Trip Notes Ahead of OP’s Monday 2/17/19 Card

This is a guest post by my old friend Benny Southstreet. Benny, take it away!

Race 1:

Tedders Angel – 12/6/18: Away clean & with field. No ask early but stuck 4W into and through most of 1st turn. Eye balling duelers (45-1 and 5-1 with 5-1 on outside eventually winning race) set a slower than normal pace.  Made move while 3 wide entering the far turn, coming within ½ length of the lead.  Leader urinated all over this one & pulled away with ears pricked and plenty left at wire.  Will need to improve, although brief spurt into turn may be a sign of lack of fitness off of the break.

Tapit Right – 1/27/19: Was 15-1 M/L.  Winner went wire to wire on a fast pace.  Field crawled home.  2-3-4 finishers were all stretch runners.  Might be a bad race, winner aside.  Broke 1 to 1.5 lengths slow. Slight drift in at gap but not significant trouble. Slightest of pauses onto backstretch. Not serious trouble at all. At rail down backstretch and into far turn. Intimidated at rail a bit entering turn & forced to pause causing loss of 2 lengths but no positions. Decent recover & around next to last foe, spinning 2-3-4 wide in turn. Jock kept her behind in stretch.  Will improve but will need huge move up.

Lady Priest – 7/4/18: Was 6-1 M/L.  Top 2 finishers were last and next to last early.  Pace was fast for these puppies at this distance.  Away just OK.  Jock nibbled her into a bad spot early, in between and too fast. Sucked out of the duel to find outside foe ¾ to 1 length ahead. Then an early mover took spot at rail and in between again. Bad spot and bad ride.  Sucked out of in between spot for a 2nd time and then outside foe moved right past this one. Heart was broken at this point.  Not sure what is here but this one gets a pass.

Count Ur Bless’n – 12/10/18: Was 20-1 M/L. Even money chalk wins.  Not the best of breaks. A bit green and last early. Outrun after ¼.  Mild nibbling but no real ask from jock. Writer bumped this one along down the lane. Pretty good gallop out and looks like she wants more distance.

Flamin Icon – 1/27/19: Was 15-1 M/L.  Broke clean and showed decent speed early. Slightly outrun and was in a bad spot down the backstretch. When spot opened at rail she accelerated nicely into a hole and then ran up on the leader & had to stop abruptly.  Got clumsy and green when intimidated halfway through the turn. Remained intimidated at the rail throughout the turn. Awful spot in between early stretch and finished on her own courage. Definitely better than look and something is here.  Follow.

Honduras Pride – 9/18/18: Was entered 1-27, Oaklawn 3rd but scratched.  Broke in but did not bump with inside foe and no big trouble. Found perfect spot down the back stretch well tracking what seemed to be an honest pace. Was awful throughout.  Odds on favorite ran pitiful 3rd.

Race 2:

Sevier – 2/8/19:  Broke just okay. Nibbled for speed and earned a clear lead. Clear by 2 entering the far turn and going well. Top two pulled four lengths clear midway in turn. Fought off ⅘ chalk for win.

1/27/19:  Broke okay and nibbled for speed early. Was “eye ball dueling” and then the other speed horse pulled up, leaving this one briefly alone on the lead by a length. An early engage into the far turn buy two stacked foes. Nibbling nearing the top of the stretch and then an all-out drive at top of lane. Fought hard through the lane and didn’t give up despite being passed by mid-runner.

Flat Lucky – 2/10/19: Broke fine just a bit out. No big deal. Allowed to settle in next to last. Clear leader unpressured.  This one lost ground entering far turn when top 4 quickened the pace and this one wasn’t really asked. Big late turn and stretch drive while moving from 2 path to out and around, only to get beat about a length.

Bolita Boyz – Entered and scratched from Oaklawn 1/27/19 Allowance Optional 50K in a race where Asmussen (4/5*) and McKnight (7/2) ran 1-2.  Diodoro had another in there that didn’t hid board (Hitter’s Park – dead on board).  9/8/19:  Came away okay. Run off leader by 4 lengths seemed to be going fine but caved badly. This one stalked the stalker and made a three-wide move to the lead late in the turn, only to get run over by a Navarro who ran out of his skin.  Despite getting urinated on at the top of the lane, this one wasn’t losing ground at the wire.

