Off the Charts Trip Notes – November 17, 2013


HOT EMBER (Race 4@CD, November 6, 2013, 6 furlongs, Starter $5,000) Fourth Choice experienced a very rough trip in the opening 5/16ths of a mile being bumped on several occasions from both side before being squeezed and forced to steady losing ground. Raced wide into and throughout the turn then afterwards tried to close wide in the stretch.

BUSTER ROSE (Race 7@CD, November 6, 2013, 6 furlongs, $10,000 Claiming) Hopped at the start and was blocked, retreated to the rear of the pack. Moved into battle while 6 wide in the turn and was then carried out more when he was passing a horse in the process of being eased. Entering the stretch he was very wide but ran with determination to finish third only 4 lengths from the lead after being heavily compromised.

GOLD MEGILLAH (Race 1@CD, November 7, 2013, 1 1/16th miles, Claiming $15,000) The favorite and eventual winner was forced to work far more than all others and still visited the Winner’s Circle. He hopped slightly at the start, was blocked and stayed back in last. He remained behind all others while traveling wide into and throughout the first turn. Just before hitting the straight of the backstretch he hesitated and held back before clipping heels. Raced last until about the 5/16th marker when he moved wide in turn, entered the stretch about 6 wide but had drawn even with the leaders by then due to a very quick move in the bend. Fought off a stubborn foe and grabbed lead later in the stretch. By far the best in the race and with a clean trip could have whipped this field by many lengths.

SEAL SIX (Race 6@CD, November 7, 2013, 1 1/16th miles, MSW) Second choice bobbled slightly after start and was bumped. Forced to stay on rail he experienced great trouble in the first turn being steadied, hesitated and rider losing balance momentarily. Was trapped along the rail starting down backstretch where he was always running with the brakes on and nowhere to go. He was in contention in turn but apparently lost interest as many two year olds will do. Less trauma early in the race will probably produce much better results for this young ‘un.


LUNA ARGENTA (Race 4@LRL, November 9, 2013, One Mile, MSW) The fifth choice was the only debut runner in the field and broke very, very slowly. She was about 10 lengths behind the leader at the half mile pole and entered the turn, while rallying, wide. Traveled wide throughout the turn and came into the stretch picking up steam. Was closing and getting to winner but the rider stood up with about a 1/16th to go, misjudging the finish line. She could have won this race easily.


CAFÉ AU LAIT (Race 8@WO, November 8, 2013, 1 1/16, Allowance 3L) Second choice traveled to the outside and was forced to wait and dropped back to last early in the turn. She tried to make progress but was then steadied in the latter part of the turn, forced to go very wide entering the stretch. Launched a good rally while wide and got up for fourth near the winner.

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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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