Trip Notes with Robert Criscola: Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Trip Notes 12/12/17

We have a trio of trips to go over from last week, one from Aqueduct and two from Tampa Bay. Be sure to keep tabs on these horses going forward!
Aqueduct Race 8: #1 LUTHERAN RAGS
LUTHERAN RAGS was bothered early and late in this one. He broke decently from post one but appeared to be uncomfortable racing along the inside and steadied noticeably at the half-mile marker.
Dylan Davis gradually guided his mount off the rail as the stretch neared and went around #4 FRENCHANA in the three-path. Unfortunately, he and LUTHERAN RAGS ran out of room when pinched between rivals inside the final furlong. Once LUTHERAN RAGS was able to clear the tiring #12 ZENATO, he mustered a modest kick to pick up fourth.
LUTHERAN RAGS and his new connections (claimed by John Toscano) would probably like to avoid the rail next time he runs. If he draws an outside post, he’ll probably improve off this effort.
Tampa Bay Race 7: #9 WATCH CAPTAIN
WATCH CAPTAIN, who was described in the Equibase chart as “reluctant to load,” never saw the rail in this two-turn maiden claiming heat.
He and Ademar Santos took the first turn two-wide while racing in sixth before losing some ground nearing the far turn. WATCH CAPTAIN dropped back to eighth while racing three-wide on the final bend and was slow to reply to Santos’ urging.
WATCH CAPTAIN appeared to be a lost cause as he swung out to the six-path at the top of the stretch but found his best stride in the lane, picking off several rivals before the wire approached. He wound up third beaten just over three lengths by #4 BOBBY RED, who got an ideal inside trip.
Tampa Bay Race 2: #10 ARMAMENT
ARMAMENT quickly dropped to the back following an awkward beginning in which he shied away from two different rivals. He settled in the two-path into the first turn and down the backstretch under Daniel Centeno before being asked to go three-wide on the far turn.
Centeno, perhaps unwisely, chose not to guide ARMAMENT widest of all in the stretch and stayed in the three-path until the field bunched past the 1/16th pole. ARMAMMENT was forced to alter course inside and found a path, but by the time he rallied forth the wire already came and went.
ARMAMENT galloping out in front after losing by less than a length suggested he was probably best in here. Don’t sell him short if he reappears in a similar spot next time out. 

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