Trip Notes with Robert Criscola: Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Trip Notes 11/14/17

We have a trio of trips to discuss from Saturday. We’ll start at Aqueduct before moving to Laurel and closing with Del Mar.
Aqueduct Race 7: #2 SOUPER TAPIT
A mid-stretch traffic jam cost SOUPER TAPIT his best shot in this one.
SOUPER TAPIT pressed the pace from the inside but conceded the lead to #11 TOTAL TAP, who was sent hard from the outside. SOUPER TAPIT steadied slightly on two separate occasions on the first turn as he raced in tight quarters amid the rail and TOTAL TAP.
SOUPER TAPIT tucked in behind the lead for the backstretch run as the tempo slowed and patiently waited for his cue from Jose Lezcano. Unfortunately, SOUPER TAPIT would be completely boxed in as they turned for home, unable to find room until well inside the furlong pole. SOUPER TAPIT picked off some rivals late after veering out to the six-path, but the best he could do was third after being stymied in the lane.  
SOUPER TAPIT should be ready to deliver a peak effort next time out, as it will be his third start off a layoff. Hopefully the weather will allow him to get in one more turf race at Aqueduct this year.
Laurel Race 5: #6 CAUGHT DREAM’N
This was the Smart Halo Stakes, the first of several stakes run on Saturday as Laurel saluted the late, great Ben’s Cat.
CAUGHT DREAM’N has to be considered a hard-luck loser despite saving ground for most of the turn. Sheldon Russell was forced to swing his mount out to the seven-path nearing the top of the stretch. That ground loss was critical, as CAUGHT DREAM’N just missed winning by a head to #3 TAKE CHARGE PAULA.
CAUGHT DREAM’N was the only horse to make a serious bid from the back. #2 TARAWA, and 86-1 shot, relinquished the lead readily but #1 VETRAZZO and TAKE CHARGE PAULA, who were second and third early on, both finished in the trifecta.
PAINTING CORNERS broke with the field before settling behind the leading flight under Flavien Prat. He sat a cozy trip until the top of the stretch, where Prat attempted to find room between the pack of four that turned for home together.
PAINTING CORNERS was forced to wait for a seam to open before finally finding a narrow passage amongst #5 OBEY and #8 TIZANILLUSION. But by the time PAINTING CORNERS was able to squeeze his way through, the wire had come and gone.
PAINTING CORNERS galloped out strongly, suggesting he might have been able to make up that half-length margin that cost him the win if afforded the room in the home straight.

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