Trip Notes with Robert Criscola: Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Trip Notes 2/20/18

Saturday was a busy day in horse racing, and there were many noteworthy trips that were encountered across the country. Here’s a trio of them; we’ll start at Gulfstream before making our way to Santa Anita and the Fair Grounds.
 
Gulfstream Race 6: #1 TAKE YOUR PLACE
TAKE YOUR PLACE was able to ride the rail and take a group of maidens gate-to-wire in his previous start, but lightning did not strike twice for him in the American Fabius Starter Stakes.
He once again went to the lead from post one under Jose Lezcano, but he was joined by 90-1 longshot #3 MY CHINUMADO. Lezcano might have thought about conceding the lead if the pair sped off, but instead they were converged upon outside by #5 MUCHO PROSPECT and #8 TENACITY ZIP. TAKE YOUR PLACE turned back the swarm as the top of the stretch neared, but favored #4 WHERESHETOLDMETOGO simply overpowered him in the lane off a perfect setup.
TAKE YOUR PLACE could benefit from an outside post next time he runs and/or a return to six furlongs instead of seven. Also, WHERESHETOLDMETOGO may present a bet-against opportunity next time out off this perfect trip, especially if he steps back up in class.
 
Santa Anita Race 1: #3 COOL YOUR JETS
COOL YOUR JETS got off to a disastrous start in his career debut, as he was pinched out of his lane by #2 RHETTBUTLER and #4 CROISSANT and fell back to last. This would be a nightmare scenario in any race, but dropping as far back as he did early (14 lengths) sealed his fate in this downhill turf start.
Speed has seemingly carried all meet long in these turf sprints, and Saturday was no exception as both races were won gate-to-wire, including Race 5 by the previously 0-for-7 Rocket Heat.
COOL YOUR JETS made an eye-catching move around the turn, weaving in and out of traffic as the field condensed on the bend. Ruben Fuentes asked COOL YOUR JETS for more as they split horses with an inward move but his rally ultimately petered out behind a much-the-best CROISSANT. COOL YOUR JETS is definitely one to watch for next time out with this race under his belt.
 
Fair Grounds Race 10: #10 MESSIAH
MESSIAH was just a bit slow to get going from the gate, so Joe Bravo resigned himself to a mid-pack trip. His mount steadied briefly off heels on the first turn while three-wide before being lulled to sleep by frontrunning #1 MORE THAN A SAINT (23.83, 50,10, 1:15.16) up the backstretch.
MESSIAH wound up five-wide at the top of the stretch as he attempted to rally, and he was able to gain third before the wire approached. MORE THAN A SAINT ended up being caught late, but it was by #11 KING OF CANDY, who was second throughout.
With the rust shaken off (first start since November) and a fairer setup next time out, MESSIAH could be very tough to deal with. 

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