Off the Charts Trip Notes – Dec. 24, 2014

Reports on Tom Amoss & Kiaran McLaughlin

This exclusive and free AGameofSkill.com feature, Off the Charts Trip Notes (Dec. 24, 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 AGameofSkill.com.

Kiaran McLaughlin is ‘killing it’ with 2 year olds (as of 12/15/14)

In two days McLaughlin won with two 2yo first timers on the Aqueduct Inner track for Stonestreet (Ocean Knight and Perchance) and one for his top client, Darley (Via Strata), all at the 6 furlong distance.  Both visually and against the clock Ocean Knight seems to be the most athletic and has the best turn of foot of the three.  Ocean Knight is not the biggest horse and I am not sure he will relish long distance dirt racing, but he looked really agile and has the build of a successful turf miler.  Being by Curlin out of a Stormy Atlantic mare, he may well find success on the green stuff.  Via Strata seems to have a lot of ‘try,’ but her turn of foot on the dirt wasn’t that impressive.  Perchance is a nice horse but seems much slower than the other two unless the variant at Aqueduct on Sunday was much slower than Saturday.

Aqueduct Race 4, 12-14-14, 2yo Maiden Special race, 2yo

This race was won by ½ favorite Perchance (see above), but the intriguing runner may be another first time starter Yes for Success, who did not break well from the rail, then bore in slightly, then bore out, then once steered into a straight line rushed up with a nice turn of foot to get to the lead along the inside of Perchance, leading until the 3/16ths, when Perchance went past him and put the race to bed.  Yes for Success was one of only a few horses taking money in the race, so the talent may be there.  Definitely worth a play back against similar company.

Gulfstream Park Race 3, 12-13-14, 3up F and M, “Sugar Swirl Stakes” (Grade 3)

This is NOT the trip you want sprinting at GP:

Centrique stumbled at the start, raced in the back of the field and made up a bit of ground four wide in the lane.”

Give this one a chance with a reasonable class drop into the allowance ranks.

Gulfstream Park Race 9, 12-13-14, 3up F and M, “Harlan’s Holiday Stakes” (Listed)

Kudos to Liam’s Map who won with a very wide draw and having to fight off first Csaba, then Valid to get the win.  I would be concerned it was TOO good an effort – the BRIS number came up big and visually it looked like a taxing effort.  My horse to avoid coming out of this race is Pants On Fire.  Yeah, I know he has a great name and Kelly Breen is a good trainer, but it just looks like this horse can’t get it done in stakes company any more and he never pays a good price when he does win.  Just say no.

Fair Grounds Race 5, 12-14-14, Allowance N1x,  3up, 1 mile (turf)

Stock Yard Hen had never been on the lead in its last ten races, and was switching barns to Stephenie Beattie.  What’s the logical thing to do?  Obviously take the lead and go 46.64 and 1:11.01 (sizzling fractions for the FG turf course) before tiring late and holding on well for fourth.  This horse seems well positioned to improve with reasonable splits, and/or a shorter distance of 7.5 furlongs.  SYH is definitely my horse of the week to follow.

Fair Grounds Race 7, 12-14-14, Allowance N3x,  3up, 5.5 furlongs (turf)

This race featured the 8/5 favorite Good Deed coming off a layoff against a “horse to watch” from Churchill Down’s closing weekend, Angie’s Prim Lady, winner of three straight.  As I mentioned in last week’s column, the TURF RAIL at FG is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD (as it is most years).  My understanding is the inner part of the turf course does not drain well, so it is always softer than the rest of the course.

It is so bad EVERYBODY knows the turf rail is dead, and speed horses that break on the inside will do a lot of extra work to try to move into the two path.  In this race, Angie was the inside speed and her connections decided to work hard from post two so Good Deed would not be able to pin her on the rail, but this got Angie out of her preferred running style tracking the speed.  Good Deed tracked and crushed instead, but Angie was able to hold off the closers for second in a game effort.  Play her back if you see her in a turf sprint were she has an OUTSIDE post and she can track the early leader from second.