D’ Rapper – 11/29/18: Broke fine. After 1/8 was in a tight pocket. Aggressive ride to engage the top 2 immediately after entering far turn. Must be agile – most pause at turn when at rail – this one cut corner and took off.  Outdueled these two pace setters and was clearly best.  10/18/18: Broke OK. Was in perfect stalking position, 1.5 lengths behind dueler, and rider moved into a 3 prong duel for no reason. Dueled 3 wide, put away other speed and confident handling entering top of stretch. Challenged in stretch by perfect tripper and couldn’t hold him off.  Was clearly best.  Worthless ride.

Aquamarine – 4/14/18: Asmussen wins at 3/2 with Switzerland.  A little fidgety in the gate and broke okay at best. Grabbed up early and raced in mid-pack. Switzerland (winner) had a clear lead entering the far turn by 1 length. Nibbled on while three wide in the turn – then hard ridden. Mildest of bids and then token riding the rest of the way.  Rider knew he was beat.  3/17/18:  Diodoro wins at even money with Sutton Impact. Broke well. Showed good speed and could have nibbled into a perfect stalking position but allowed to settle and stuck four wide entering the turn. Favorite and eventual winner was clear by two throughout. Asked in turn while 4 and 3 wide and fought for second throughout stretch but was clearly no match for the time 2 and barely held third.

Rockshaw – 11/10/18:  Broke just okay. Did the dirty work early while stalking and pressing the 3/5 favorite. Pace seemed fast and was validated by a deep closer winning, one that was more than a dozen lengths from the lead.  Wasn’t horrible.

Adios Muchacho – 1/27/19: Broke fine and perfectly clean. No real ask early and found fence after 1/8. Nibbles entering far turn and earned 2 lenths of open-air early in turn.  Hard ask from there, easing rail to 2-3-4 path by midturn and then a clear shot in stretch.  Visibly empty while drifting in a touch while being hit left handed.  Good trip overall but respectable run.

Midwest Justice – 1/27/19: Broke well and straight into an eyeball duel after 1/8 while at the rail. No asked until late in the turn when engaged by 4-5* favorite and eventual winner.

New York Central – 1/13/18: Broke well and held up while trying to tuck in early, but still parked 5 and 4 wide throughout the first turn.  Was a touch keen early.  Pace was slow and field was compact with the top 7 within 4 lengths of the lead. Good move entering turn and up to engage leaders while 3 wide. Trying to lean on leader while gaining lead at top of stretch and run over by back marker.

Race 3:

Speed App – 2/1/19: Stumbled to his knees at the start. Asked for speed after that but parked 5-4-3 wide through the first turn. Field was very strong out and pace was fast with four length runoff leader who went wire to wire. Ridden hard for show money. Decent move in far turn but leader was a pole best with his ears flipping around dominating.

American Heritage – 1/18/19: Broke well and nibbled for speed early. Tough spot throughout and dueled in between until rider gave up with ¼ mile left. Despite token riding and clearly being tired this one coasted home better than you’d think.

Grenation – 1/26/19: Broke clean but wasn’t quick from the blocks. Allowed to find his way to the back of the pack without much urging. Clearly no speed. Ridden to keep up with field entering far turn while four lengths back of the next-to-last horse. Began some more serious riding at the top of the stretch, finally catching filed but having no real clear shot at rail either.  Is better than this effort but needs to find a way to show more speed.

Better Charge It – 2/8/19: Was 8-1 M/L off of the bench. Broke in and hit gate at start. Nibbled briefly and recovery, but into a 3 prong duel. Rail dueler faded early. This one then found rail to be outdueled by last of the 3 speeds. Was empty at top of stretch, conceding to foe that was behind and re-rallying from early fade. Not persevered with. Will need big move up.

Proud Nation – 10/28/18: Broke well.  Clear leader went wire to wire.  This one stalked the stalked while a clear 3rd throughout. 3 wide entering and through the far turn. Asked hard midway in turn and all in by top of the lane, grinding out a place finish.  Seems like this might be a strong race.

Sneads – 8-4-18: Winner was hammered Bill Mott from 12-1 to 2-1 that was a pole the best.  Broke fine. Asked for speed early but showed none. Back to last. Ridden for run but saw no visible excuses.

Tut’s Revenge – 1/25/19: Winner was Asmussen that was bet from 5-1 to 5-2.  Broke well and to clear stalking position. Tiny little thing!  Doesn’t look like a router.  Up to engage leader while 2 wide entering far turn. Hard ridden while tiring entering lane. Drifting a bit.  Was being engulfed by a wall of horses with 100 yards left.  This was a good showing for a smaller filly who needed the race and might be a sprinter.

