Trip Notes with Robert Criscola: Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Trip Notes 2/13/18

We’ll take a look at two first-time starters with troubled debuts at Tampa and a turf trip from Santa Anita in this week’s column. Be sure to add these horses to your preferred stable notification service and see where they turn up next; they might offer good wagering opportunities! 
 
Wednesday
Tampa Bay Race 6: #7 ROVE
First-time starter ROVE was apparently ‘unruly’ behind the gate and dumped jockey Jesus Castanon before the start. The chart doesn’t say whether or not ROVE ran off at any point, but he obviously expended vital energy before the race.
Soon after the start, ROVE steadied between rivals and dropped from mid-pack to the tail of the field. He regained position while four to five-wide on the turn and entered the stretch wide as well.
Despite the adversity, ROVE managed to churn on for fourth. It was certainly an educational debut and one that ROVE should be able to build on.
 
Friday
Tampa Bay Race 1: #2 WITHOUT GEMS
WITHOUT GEMS waited until age five to make her debut but was very green from start to finish.
She was hard to handle after being swerved into by #1 LA LOVA and dropped to the back early on under Raul Mena. WITHOUT GEMS was produced to the five-path midway on the far turn and entered the stretch that way as well. She made up a couple of lengths in the lane but was no match for odds-on favorite CLEARLY LOVE.
WITHOUT GEMS missed second by only 1 1/2-lengths despite clearly needing a race under her belt. She should move forward with seasoning. 
 
Saturday
Santa Anita Race 3: #3 TEMPLE KEYS
TEMPLE KEYS isn’t the most reliable horse (2-for-28 lifetime) but he might’ve been cost a win here due to some trouble on the first turn.
TEMPLE KEYS came away in good order under Kent Desormeaux and attempted to settle near the back of the pack while two-wide. Unfortunately, #1 MAESTRO DEARTE wandered off the rail and forced TEMPLE KEYS to steady between him and #8 FORTUNE OF WAR. TEMPLE KEYS eventually regained the two-path as they proceeded down the backstretch, but the damage was done.
Desormeaux was given little choice but to take his mount wide on the far turn, traveling two to three paths from the rail before tipping out seven-wide for a clear shot at a rally. TEMPLE KEYS made up some ground but ultimately stalled out late and finished fourth. 

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