Tom Amoss is DA MAN at the Fair Grounds

Tom Amoss has a winners from starters rate of 32% on the year, he’s currently 48% at the current Fair Grounds meet, and when he drops a horse in the claiming ranks two plus levels (example $15,000 down to $5,000) he is winning at a rate of 54% (25 for 46).  Tom Amoss is not necessarily a profitable trainer betting all his horses, because Fair Grounds regulars know his strengths, but he is a huge factor in horizontal wagers (pick 3s, pick 4s).

 

Off the Charts Trip Notes – Nov. 5, 2014

This exclusive and free AGameofSkill.com feature, Off the Charts Trip Notes (Nov. 5, 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 AGameofSkill.com.  Horses below listed in track name order.

Keeneland

Tony B (Race 3 @KEE, October 11, 2014, 6 ½ furlongs, Starter $30,000) The favorite hopped at the start and was bumped which created a slightly tardy beginning. He traveled evenly with the eventual winner down the backstretch while tracking the first flight. He went wide into the turn and stayed wide throughout while the winner took the short route on the rail. He closed well and ran a big race only to be defeated by a short head. The extra real estate traveled cost him several lengths.

Laurel

My T Swift (Race 8 @LRL, October 11, 2014, 6 furlongs, AOC 2x) The fifth choice was bumped from both sides at the start, dropped back to last and then headed to the rail, tried to get through along the rail in the first part of the turn but was checked abruptly and retreated to last again, rallied and came again on the inside, moved to the center of the track once in the stretch and ran down leader in a gutsy effort in the slop.

Hawthorne

American Piasa (Race 6 @HAW, October 11, 2014, one mile 1/16, Claiming $5,000) Longshot went very wide in first turn, traveled very wide down the backstretch, was widest of all throughout the entire turn and entered the stretch about 7-8 wide. Closed very well and got the lead only to lose in the final strides. The lost ground on the turns was very significant, and without that loss this gelding would have won with ease.

Santa Anita

Simply in Awe (Race 10 @SA, October 11, 2014, 5 ½ furlongs, Maiden Claiming $30,000) Big longshot was rushed up on the inside and was about to challenge for the lead but was checked about the half mile pole, pulled back and lost position, was then boxed in throughout the entire turn, attempted to make a move at the top of the stretch but was forced to steady, forced to steady again near the furlong marker, and then rallied to run evenly securing fourth only 3 lengths from the winner. An excellent race for a juvenile filly considering her trouble.

Woodbine

Niigon’s Song (Race 2 @WO, October 10, 2014,  one mile 1/16, MSW) Favorite hopped a little, was bumped and steadied at the start, stayed along the rail and was steadied slightly and held up when entering the first turn. Down the backstretch she darted between foes and made a premature move using much energy to eventually wind up vying for the lead and widest of three leaders throughout the entire final turn. Was caught after passing the quarter pole but ran on to finish fourth without much encouragement. The first three-quarters of a mile was costly to this juvenile filly.

Off the Charts Trip Notes – Dec. 9, 2013

This exclusive and free AGameofSkill.com feature Off the Charts Trip Notes (Dec. 9, 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 AGameofSkill.com.  Horses below listed in track name order.

Churchill

SPEEDY KITTEN (Race 2@CD, November 28, 2013, one mile, Maiden Claiming $30,000) The sixth choice bobbled and stumbled at the break, otherwise was away well but then dropped back near rear of the field. Retreated all the way to last entering the turn and was wide throughout the turn when entering the stretch. Gradually made up ground and was closing well late finishing only two lengths from the winner and very close to third.