Race 4:

Goodbye Earl – 1/25/19: Same Class, age, sex and distance ran 21.93, 46.18, 58.89, 111.56 two races earlier.  This one is clearly coming out of the much stronger of the division.  Broke well and a bit outward. Settled in midpack while several paths wide (maybe 6). 3-4 wide through turn. Failed to make up any ground but this field flew home. Token stretch ride.  Big horse and looks like he may want more ground.  Wasn’t terrible considering fast heat.  Winner was bet from 20-1 to 12-1 and 2-5 shot was 3rd.

Takechargmatriarch – 1/25/19: Same Class, age, sex and distance ran 21.83, 45.53, 57.95, 111.56 two races earlier.  This one is clearly coming out of the much stronger of the division.  Stumbled pretty bad early and back to last. Found rail and passed a couple of foes prior to entering far turn. Eased to 2 path in turn to go around rail fader, split rivals early in stretch and then tired. Rider was obsessed with teaching this one to switch leads, giving up last 1/8 or so.  Good energy for a good half mile considering the break. Absolutely worth following.

The Emerald Queen – Was entered on 2-7 for MSW affair but opted for this one.  8/19/18: Broke quick and straight to contest pace from 2 path. Pushed into leader by an early mover and eventually made a clear lead by the top of the stretch.  Fought hard through lane but no match for 4-5* Brad Cox that stalked from inside and eased out for the drive.

It Is the Season – 2/3/19: Was 15-1 M/L. Hesitated a bit at start and last. Hustled away and good recovery. 3-4 path through 1st turn. Rider to whip early down backstretch and readily lost ground.

Mucho Mas – 10/18/18: Pace was a bit slow for these.  Same class, age, distance and sex ran 22.69,46.45, 112.14, 127.80 later in the day.  Broke a bit slow and in air and lost position. Back to last. Reserved at rear. Moved in between and to rail midway on backstretch, earning 4 positions by early in far turn. Saved ground through turn and eased out 2-3-4-5 wide for last 1/8. Pace and break really hurt.  May have been best and huge gallop out.

What a Fox – 1/25/19: Same Class, age, sex and distance ran 21.83, 45.53, 57.95, 110.41 two races earlier.  Clearly coming out of the much weaker of the division.  Very tough to say what was here.  Broke fine.  Found great spot early behind an eye ball duel of 4 horses with one wide tracker. Sat behind these and then moved in behind, eventually finding a bad spot right behind and in between with nowhere to go. On hold for quite a while, maybe 3/16. Finally some space in front, began riding late in turn. No real path until late.  She tried to quicken and get through but was quick enough to get through and the doors shut.  Given the speed of the heat I’d pass – but there was certainly some trouble and she wouldn’t surprise.

Gun Club – 1/25/19: Same Class, age, sex and distance ran 21.83, 45.53, 57.95, 110.41 two races earlier.  Clearly coming out of the much weaker of the division.  Broke well and ended up stalking a 4 prong duel while in hand from the 5 path. 5 wide through the turn with no real ask. Made joint lead at the top of the stretch and clear shot the rest of the way, but runover by a wide close on what was a slow pace and slow race.  Yuck.

Race 6:

Warrior’s Charge – 1/26/19: Away best. Outquicked but allowed to settle in midpack in 5 path down backstretch. 4-5 wide entering far turn. Asked early in turn pretty hard while now in the 3 path. A bit green in the lane, head slightly looking around. Got warmed up late while in between and was a bully the last 150 yards pushing through in between to snatch 3rd.  Would have galloped out a mile in front but was not permitted. Absolute follow with more ground.

Passion Play – 1/25/19: Broke well and clean. To lead and easily found rail into first turn. Clear and uncontested by 2 for the first half mile. Breather late in backstretch and let stalker get to ½ length, then kicked away late in turn. Professional lead switch and nice kick in lane, only getting run over by pocket sitter that had great trip. Ran well but should have.

Higher Authority – 1/26/19: Was one of two entries for Gary West.  Other half ran 2nd.  Broke well but no speed. Some nibbling down backstretch with plenty of open air in front of this one.  4 wide entering and through far turn.  Even all the way around.  Definitely a router but didn’t see any run either.

