“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – April 21, 2018

Tampa Paddock

Up close and personal at Tampa Bay Downs paddock. Copyright AGOS

GULFSTREAM PARK

VIOLENT WAVE (Race 5 at GP, 4/6/18) – 3yo daughter of Violence closed willingly and sneaky good to just miss 2nd in a race won by the favorite.  Trainer Kathy Ritvo never has her firsters cranked up to win in their debut (5% win rate) so this was a very noteworthy effort by the well-bred filly.  Displayed some talent in the mornings, as well.

KEENELAND

ELECTRIC  FOREST (Race 3 at KEE, 4/7/18) – well bred firster was bet down to 5/2.  She broke slowly from the outside post and raced wide on the backstretch.  That didn’t stop this daughter of Curlin from continuing on in the lane and running down a frontrunner who had a great trip.  Big future ahead.

ANALYZE IT (Race 9 at KEE, 4/6/18) – what a surprise.  Trainer Chad Brown has another superstar turf horse in the making.  This 3yo son of Point Of Entry made easy work of a very good Grade 3 stakes field in his comeback race.  He has now won all three career starts by open lengths.  Total beast.

WHEATFIELD (Race 8 at KEE, 4/6/18) – this six year old mare was well meant on the drop in class and shipping in from Fair Grounds.  Jockey Luis Saez didn’t anticipate the trouble this one would encounter down the lane.  She was badly shut off and lost all chance at the 1/8th pole.  Needs pace to close into but she can rebound in the right spot.  She’s best at 6 furlongs and against non-graded stakes or allowance company.

ALMITHMAAR (Race 7 at KEE, 4/6/18)  – gelded son of Tapit for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin ran a bang-up race second time out and appears to have a bright future for Shadwell Stables.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see this guy in stakes company in the future.

DANCELAND (Race 8 at KEE, 4/11/18) – sneaky terrible trip on this layoff returnee for trainer Shug McGaughey.  This daughter of Tapit had “run” but was never given a chance to get into the clear and unleash her finish.  A winner last summer at Saratoga, she ended up well beaten in an effort that can be easily excused.  Moves forward second start back.

LADY APPLE (Race 2 at KEE, 4/12/18) – 2yo daughter of star Curlin, out of a Clever Trick stakes placed mare, ran a winning race but was second best behind the well-meant Wesley Ward firster Dragic.  Great pedigree and solid barn.  Should be very tough in second career start, pretty much anywhere.

 

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – April 12, 2018

GULFSTREAM PARK

FERDINANDA (race 5 at GP, 3/31/18 FL Derby Day) – this daughter of Giant’s Causeway is a nose away from being three for three since trainer Barclay Tagg added Lasix.  Facing stakes company for the first time she flew home to just miss by a bob to the wire-to-wire winner who benefited from modest fractions.  This one will be tough next time out on the lawn.

STYLE ICON (race 7 at GP, 3/31/18) – trainer Graham Motion has a nice one in this Tampa shipper.  She was the only runner to close in this race and she encountered lots of trouble en route to her third place showing behind the Pletcher trainee.  The daughter of top turf sire Artie Schiller has finished well in both career races.

RHODE ISLAND (race 9 at GP, 3/31/18) – well meant second time starter on the grass for Shug McGaughey lost his best chance at the very start of this race.  He never gave up and continued on well.  This was only his second race and his first with blinkers on.  Half to four turf winners.

REP IPSA (race 10 at GP, 3/31/18) – despite her first race since October and facing a solid group in the G3 Honey Fox, this 5yo mare finished like a shot to just miss to the talented Lull, who took this field gate to wire.  Daughter of English Channel could be set for a strong year for Ian Wilkes.

KEENELAND

TRUE SAINT (Race 1 at KEE, 4/6/18) – the first race of the spring meet featured an impressive performance from this Bret Calhoun two year old.  The colt was steadied as they turned for home behind the even-money Wesley Ward frontrunner.  Lost nearly two lengths in momentum and then re-rallied to run that rival down in the late stages.  A lot of professionalism and talent from this baby.

“Off the Charts” Horses to Watch and Trip Notes – April 4, 2018

track announcer with binocularsGULFSTREAM PARK

MISS DEPLORABLE (Race 1 at GP, 3/21/18)  second off the layoff and first time of the turf runner was badly blocked from inside trip while turning for home in this 5 furlong turf sprint. When she finally got clear, she absolutely flew home to just miss.  Galloped out past the fortunate winner.

HOFBURG (Race 14 at GP, 3/31/18) – the Bill Mott trainee got the pace he needed and made a menacingly late move to finish a clear second to Audible in the G1 Florida Derby.  The winner came out on him slightly in mid-stretch, causing him to alter course.  Either way, he wasn’t going to get to Audible. This was only his third career start and the three year old Kentucky Derby hopeful is bred to run all day.  He’ll relish the long stretch in Louisville, Kentucky.

PARX

MR. BRIX (Race 9 at Parx, 3/19/18) – figured to get a perfect set up closing from off the pace in a race loaded with early speed. That is exactly what was happening until one of the horses in a three-way duel fell and caused all sorts of trouble for the runners behind him.  One of those was Mr. Brix who was taken way wide turning for home.  Remarkably, he finished very strong for the place spot.  Can win back in the right spot and with better luck.

Update: Sadly this was the race that was marred by the tragic spill involving veteran jockey Jose Luis Flores.  Please pray for his family and friends.

SUNLAND PARK

LAVISHLEIGH WILD (Race 7 at SUN, 3/27/18) – tough trip for this 2-1 shot in New Mexico in a state-bred for non winners of two races lifetime.  Was stuck racing inside, shuffled way back on the far turn.  He then came flying home up the inside like a real pro and just missed on the wire.