The following are trip notes for horses who had sharp efforts, tough trips, or excuses at Churchill Downs during the week of Nov. 20-24 and who figure to improve or run big in their next starts.
Add these runners to your horses to watch list, and bet them back next time if they land in a reasonable spot in Kentucky, Gulfstream Park, or elsewhere. All of these horses have good chances to perform well, outrun their odds, and/or win their subsequent starts. Best of luck!
ANGEL’S CUT: Winner from Indiana broke bad and finished off the board but lost by less than three lengths and it’s too early to give up on her.
CARTE BLANCHE: Stymied twice in traffic in the stretch and settled for second best. Can beat similar with a clear run.
DESTINY’S DARLING: Indiana invader was unfortunate to land in a tough spot dominated by a solo speed runaway winner, but finished best of the rest in second and looks good in next.
DETERMINANT: Missed the break, then rushed up to the lead and emptied out to eighth due to those early efforts. Worth another try.
DON BOURBON: Dueled for the lead, beat the pace challengers, and ran on only to be denied by a head in an unlucky loss when nine lengths clear of the third horse. His turn next time.
GOLDEN LILY: First starter broke slow and started near the back of a big field, but then passed a bunch of horses for a solid second-place finish, seven lengths clear of third. Won’t be a maiden for long.
JUST MIGHT: Tried to rally but got bottled-up in traffic and settled for third. Just might win with a clean trip.
LADDIE BOY: Got hooked in a blazing duel for the lead on a :44.4 half-mile pace and a :22.1 second quarter in a one-mile race. Beat the challenger and held on for a clear second behind only the perfect set-up, deep-closing 8-5 odds winner.
MOOSE GOT EVEN: No match for a runaway winner, but closed through traffic from 11th-to-2nd despite getting no pace to chase and is trending toward the maiden win.
NAPOLEON’S EMPIRE: Got delayed in the lane when blocked as the real running began down the stretch. Settled for fifth, a neck behind the favorite in fourth, and can rebound with clear sailing.
OASHAAR: Broke poorly to start last of 12 and then got a slow pace to chase to lose best chance en route to a distant fourth-place finish. Just needs a clean start.
STAGE LEFT: Jockey was unprepared for the start from the rail and this horse never recovered. Can win with a switch to a real rider.
TOOTSIE: Finished second in tough two-turn assignment off a seven-month layoff, but will benefit from the outing and be tough next time off the Kenneally claim.
TOWN CHAMP: Was bet like a good thing in comeback race off a year+ layoff and ultimately needed the race but did show speed and run well for a clear second. Fits well vs. the local competition.
TRACI’S GREELEY: Broke near the back of a big field when wanting to show more tactical speed at 6 furlongs. Was the only horse from the rear of the field to offer any rally but it was only enough for sixth. Talents perhaps more suited to Turfway.