Fairgrounds

ZARBY’S DERBY DAY (Race 4@FG, November 28, 2013, 6 furlongs, Claiming $5,000) The second choice in the wagering traveled behind a tightly pack group of leaders down the backstretch and into the turn. He was cut off from midway in the turn to the top of the stretch while full of run, and even checked slightly and hesitated just before reaching the stretch. Tried to go inside but swung out to the center of the track at the 3/16 pole. Finally able to run he made up several lengths on the leaders and then passed the leader to win by a couple of lengths going away.

Hawthorne

B S WILDCAT (Race 5@HAW, November 27, 2013, 6 ½ furlongs, Claiming $10,000) The fourth choice in the wagering stumbled badly at the gate and was left behind immediately and then raced wide down the backstretch. He remained wide throughout the entire turn and was then about 6 wide into the stretch. Ran on very well and took the place position in photo.

Laurel

THE LOUISIANA KID (Race 8@LRL, November 27, 2013, 6 furlongs, AOC $32,000) The fourth choice in the wagering bumped at the gate to cause a minor problem but quickly took near the lead and engaged others. Dropped back when the front end became crowded and retreated all the way to fifth during the trip through the turn before launching a good rally several wide into the stretch. Was in fourth position when turning for home and ran well to finish a good second.

Penn National

SHE’S ORDAINED (Race 2@PEN, November 27, 2013, 6 furlongs, Stakes) The favorite failed to leave the gate with the others and was very tardy to begin losing at least a half-dozen lengths. Rushed up into contention and fought her way between rivals by the time the field reached the turn and she moved into second with a foe at her throat while still several lengths from the leader. She flew a little wide into the stretch but continued forward under strong handling with a tremendous effort to lose in a photo.

Woodbine

SCAT DADDYS BREEZE (Race 1@WO, November 27, 2013, 6 furlongs, Maiden Claiming $25,000) The favorite stalked the early leaders and began to rally midway in the turn bit had to wait and take back. She came back again at the top of the stretch but had nowhere to go and was bumped trying to get through a small hole. Ran a respectable third but could have won without the trouble.

RYDER KAY (Race 5@WO, November 27, 2013, 1 1/16 miles, Claiming $10,000 2L) Longshot tracked leaders and began to rally in turn along the rail but was checked hard just before the top of the stretch, which appeared to be due to poor handling. He was able to swing out several wide and rally but still appeared to be handled poorly, but eventually got up for the win at a very good price.

Off the Charts Trip Notes – January 17, 2013

Off the Charts Trip Notes (January 17, 2013) 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 AGameofSkill.com.  Horses below listed in track name order.

At Delta Downs

HONKEYTONK BULLY (Race 3 at DED, Jan 10, mdcl 10, 7 1/2 furlongs). This maiden claimer encountered serious trouble when he ran up on heels entering the far turn. Subsequently, he was steadied hard and shuffled back, losing momentum and numerous lengths. He proceeded to rally into the stretch and finished a very 3rd behind two logical runners. May be able to finally break through with a clean trip next time.

At Gulfstream

TEMPLE LION (Race 4 at GP, Jan 10, cl 6,250, 1 mile dirt). Second choice in the wagering, this filly finished with a sustained and willing run while chasing the 6-5 favorite around the far turn and into the stretch run. She was racing against the prevailing bias so this was a very good effort. Can win back at this level.

SPRING REASON (Race 6 at GP, Jan 10, Mdspwt, 1 mile turf). Augustin Stable runner raced inside with nowhere to go on the far turn, as she suffered from traffic woes during a good part of this race. The second time starter finished well on her courage up the inside of this turf race, while no threat to the winner, in a good performance for Jonathan Sheppard. El Prado filly wins soon.

At Turf Paradise

GABES GOLD (Race 7 at TUP, Jan. 14, mdcl $5,000, 1 mile). One of the contenders in this bottom level maiden claimer, this guy suffered a brutally wide trip. He broke from the ten hole, went 7 wide around the first turn and then proceeded to race 4-5 wide on the backstretch into the far turn. Despite that, he was in contention at the top of the lane before understandably tiring. This “professional maiden” was well beaten with the jockey entirely to blame for the exaggerated margin of defeat. He has finished in the money in 7 of 16 starts and can fare better next time with a major rider switch.