Benny – 2/8/19:  12/22/18: Stumbled slightly at start. No big deal.  To rail.  Entire field was within 5 lengths of lead entering far turn. Slight pausing at turn. Stayed at rail and ridden patiently – nowhere to go.  Tough to say what was really here.  Had some mild traffic trouble but winner had significant trouble and won for fun.

Battleofthebulge – 9/2/18: This was an extremely live heat.  Broke fine. Was showing good speed (with no ask) and looking to push up to contest lead and got caught in a bad spot and had to pause and suck out after getting pinballed for about 6 or more strides.  Immediately found another bad spot in between and now behind leaders and began losing ground.  To rail from there and beaten up pretty good for a good ¼ of mile while backing up. Jock should be publicly tarred and feathered for beating this one up after horse’s clear lack of interest after getting destroyed in between and shuffled a second time.

Brush Country – 1/25/19: Broke below average and in a bit tight. Sucked back to next to last. At rail through first turn. Stayed at rail for the most part down backstretch and into far turn. Hard ask midway in turn and began easing out. 3 path in turn, then easing 4-5-6 wide into stretch. Big kick in lane given the pace and was absolute pace casualty.

Incorrigible – 11/25/18:  Away OK. Was near a slower pace for these (winner went wire to wire & has since come back to win 2 stakes – very live heat) but stacked 4-5 wide down backstretch. Decent move in turn, albeit 4 wide.  Flat lane.  10/27/18: Pace was very fast. Hooked duelers were 6 lengths clear after ¼ mile.  Winner was a Pletcher first timer that was green, in bad spots, climbing from mud and had huge strides to somehow get up for win. This one broke well and was in a good spot early but out-quicked. Asked to keep up and decent recovery entering far turn. Asked hard in 2-3 path in turn with no real gain. Decent stretch run but no real trouble to speak of….just outrun.

Comedian – 1/19/19: Broke well and 4-across duel early from rail. Leaving the first turn were now just 3 across but perfectly stacked in real 3 prong duel for the lead while 2 clear of the rest. Survived the early duel and was asked to fend off a midpack runner that swooped 4-5 wide entering the far turn.  Success was short-lived as deeper closer ran by this one. Game, game try in defeat.

Green Fleet – 1/4/19: Broke OK. No speed and allowed to settle near back. Pace seemed slower than normal. Plenty of open air for this down backstretch. Asked early in turn, then harder mid-turn with no real impression. Spun 3-4-5 wide entering stretch for clear drive.  Was losing ground when wire arrived.  No excuses other than the top two in this race are good animals – likely stakes caliber one day.

Stock Chain – 1/25/19: Away fine and found a great spot early in 3 path through first turn. 3 path down backstretch and looked to advance into far turn with mild urging. Hard ask midway in turn and stretch was flat and then totally empty. Very disappointing given trip. Not with Monopoly money.

Race 7:

Auspicious Babe – 1/27/19: Winner went wire to wire while uncontested. An early line up across the track caused several to take back a bit and not get stuck wide.  Made for a slow pace. Away ½ length slow. Didn’t hurt because the field lined up early but was able to tuck in a bit. Decent ground made up late on backstretch and found her way to the rail in turn. Brief pause nearing the top of the stretch but was never going to threaten. Eh.

Holiday’s Angel – 8/9/18: Broke well. Held up at rail through first turn and loose pocket 3rd while saving ground throughout turn. Eased out at backstretch. Perfect trip. Earned perfect tracking spot on backstretch and into far turn. 2 path the rest of the way with every chance.  Hung terribly.

Promise of Spring – 6/23/18: Broke best. Allowed to rate early but found a terrible spot behind horses and needing to pass several with a slow pace in front. Asked midway in turn while moving 4 wide and a nice, nice run. Got to within 1 length of Champagne Problems (a real pro) but flattened and wasn’t persevered with the last 1/16. This was a very, very good race.

Dutch Parrot – 11/22/18: Away OK and clean. Pace seemed slower for these and winner went wire to wire for fun.  One foe was eased, too, which made for a 6 horse field in which 3-5* was a distant 2nd. This one saved ground throughout first turn. Allowed to settle near back. Some nibbling early in turn became nudging midway in far turn while easing to path. Spinning 3-4-5 wide nearing top of stretch, never looked threatening and jock never really asked this one to go around the leaders until late, staying behind foes into stretch.  Pace casualty but plodded around the track – never visually impressing.

