which eventually kept the favorite from getting to her in the stretch. A decent start and trip into the first turn and the outcome could have been different despite the very slow pace.

PICEANCE (Race 4, September 2, 2013, mile 1/16th turf, AOC $25,000) The favorite jumped in the air shortly after the start and appeared to jump again while throwing his head about and being a handful for his rider. The antics caused him to slow down and lose position and he became boxed in when the field swung into the backstretch. The colt had nowhere to go for about a half mile. He advanced in the middle of the turn when the serious running began only to be trapped behind a wall of opponents. Despite his trip he continued to run with determination and split horses late actually grabbing the lead for a few strides before the wire but could not hold it and finished third. Certainly the best horse in the field with a normal trip.


GREAT CHANCE (Race 5, September 2, 2013, 5 ½ furlongs, Claiming $5,000) The odds-on favorite stumbled badly in the beginning and then bumped a foe before being rushed up just off heels of others, while the eventual winner was setting a slower than expected pace. The favorite traveled widest of all in the turn and approached the leader as they entered the stretch, but the start took its toll and the easy trip helped the leader. GREAT CHANCE ran well to finish second but the circumstances greatly hampered his chance at victory.

Presque Isle

TREASURED KITTEN (Race 2, September 4, 2013, mile, Claiming $25,000) The favorite was a little slow to start, was cut off and steadied when going into the first turn, and once in turn was taken up slightly. At the very back of the pack TREASURED KITTEN settled and ran last all the way to the final turn before making a move. His rally took him 7-8 wide in the turn and entering the stretch he was still far back in sixth. A strong rally earned this much bothered horse a third place finish.

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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.


  1. Treasured Kitten won and paid 12.60. Circled the field after trailing field early. Nice call.

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