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

Trip Notes 3/20/18

We’re doubling down in this week’s trips column, highlighting two races from Friday at Santa Anita and two from Saturday’s program at Tampa Bay. 
 
Friday
Santa Anita Race 4: #6 DUKES UP, #3 BEDEVILED  
DUKES UP and BEDEVILED made bold late rallies in this heat but both came up short due to some bad racing luck.
DUKES UP was the widest of the pair on the first turn and took the final bend about three-wide before tipping out to the five-path for the stretch run. He passed all but one horse in the stretch, losing by just a nose to #1 MUCHOS BESOS. Look for a jockey change to signal intent with this horse next time out.
BEDEVILED and Flavien Prat had the inside path for most of the trip but were forced to come four-wide for the stretch drive. Horse and rider then encountered a traffic jam at the 1/16th pole, but Prat reacted quickly and swung his horse inside to fight on for third. However, that temporary loss of momentum may have cost BEDEVILED a win.
 
Santa Anita Race 7: #4 MEDAGLIA GOLD
MEDAGLIA GOLD was ridden far too ambitiously by Edwin Maldonado and it cost them late.
Maldonado let MEDAGLIA GOLD wing it early, as usual,  but the opening fractions she set (22.83, 46.58, 1:10.91) were far too fast on a course that’s taken significant rainfall over the last few weeks (it was labeled ‘good’). She also had the disadvantage of racing on a turf course that had the portable rail out at 30 feet.
MEDAGLIA GOLD was challenged up the backstretch by a host of pursuers, but Maldonado allowed her to re-lengthen her advantage while running with a loose rein. MEDAGLIA GOLD’s lead shrunk once more as the field turned for home but this time she had no counterargument for her competition. She faded to fourth beaten six lengths, but she didn’t run nearly that bad in here.
 
Saturday
Tampa Bay Race 7: #6 MR MANNING
MR MANNING was stacked four-wide in the initial stages of this six-furlong sprint, hot on the heels of betting favorite #5 EVOLUTION. That pair took over from inside runners #1 BRONCOJOENVINNY and #4 SMOLTZ in short order, but the frontrunning duo went three and four-wide on the turn, respectively.
The tempo was brisk (22.47, 45.38), which enabled a re-rallying BRONCOJOENVINNY to swoop by late for the score. However, MR MANNING and Daniel Centeno were only beaten by a head on the wire after doing the dirty work of keeping EVOLUTION honest.
 
Tampa Bay Race 10: #8 KEEP THE RING
KEEP THE RING raced off heels in midpack on the first turn and into the backstretch. Centeno guided KEEP THE RING into the two-path while running in tight quarters around the far turn before encountering traffic at the top of the stretch. KEEP THE RING had to steady sharply just as he was gaining a full head of steam, which greatly hindered his chances from that point on.
KEEP THE RING muscled his way through at the furlong pole but by then #5 BLOUBERG BEACH had built a sizeable lead. KEEP THE RING did well to be third beaten less than two lengths. 

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