Trip Notes with Robert Criscola: Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Trip Notes 5/16/17

Santa Anita’s downhill turf course yielded a pair of tough trips, one on Thursday and one on Saturday, which will be discussed in this week’s column.  We’ll also pay a visit to Belmont to go over a turf trip from their Friday card.
Thursday
Santa Anita Race 5: #2 BANZE NO OESTE
BANZE NO OESTE was off just a bit slow and settled toward the back; not too unusual for him. However, the race dynamics did him no favors, as the 1-2-3 runners never came back to him after breezing through modest fractions (22.14, 44.31).
As they hit the dirt crossing, BANZE NO OESTE became very headstrong and steadied off the heels of #1 FUELED BY BOURBON. Altering course to the far outside, about four paths off the rail, Norberto Arroyo Jr. and his mount began to rally as the field hit the top of the stretch. BANZE NO OESTE continued to fight his jockey though, turning his head toward the grandstand while racing awkwardly beside #8 YES YES YES. BANZE NO OESTE closed nicely in the final furlong, but with a top three finish out of range, Arroyo eased up his mount in the final strides and settled for fifth.
Don’t be surprised if Peter Miller makes an aggressive move with BANZE NO OESTE, be it an equipment change or a drop in class, in order to get a win next time out. Keep an eye out for this gelding in the near future.
Friday
Belmont Race 7: #4 BROOKLINE
BROOKLINE was easy to see in this one, not only because he’s gray, but because he was off two lengths slow from the gate.
Kendrick Carmouche did about as well as he could after the bad start, hustling his mount over to the rail to save ground into the first turn before going to the two-path for most of the far turn. Unfortunately, BROOKLINE’s momentum would be halted behind #2 ROCKETRY as Carmouche attempted to find racing room in the stretch. By the time BROOKLINE was clear he appeared to get tired, probably not caring for the 1 1/4-mile distance.
BROOKLINE seemed to be biting off more than he could chew in this spot, and the toteboard indicated that (25-1, the second-longest odds in a 12-horse field). He probably wants to go shorter, so assuming he cuts back in his next start, whether it’s over turf or dirt (he’s proven he can handle both surfaces now), he could be a player.
Saturday
Santa Anita Race 6: #10 KINGS RIVER KING
Tyler Baze has had a pretty good year, but this ride will not be going on his highlight reel.
KINGS RIVER KING bided his time toward the back before attempting to come out and rally at the top of the stretch. Baze tried to go through a hole that wasn’t there between horses and his mount lost all momentum. That had to be highly discouraging for the first-time starter, as he lost interest late and petered out to run fifth.
KINGS RIVER KING should move forward next time out with this education under his belt.

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