Trip Notes with Robert Criscola: Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Trip Notes, 11/15/16
Welcome to my weekly roundup of unlucky trips from around the country. This week we’ll dive into a race from Friday at Del Mar (opening day of the Bing Meet) and a pair of races from Saturday at Aqueduct. Hopefully we’ll be able to use this information going forward and catch some longshots!
 
Friday
Del Mar Race 9: #10 ZANAB
Unfortunately for ZANAB, the leaders never came back to her in this one. #9 HERUNBRIDLEDPOWER (the winner) took the lead from the get-go and never looked back, while #12 ATLANTIC SLEW (the runner-up) was forwardly-placed throughout but fell just a bit short of the win.
ZANAB was taken back early under Alonso Quinonez, who decided to save his mount’s energy for one big run near the quarter pole. Quinonez was forced to go four-wide most of the far turn then had to steer around an errant #13 SUNDAR CREEK at the top of the stretch, forcing ZANAB about five-wide. But ZANAB made up an impressive 5 1/2 lengths in the homestretch as she got up to complete the trifecta at 11-1.
Despite her 1-for-16 record, I wouldn’t be afraid to bet ZANAB at the right price next time out. A better post would certainly help her cause.
 
Saturday
Aqueduct Race 4: #5 DO SHARE
DO SHARE was outsprinted in the early going before Javier Castellano asked him for run around the far turn. He weaved around one foe before the head of the stretch then wound up altering course around another inside the eighth pole. The visually-impressive DO SHARE managed to pick up third after making up eight lengths from the first call to the wire and galloped out in front.
DO SHARE was claimed by Richard Schosberg for $25k; hopefully he’ll target a two-turn race on the inner dirt, as it looks like he wants more ground than he’s gotten in his seven career starts for Patrick Reynolds.
 
Aqueduct Race 8: #3 GIFT BOX, #7 MY MAN SAM
This was the Grade III Discovery Stakes for three-year-olds, and this pair of Chad Brown entrants disappointed their backers by running out of the exacta. However, they both had legitimate excuses.
GIFT BOX was sent four-wide around the far turn and tired late. He obviously did not care for the distance and was possibly a little rusty having not run since the Travers Stakes in late August. This loss dropped him to 0-for-4 around two turns (and 0-for-5 outside of Belmont Park), so with Aqueduct’s inner dirt meet coming up soon, GIFT BOX’s next race is not likely to be in New York. If I owned GIFT BOX, I’d target the Grade III Hal’s Hope (a one-turn mile) at Gulfstream on Jan. 14.
As for MY MAN SAM, this was a more realistic spot than he’d been accustomed to, and he put in a nice run to be third despite being forced out to the five-path in the stretch. Depending on where he’s spotted next (and there are a lot of options considering he’s still N1X eligible), MY MAN SAM intrigues going forward.
It’s also worth noting GIFT BOX and MY MAN SAM finished behind frontrunners that were first and second all the way around on a very slow pace.

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