Off the Charts Trip Notes – from AGameofSkill.com, August 11

Off the Charts Trip Notes (August 11, 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 AGameofSkill.com.  Horses below listed in track name order.

At Del Mar

SPEARGUN (Race 1 on Aug. 2 at DMR, mdcl 30, 6 furlongs). Second choice in the wagering, this guy was completely boxed in turning for home. Looked like he might get a clear run at the eighth pole but the eventual runner-up again boxed in on the rail. Lost all chance at this point but got up for third in a willing effort.

THE HUMANCOMPLAINT (Race 3 on Aug. 4 at DMR, mdspwt). First time starter entered this race off a strong workout and was bet down accordingly. He broke slowly and was never really asked to run until the very end by jockey Rafael Bejerano. Barn rarely wins first time out this was clearly an educational experience for the son of Tribal Rule. Will take money and rightfully so in second career start.

At Saratoga

ARCH SUPPORT (race 7 on July 30 at SAR, 1 mile inner turf). This two-time winner at the Spa was sitting mid pack 5th in the field of eight when she received a weak and poor timely move from jockey Irad Ortiz. She was making a run in mid-stretch when she simply was not given a clear path to run. Daughter of Arch was wrapped up last and finished last but only beaten a little over two lengths for all the money. She could be a big price next time out at the same “optional 3x” level.

GIMME CREDIT (Race 6 on Aug. 1 at SAR, 1 mile inner turf). In his first start since May and only third start since last fall, this 9yo gelding made a furious late charge and just ran out of real estate in this one mile optional claimer. Son of Artax was making his first start for top turf trainer Chad Brown and clearly likes his new surroundings. Would benefit from a stretch out to 1 1/16 miles. Owns two wins at Saratoga lifetime from 8 attempts.

KRISSY KAT (Race 5 on Aug. 2 at SAR, mdcl 50k, 1 mile inner turf). Filly was making her second start off the layoff and first on the grass for the barn of Ralph Nicks. She was steadied briefly in mid stretch and that cost her valuable momentum as she making a nice late run. She would not have caught the winner but should have been second. 3yo is bred well on both sides for the grass.

LORD OF LOVE (Race 6 on Aug. 4 at SAR, ny-mdspwt, 1 mile inner turf). New York-bred 3yo has shown sneaky great improvement since returning from a layoff for longtime trainer John Hertler. He was making a nice run up the inside but did not have a clear path late and was steadied at the 1/16th pole behind the winning favorite from the Chad Brown barn. Son of Not For Love is knocking on the door.

Off the Charts Trip Notes – AGameofSkill.com

Off the Charts Trip Notes (July 4, 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 AGameofSkill.com.  Horses below listed in track name order.

At Arlington Park

WAYNES KITTEN (Race 1, June 27, 6 1/2 furlong mdclaimer). This guy made a strong, winning move on the far turn but was stuck inside of three horses. Remained there under jockey Francisco Giles as the runner was never able to get out. Giles finally decided to ask him to go up the inside but it was too late. He was also hurt by the slow pace in this maiden claimer. Strong effort.

DIXIE IN PINK (Race 9, June 29, 1 mile turf). California invader had a very unlucky go of it in her Chicago debut. She was in contention to make a winning run at the top of the stretch when she simply lacked any type of clear runner. She continued on willingly to the end, dead-heating for fourth in a sneaky good effort. Clean trip is all this one needs to graduate.

At Churchill Downs

TAP TWENTY ONE (Race 2, June 30 at CD, Maiden 2YO, 6 furlongs main). Debut runner was sixth choice in field of 12. Horrible start. Knocked around on both sides and stumbled. She was left 6 lengths behind another slow starter. Filly ran in mid track and entered stretch 4-5 wide and next to last, started to move and passed horses but had to alter stretch, then ducked down to the rail at the 1/8 pole. She was flying late to get fourth. Between the wire and first turn she galloped out strongly and passed everyone quickly, including the winner.

