Trip Notes with Robert Criscola: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Trip Notes 1/30/18

You’ll get all the Oaklawn you can handle in this week’s edition of trip notes, as we’ll look at three different races that occurred there last Thursday. We’ll also review a pair of races from Santa Anita. 
Oaklawn Race 2: #11 DIXIE KICKS
Oaklawn Race 3: #5 HUGH B.
I decided to group these two together as the six-furlong sprints they were in played out similarly.
DIXIE KICKS attended a fast pace (22.00, 45.57) while three-wide under Edgar Morales.  She put away her two pace rivals at the top of the stretch and fought all foes bravely until #1 MINNIE RUTH came through from off the rail to get by late.
Considering how #6 SADIE BE MINE and favored #2 SHOWREEL, DIXIE KICKS’ early competition, backed it up late (fifth and seventh), this was a solid effort.
As for HUGH B., he took part in contentious pace (21.89, 45.68), dueling outside of SOPHISTICATED BLING. They were overwhelming by #7 BOLITAR in the lane, finishing about three lengths behind. HUGH B. lost the photo for place, but the wider trip certainly played a part in that.
Oaklawn Race 9: #9 HIDDEN BAMBOO
HIDDEN BAMBOO went off at over 71-1 in his debut here, and though he didn’t hit the board, he could do much better in his next start.
HIDDEN BAMBOO broke slowly, going toward the back of the pack. Marlon St. Julien attempted to move his mount up a bit between horses down the backstretch run, but he had to steady out of a tight spot.
He took the turn three to four-wide, and while he didn’t gain position from fifth after the three-eighths pole, he did move up a couple of lengths late. This was an educational debut that HIDDEN BAMBOO should improve off of.
Santa Anita Race 4: #7 TEQUILA SUNRISE
Outside posts lend themselves to trouble in these one-mile races at Santa Anita, and TEQUILA SUNRISE found trouble from stall six of six.
The field broke in a bunch, and Rafael Bejarano had little opportunity to tuck in his mount before the first turn arrived. TEQUILA SUNRISE entered the bend five-wide before eventually settling in the three-path. Bejarano never had a chance to find the rail heading up the backstretch, but stayed in the two-path as long as he could outside of #3 DANCING BELLE while chasing the frontrunning pair of #1 TEA FOR TAM and #2 MAPIT, who comprised the exacta for the duration of the race.
TEQUILA SUNRISE entered the stretch three-wide. She made up a couple of lengths but failed to gain position. Still, she put forth a very good effort, especially when taking into account she hadn’t raced since July. It will be interesting to see where she ends up next, as she’s been spotted inconsistently in her brief career.  
Santa Anita Race 8: #4 CAMINO DEL PARAISO
This was the inaugural Unusual Heat Turf Classic, and CAMINO DEL PARAISO nearly won it despite stumbling badly on the far turn.
CAMINO DEL PARAISO sat off a contentious pace under Flavien Prat while racing just off the rail before the far turn. Prat attempted to guide CAMINO DEL PARAISO to the three-path as the field began to bunch on the final bend, but his mount clipped the heels of #8 SMOKEY IMAGE and nearly fell. Prat saved himself and his horse but lost precious momentum as well as some ground.
CAMINO DEL PARAISO rallied smartly while four-wide in the stretch but couldn’t outgame a confidently-ridden #6 RYE. This was a forgivable defeat, so be ready to back CAMINO DEL PARAISO in a similar spot next time out.  

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