Trip Notes with Robert Criscola: Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trip Notes: 1/24/17

We have a good variety of trips to review in this column; we’ll go from Oaklawn to Gulfstream to the Fair Grounds to look at a trio of unlucky journeys from last week.
 
Thursday
Oaklawn Race 3: #5 GUMSHOE
GUMSHOE finished too far back to be considered best on this day, but the noticeable trouble he had cost him at least a few lengths.
GUMSHOE hesitated coming out of the gate and bolted left, forcing Channing Hill to correct him. By the time he was settled, GUMSHOE was over 15 lengths off the lead in this six-furlong sprint.
Out of the picture for most of the far turn, Hill gave GUMSHOE his cue nearing the stretch and he began to move, but GUMSHOE was still last at the quarter-pole. To make matters worse, he entered the stretch eight-wide and was forced even wider while trying to rally around a couple of errant foes.
GUMSHOE passed the tired ones but couldn’t keep up with the top quartet due to the woeful trip he had; with a little luck he could be dangerous next time out.
 
Saturday
Gulfstream Race 1: #4 LOVE FLUTE
LOVE FLUTE steadied sharply on two separate occasions, costing her any chance of winning this five-furlong turf dash.
She and Paco Lopez broke cleanly and were racing close to the lead, but LOVE LUTE was pinched out of her lane between #3 EMPYREA and #5 PRINCESS FIONA inside the opening furlong. Attempting to settle in the two-path behind the leading flight, she was leaned on again by longshot PRINCESS FIONA (#2 LADY COVENTRY was at the rail) and was forced to drop to last.
Angled 4-wide turning for home, LOVE FLUTE unsurprisingly had little left for the drive. Draw a line through this one next time she turns up in the past performances.
 
Fair Grounds Race 6: #11 LILT
LILT got the grand tour of historic Fair Grounds racecourse in her debut, as she raced wide on both turns under Robby Albarado due mainly to her post.
LILT flashed early speed but so did a host of others to her inside, and she was floated five-wide around the clubhouse turn as a result. She managed to settle two-to-three-wide midway on the bend and through the backstretch run, but she wasn’t able to save crucial ground on the far turn, staying predominately in the three-path.
 It looked like she would call it quits down the stretch, but LILT actually stayed on very well and managed to get third while making a late impression on the top two (who had the experience edge and raced one-two all the way around as the 3-2 favorite and 5-2 second-choice). The knee-jerk reaction would be to dismiss this effort as it came over a muddy track, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she figured prominently in her next start.

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