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

Trip Notes 3/13/18

We’ll hop around the country in this week’s trip notes column, highlighting races from Santa Anita, Tampa Bay and Oaklawn, all of which happened on different days.
Santa Anita Race 4: #7 TRUSTWORTHY
TRUSTWORTHY was very wide on both turns in this 1 1/16th-mile heat, but he really didn’t have to be, which made his 1 1/2-length loss all the more frustrating for his backers.
Joe Talamo was hustling his mount for speed from the gate and was on even terms with the leaders while four-wide on the turn. He could have and should have cleared soon after they hit the bend, as the opening quarter was just 24.09, but Talamo left TRUSTWORTHY out to dry. TRUSTWORTHY was three-wide down the backstretch and was floated out another path or two on the far turn. Despite this ground loss, TRUSTWORTHY kept on churning and managed to save third on the wire. A better trip almost certainly would have yielded a win.
Tampa Bay Race 5: #4 GAIN GROUND
GAIN GROUND’s half-step hesitation out of gate cost him big time in this heat. Daniel Centeno struggled to get his mount toward the rail after that start, and found himself behind some dull cover moving into the first turn. So Centeno hooked GAIN GROUND three-wide anyway as to not let GAIN GROUND fall much further behind.
GAIN GROUND remained three-wide down the backstretch and onto the far turn then lugged out during the early part of the stretch run, wasting precious momentum. He did very well to be third here beaten less than two lengths by a pair of horses that were never worse than two-wide at any portion of the race.
Oaklawn Race 7: #2 SHE BEAST
Fans of The Big Beast may have noticed that SHE BEAST shares the same dam and owner as that aptly-named sprinter who will have his first two-year-olds hitting the track later this year. Like The Big Beast, SHE BEAST is also rather large, which makes the jockey’s assignment that much tougher, especially when that mount draws an inside post.
SHE BEAST was away in good order and took up a stalking position behind a blanket of horses vying for early command. Ricardo Santana Jr. appeared to have plenty of horse underneath him around the turn, but he was completely surrounded and was forced to check off heels. His problems were compounded in the lane when #3 MO MO (who was eventually DQ’d for interference) shifted in and took away the only path that SHE BEAST had that could have possibly afforded her a victory. SHE BEAST crossed the wire fifth but was elevated to fourth via DQ. Expect a much better performance if she draws more outwardly next time.  

Leave a Reply