Smart Emma – 1/27/19: Broke well and clean. Stacked 5-4 wide in first turn. Five wide backstretch run. Nibbled at entering far turn. Four wide throughout far turn also. Ran evenly in stretch.  Absolutely not disgraced given ground loss and pace.  Certainly was BTL.

She’s a Julie – 11/21/18: Broke OK and then mild bump. Showed speed to pressure leader a bit, then leader ran off by 3 and this one was allowed to track. Pace was fast. Moved in on leader into far turn with 3rd place runner forcing this one’s hand early. Fought to hold lead but ceded grudgingly through lane.  Didn’t seem to be taking the 2nd turn all that great.  9/30/18: Broke OK. Good speed early to earn good stalking trip through 1st turn while in 2 path. Field was quite compact and pace seemed on slower side. Forced hand of leader entering far turn. Made lead at top of stretch. Sprint for home the last ¼ with this one prevailing, but top three finishers were also the top 3 early.

Remedy – 1/27/19: Broke fine. Grabbed a bit to rate early but a touch keen. Pace was slower for these. At rail through first turn and loose pocket 3rd/4th. Saved ground throughout first turn. Not a great spot down backstretch and then able to accelerate and earn stalking trip behind top 3 that were now dueling and picking up pace. Jock opted to stay inside with foe lapped on her outside – then had to move in between late in turn. Lugged in at top of stretch but was in a non-threatening position at that point.

Rose of Malibu – 1/27/19: Broke a hair slow and mild bump. No speed anyway and clear last. Winner went wire to wire while uncontested. An early line up across the track caused several to take back a bit and not get stuck wide.  Made for a slow pace. Was allowed to settle at back and make one run which started entering the far turn. Asked and took off while moving 5-6 wide throughout turn. This was a big effort from an obvious pace casualty.

Sydney Freeman – 12/16/18: Away well and allowed to settle. 3 path through first turn. Pace seemed slower for these with entire field within 5 lengths entering far turn. Moved 4 wide early in turn with a sustained rally. Up for lead at 1/16 pole and drew away. Too good for these.    11/21/18: Away a touch slow and then squeezed back to last. Crap ride – stuck 4 wide through first turn. In last now and big blast off at rail down backstretch. Wall of three in front of looking for room, dove to rail at top of stretch. Was very game and outnodded for place money. Was a pole the best in this one!

Moonlit Garden – 1/27/19: Broke a length slow and a clear last. Rider moved 3 wide through first turn and up to engage leader early down backstretch. Stuck 3 wide into far turn. Shoulder tapping in turn – then all out ask late in turn. Grinding for lead and runover late by winner, Midnight Bisou. Given the first quarter was definitely best. This one broke poorly and rushed wide vs slow pace and Midnight Bisou and almost gutted out victory.

Race 8:

Copper Bullet – 12/26/18: Away well. Found a pretty good spot at the rail with an outside foe lapped on down the backstretch – but plenty of open air in front of this one. Nibbled at entering far turn and  responded. Eased to 2 path in turn but was getting outrun and shuffling in turn.  Trouble meant nothing.  This one was done when trouble happened.   11/23/18: Away OK. Natural speed to get to lead. Top five horses only 3 lengths apart after 1/4. Three prong eye ball duel entering far turn while at rail. Lost lead by ½ and battled back late in turn, cut corner and big stretch.

Remembering Rita – 1/26/19: Off OK. Found herself in a good spot through the first turn while 3 wide, then 2 wide. Very ast pace and plenty of open air in front. Moved in on leaders down backstretch from inside position. Had to pause entering the far turn, then found hole at rail and advanced. Found room far about 1/8 and then jock ran up on stopping leader, forcing another pause.  Overall was just a bad ride but was certainly the beneficiary of some pace help up front.

Rocking the Boat – 1/27/19: Broke fine. Great spot early while tracking an early 3 prong duel. Was going well into the far turn while in 2 path and still tracking leaders. Sent hard midway in turn to go around leaders and avoid being kept in by deeper closer….success.  Proved to be winning move as “Rocking the Boat” was on the right side of a win photo against that same horse.  Great trip overall.  11/22/18: Leaned back in her stall right as the gate opened and absolutely blew the start. If that wasn’t bad enough, rushed up into the 1st turn while 3 wide and right off of lead.  Pace was slow overall, but not for this one who had to run way faster than the rest to earn this spot. A clear second into far turn – asked to keep up with leader but understandably tiring. Swallowed up by several late runners, this one actually re-rallied late to earn back a couple of positions. This one an absolute follow!