At Emerald Downs

RUN ATOM (Race 6, June 30 at EMD, 6 furlongs). Fourth choice in field of 8 claimers. Void of early speed and traveled along the inside. Began to rally and make progress in turn was the shut off at top of stretch and had to take up, started to run again and was checked at 3/16 pole losing all momentum. Deserves another shot to close at a good pace.

At Louisiana Downs

COTEAU CAT (Race 9, June 28, claimer). Very tough luck trip on the 7/5 first betting choice in this $5,000 claimer. Had a ton of horse turning for home when he was completely stymied behind a wall of horses at the 1/8th pole. When he finally got clear, he had no trouble rushing up the inside to secure second behind an easy trip winner. Has a winning attitude and should have little trouble winning next time at the same level.

L B TWENTY (Race 4 at LAD, June 29, six furlongs). Deserving favorite and the stronger half of the entry broke from the rail, was vying for the early lead when he was shuffled back along the inside. Tracked in fourth behind a wall of three horses on the far turn when the jockey very unwisely decided to ask this runner to go up the inside in mid-stretch to catch the eventual winner. Not surprisingly he wouldn’t do that and ended up 2nd best after this unlucky trip.

At Woodbine

FLYING ECHO (Race 4, July 1, WO, 1 1/16 main). Eighth choice in field of 10 maidens. At the back of the pack and along inside before starting to make progress just into the turn. Was forced to check and wait just before the 1/4 pole. Tried to move inside but opening closed at 3/16 pole and gelding was forced to check and wait. Ran well afterwards.

Off the Charts Trip Notes – AGameofSkill.com

Off the Charts Trip Notes spotlights horses throughout the country who encountered some type of significant or meaningful trouble in their most recent start. 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 AGameofSkill.com.  Horses below listed in track name order.

At Belmont Park

ALMOST AN ANGEL (race 6, May 24 at Belmont, 6f turf) – this colt was making his second career start and first on the grass but figured to love the new surface as the son of Breeders’ Cup Mile Artie Schiller. The Wesley Ward runner made a nice run at the top of the stretch but was blocked briefly and had to dive to the inside at the 1/8th pole. Meanwhile the favorite and eventual winner, Joha, got the jump on this rival and opened up in midstretch. Almost An Angel was clearly 2nd best in a very good turf debut.

 

SLAMM’N LOU (Race 1, May 27 at Bemontl; 1 1/16 miles Turf). Fourth choice in field of ten. Away well and was never asked for run until the quarter pole. Couldn’t get outside for a run and then moved inside only to be cut off. Held back and forced to wait ay 1/8 pole. With no place to go he was forced to stay in between two foes in tight quarters for the last 1/16 and battled only to miss show narrowly.

 

At Churchill Downs

FIRETACK (race 6, May 24 at Churchill Downs, 6f dirt) – this Dale Romans trainee was making his first start versus winners after scoring an easy win against maiden claiming company on May 1. This was a valuable experience as the son of Forest Danger was taken up hard at the half mile pole and then finishing willingly under new rider Miguel Mena. Firetack finished a non-threatening but sneaky good fourth here and should improve off this start.

 

At Emerald Downs

SOVEREIGN BAY (race 4, May 28 at EMD, 5 furlongs dirt) – Debut runner was left way back in early going and started to rally midway in turn. Looked like an experienced runner coming down stretch making up considerable ground until she ran into back of pair dueling on rail. She moved out and in trying to find a space to run, was held back temporarily then swung outward to further the rally. Closed very well after misfortunes and look better than all others.

