Trip Notes with Robert Criscola: Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Trip Notes 12/19/17

Let’s take a look at a trio of races from Saturday as we highlight horses that had some hard luck. We’ll start at Aqueduct before shifting gears to Gulfstream.
Aqueduct Race 5: #1 POWER NAP
POWER NAP was away in good order under Joe Rocco Jr. and settled near the rail. A slight steady before the far turn cost him a few positions, and he appeared to be losing interest midway on the bend.
Rocco called his mount on for some run near the quarter pole, swinging out to the three-path before eventually drifting out to lane number five. POWER NAP put away the also-rans in the stretch but wasn’t able to make an impression on the top two (#4 BLUEGRASS PREVAILS and #8 BLUEGRASS SINGER), who comprised the exacta for almost the entire race.
This was not the first instance of speed/inside horses dominating a race on this day (particularly in sprints), so keep that in mind when POWER NAP reappears in the entries.
Gulfstream Race 8: #8 GIANNA’S DREAM
This was the Grade III My Charmer Stakes.
GIANNA’S DREAM is not the typical horse that appears in this column, as she broke well and was in front for most of the race only to be caught late.
She tussled with 45-1 longshot #1 APRIL GAZE before finally clearing from post eight on the clubhouse turn. The tempo was an honest one (24.09, 48.28, 1:12.01), and GIANNA’S DREAM never really had a chance to catch a breather as #9 DEFIANT HONOR pressed her up the backstretch and onto the far turn.
She managed to turn back her stubborn early challengers (APRIL GAZE finished fourth while DEFIANT HONOR faded to seventh) but GIANNA’S DREAM and Tyler Gaffalione were reeled in close to home by heavily-favored #5 ON LEAVE. This was a gutsy effort by GIANNA’S DREAM that proved she’s classy enough to compete with these all winter long, so respect her next time she shows up in a race like this.
Gulfstream Race 9: #7 BLACKTYPE
This was the Grade III Tropical Turf Stakes.
BLACKTYPE, favorite and highweight in the field, was a bit sluggish to begin and settled at the tail-end of the group under Joel Rosario.
The pace was slow to develop (25.10, 49.74, 1:13.03) which should have made an eight-length deficit feel like much more to Rosario. However, he kept BLACKTYPE in reserve until the head of the straight, where he came off the rail five-wide in an attempt to mow down the frontrunners.
Racing widest of all through the lane, BLACKTYPE finished with interest and was getting to gate-to-wire winner #9 SHAKHIMAT but hit the wire fourth in a bunched finish.
BLACKTYPE probably won’t be a huge price next time he runs, but smart handicappers will know that he was compromised in this race and thus may offer some value. 

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