Sonneteer – 12/26/18:  Entered and scratched from San Pasqual on 2-2. Away OK. To rail early and saved ground throughout first turn. Pace seemed honest. Gradual advance down backstretch at rail. Rail entering far turn. Hard ask midway in far turn. Began good run. Rider felt another moving with this one and was more concerned with pushing this outside foe wide than he was with catching the leaders. Eased 2-3-4-5-6 wide into lane and was flat from there. Horse seemed to be going well prior to being asked to fight with another stretch runner. Wasn’t going to win but still a crap ride and there was more here.

Souper Tapit – 1/19/19: Away about a length slow. Showed good speed while under pretty hard restraint, moving 4 wide throughout first turn. Tough first quarter for this one.  Pace seemed slower for these.  Seemed to be going very well throughout. Three wide through far turn, switched leads in turn very early, then easily claimed lead at top of the stretch. Grinded out win but did it pretty easily. Seemed to be waiting on the others with her ears flipping about near the wire.  Feel like there might be more gas in this one’s tank.

Nun the Less – 11/22/18: Away OK. Reserved in 2 path early while in between entering first turn. Was in between from late in the first turn, then entire backstretch and into far turn. Began a big move in far turn while 3 wide and without much ask. Earned lead in 2 path at the top of stretch and boxed on from there. Understandably couldn’t sustain this long move and runover by rail skimming M G Warrior in last 1/16. Good effort and overall an uneventful, good trip.

Nanoosh – 11/21/18: Broke well and clean.  4-5 wide through first turn but nearly all of them were due to tight turn. Pace seemed on the slower side early. Bad spot out of first turn, moving early into leader and in between foes. Was 3 wide in what became a four across duel at the half. Three wide entering the far turn. Fought for lead entering stretch in 2 path and wore down the rail pace setter for the win. Very good effort for what wasn’t the best trip.

Lone Rock – 1/26/19: Broke fine and showed good tracking speed. Good spot early while 3 wide in first turn. Four lengths of open air in front while 4-5 wide down backstretch. Began moving in turn while 4 wide but should have quickened more as others were stopping in turn. This was a poor, poor effort.

Rated R Superstar – 1/26/19: Away OK and no speed. Back to last on what was a very fast pace. Saved ground throughout first turn. Coasted in 3 path while all alone down backstretch and began run into far turn. Eased 3-4-5-6-7 wide into the stretch and flattened badly.  Yuck.  Pretty sure track announcer had a bet on this one.

All Out Blitz – 1/6/19: Away OK. Parked 4 wide throughout first turn. Contested lead while in 3 path and in hand down backstretch. Slight ask entering far turn. Up for lead late in turn and all out ask. Fighting with pace setter throughout lane and just got by late for win. Normally I’d say huge win but track seemed biased to speed this day and these two fought all the way around and neither backed up.

Tiz He the One – 12/9/18: Broke well. To lead early and then ceded lead to very early blast off. Allowed that one to clear and then eased around that one for stalking position. In hand and cruised past that one in turn while in 4-5 path.  I could have ridden this one. No effort at any point in race.    11/8/18: Broke OK. On hold first ¼ while at rail. Perfect stalking trip at rail and loose pocket. One stalker backed up and gave this the stalking trip. Cruised to leader in 3-4 path and then asked at top of the stretch. Massive kick away from field and great trip.

M G Warrior – 1/26/19: Not the best break and pinched back. Pace was very fast early. Found rail and good spot despite rough start. Field was very strung out, validating fast pace. At rail through first turn. Allowed to stroll down backstretch. Pretty good steady in turn, but stayed at rail and entire field was clearly backing up. Glued to rail throughout. Good rally to continue to pass foes and claim win but big pace advantage (as others backed into this one) and save a ton of ground despite steady.  11/22/18: Broke just OK. Reserved at the fence through first turn near what was a slower than normal pace for these. In a great spot. Rail backstretch and rail 2nd turn. Slightest pause in turn with no room and then suddenly the red sea parted when rail horse in front of this one lugged out. Easily claimed rail and began advance midway in turn to claim several positions in just a few jumps. Scraped paint the whole way with no need to pause at all the last 5/16. Dream, dream trip.