 

At Hollywood Park

CINCO DE MARIO (race 2, May 26 at HOL, 4 1/2 mdspwt) – didn’t get the best of rides from his namesake, although granted it was mostly circumstances. First time starter chased the pace and then got stuck on the inside turning for home. From there he had to alter course, finishing well to just miss 2nd. Very strong effort from the same winning connections of the horse vying for this year’s Triple Crown.

 

At PARX
SEEKING THE LILIES (Race 1, May 26 at PRX; Mile dirt). Second choice in field of 6. Sandwiched at start, was directed outside and voluntarily traveled 7 wide in first turn. Started to make move in turn but kept in track center and remained there for the balance of the race. Ran on with little encouragement to gain fourth.

 

At Woodbine
ZDENKA (Race 3, May 23 at WO; Mile, Turf). Sixth choice in field of 11. Slow start then forced to take back several steps out of gate and appeared to be left hopelessly behind. Close to ten lengths back at quarter pole, entered the stretch last and was taken 7-8 wide before running straight. Woodbine track announcer said “Zdenka has come from another province,” as she began passing horses in a flurry. She finished fourth less than two lengths behind winner. Normally running 5-6 lengths off the pace, this first time “blinkers” runner will need another outing to see if the new equipment will get her closer to the lead. She was certainly focused on running down the competition when asked so a good start next time may be bad news for her opponents.

Off the Charts Trip Notes – AGameofSkill.com

Off the Charts Trip Notes spotlights horses throughout the country who encountered some type of significant trouble in their most recent start. 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 trouble spotted by our expert handicappers at AGameofSkill.com.  Horses below listed in date order.

At Arlington Park
Static Kill (Race 5, May 12 at AP; 6 furlongs). Third choice in wagering, field of 9. Checked just past ½ mile pole when competitor rushed up and came out in center of track. Raced well behind leading group drawing close in turn while under tight restraint, then had no place to go the entire stretch. Never had an opportunity for a fully extended run and was behind a wall of 7 horses at one point, from rail outward. Ran evenly the entire stretch.

At Presque Isle
No Contest (Race 3, May 15 at PID; 5 furlongs). Third choice in wagering, field of 10. Broke directly left toward the rail and was left behind. Move outward at ½ mile pole and moved further out entering the turn. Very wide throughout turn and was 8 wide at top of the stretch. Ran well in stretch and gained more than 2 lengths on leaders in last 1/8 mile without being pushed.

At Woodbine
Sisterdini (Race 5, May 16 at WO; 5 ½ furlongs). Sixth choice in field of 12. Had horrible debut start. The filly jumped slightly at start and appeared tangled in the gate. When she finally left the gate she was easily 6 lengths behind the back of the field and a dozen or so from the front. She went around horses entering the turn and then came back to the rail in the last portion of the turn. Moved outward toward track center when in stretch and had to hesitate slightly for racing room just past 3/16 pole. When straight she closed very well and barely missed third, seemed determined all the way in what was a very impressive run for a rookie.

At Churchill
Original Kitten (race 3, May 18 at CD, 1 mile 1/16 Turf). Second choice in field of seven. Moved out wide into first turn and forced out foe in process. Out of first turn she came back inside to rail and enjoyed an uneventful ground saving trip, under tight restraint, until the top of the stretch. Looked to move down on rail when entering stretched but cut off by leader and foe running second. Moved out for racing room but was cut off again and bumped by eventual winner. Did not shake free until last 100 yards and closed well to gain third.

At Belmont Park
Ibid (Race 3, May 20 at Bel, 6 furlongs). Debut runner was fourth choice in field of eight. Jumped up at start and into the left side of gate then forced to pull back slightly when shut off in the first 100 yards. She was cut off again and squeezed back a second time near the 5/8 pole then dropped back next to last with her effort showing inexperience. Once into the turn the filly rallied well while wide and moved into contention at the top of the stretch where she was seven wide and, at that point, tried to move inward bumping with a foe. Once free from interaction with opponents in center track she ran well to gain third. The race was a combination of bad luck and inexperience. She was more than a handful for her rider.