Thirstforlife – 12/22/18: Broke well. Easily found way to rail into first turn. Good trip first quarter.  A bit keen/rank leaving the first turn. Still a good spot down backstretch, with plenty of open air in front.  Should have had more here but never did much. Needs to relax better….there was no reason to be keyed up.

Coal Front – 12/22/18: Broke best. Good speed while 4 wide early. Was 5th after ¼. Moved 5-4 wide in turn and up to claim a share of the lead at top of the stretch. Asked hard inside 1/8 pole and kicked away well.  Impressive effort given ground covered and pace.  2-3-4 finishers were better in back half and other pace in here folded pretty bad.

Race 9:

Gray Attempt – 1/25/19: Broke well. Crossed and cleared easily. Pace was measured and definitely on slower side. Perfect lone speed trip while in 2 path. Engaged leaving the backstretch and asked to hold lead. Success. All out from late in turn home and got job done, but this was a perfect, perfect, lone speed trip.

Ninth Street – 1/5/19: Broke fine.  Clean. Tough first turn as inside foe bumped the horse inside of this one, forcing Ninth Street wide. Not good at this bullring.  Recovered only to earn an in between spot down backstretch. Stuck 3 wide and in between into far turn. Big move in turn. Pretty good stretch to earn place and was clearly tons best in this race. Awful trip.

Cutting Humor – 1/18/19: Broke a half length slow. Asked hard for speed right from gate. Bad spot throughout first turn and in tight & shuffled losing 4 positions. Eased to 4 path down backstretch and consistent nibbling and shoulder tapping. Asked through turn while 3 wide and up to joint lead by top of the stretch. Beaten by favored perfect tripper.  This one was pretty much asked throughout and had an awful trip. Was a pole best.

Boldor – 1/25/19: Broke well. Held up early. Had more speed if wanted. Opted to track in third position down backstretch, eventually earning 2nd spot into turn. 3 wide mover pushed this one into leader and hard ask midway in turn. Tried hard from this point to the wire.  Probably would like this one more than top 2.

Jersey Agenda – 1/26/19: Broke OK. To lead early and made rail into and through first turn. Pace seemed quick early. Two foes joined this one entering far and they were three across and a few clear through turn. Confident riding. Cut corner and kicked away in stretch. A bit green switching leads back and forth from whip urging. Good race withstanding pressure.

Super Steed – 1/25/19: Broke fine. No speed and some pause while in between early. Back to next to last/last. Saved ground through first turn. Moving fine into far turn while at rail. Around fader into an in between spot and then had nothing, actually getting passed by the one he just overtook entering the turn. Hideous.

Sueno – 1/5/19: Broke fine but in as well. Good spot through first turn and allowed to advance in 3-4 path coming out of turn to earn tracking spot in 3rd. Pace was fast. Confident rider looking around through turn despite not making up ground.  Strange.  Ask from jock began late in turn. Hard ask at top of stretch, getting to and passing leader but run over by deep closer.

Six Shooter – 1/25/19: Broke fine. Clean. In between spot early and shuffled pretty good in first turn, from joint second to 6th. Now on the outside for backstretch run, this one began advance entering far turn. Pace picked up and was left grinding for a bit. Shaved some ground in the turn, swung out for drive and was making up ground in stretch.  This was a very good run and had hidden trouble for sure.  Was sneakily best out of this field on this day.

Bankit – 1/25/19: Broke fine. No ask early and stocked 3 wide early in first turn, then paused back to last to shave a little. Three wide down backstretch. Mild ask entering far turn while 3-4 wide. Hard ask midway in turn and now having to go 5 wide around stopper. Wasn’t making up any ground in stretch and jock gave up last 1/16 as he should have.  Non threatening spot. Given pace and ground covered had no chance but others were still better on this day.

Long Range Toddy – 1/25/19: Broke just OK. Good speed to earn tracking position at rail. Leader was in two path, pretty much daring this one to make an early move throughout. Rated at rail and saved ground throughout. Was finally given cue to take rail late in turn and grinded up into that spot at top of stretch. Was fighting for win but leader’s trip was just too easy.  Was better than winner but this one also had a very good trip.

Olympic Runner – 1/26/19: Broke well and straight to lead. Clear through 1st turn. Mild pace pressure while at rail early down backstretch. Clear again entering far turn. Nibbling in turn and kicked away easily. This was a speed biased and inside track.  Given this opinion and clear lead you couldn’t have a better trip.

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