Handicapper Blog

Posted by Ken Warkentin on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 3:34 PM


4-Word Power – Excellent mile off the sick scratch & three-week layoff, Brett Miller worked out live cover & he was menacing late in :26.4, draws well again in a competitive opener 


2-Last Dragon – Missed two and a half years before coming back in May, has caught fire & made three in a row, albeit in a dead heat, with a sterling rally from never-never land & moves inside 


5-Bad Boy Matt – Rejuvenated since the switch to Team Burke, beaten favorite moved prematurely in his Big M debut, leaves, stalks & makes one late surge tonight 



3-Wake Up Peter -  $210,000 January Sale purchase has been productive for the Remmens, returns in sharp form, loves the Big M & draws well with a raging Deep Purple 


8-Beach Memories – Left for a Pierce pocket, encountered stretch traffic & shook loose too late last week, moves outside, yet look for similar tactics in a field lacking serious speed 


7-Al’s Hammered – Chicago star launched a steady late lunge to just miss in :26.4, acclimated now with a tougher post, but very strong in the win column 



5-Sweet Justice – Was buried in heavy traffic & finished overloaded with trot while never fully extended, former track record holder has come around recently, has midpack options in a strong field 


3-Master Of Law – Won his Takter debut in a career best of 1:52 back in July, toured the track safely behind Maven last week after winning two qualifiers, draw inside again with a chance to step it up 


7-Modest Prince – Eye-catching lifetime mark of 1:52.1 three starts back in PA, forced to grind it out in most recent, Toscano trainee in top form & owns tactical speed 



6-Muscle Diamond – Muscle Hill colt still learning & improving, a hard-charging second off cover in his third start off the sick scratch, look for Campbell to get him into a live flow & pounce late 


5-Pinkman – Gingras’ choice over the Burke-trained Habitat last week gamely prevailed over much improved stablemate The Bank with trot at both ends, Valley Victory winner is on a roll for Takter, who sends out half the field 


3-Habitat – Edged Muscle Diamond in the Matron Stakes with trot at both ends, then was used pretty hard last week, draws better for Burke & Sears, who will surely put this talented colt in play 



5-Bettor Be Steppin – One of two sharp Joe Holloway fillies in here, beaten favorite in the Matron Stakes, tightened further with sharp speed last week, Red Mile Grand Circuit winner with a :26.3 cycling forward again looms as a price play 


3-JK She’s A Lady – Special filly never looked better steamrolling in her elimination with Fresh Bionic Man & after missing almost three weeks, with an undefeated season she’ll force all other Horse of the Year contenders to run the table 


6-Well Hello There – Liked this Burke trainee last week & she was wiped out by Ideal Nuggets, a solid third in the Matron Stake after romping in the American National & Matt Kakely has noticeably taken it to the next level 



1-Bettor’s Edge – Kind of the unheralded member of the Burke Brigade, second in the world record Ben Franklin, US Pacing Championship & Dan Patch, gunned down stablemate Sweet Lou with a vicious 25.4 in the Hoosier Derby, worth a shot from the rail in a sensational field 


7-Sweet Lou – His monster run of ten in a row & a record six sub 1:48 wins this season sealed the division, set a world record winning his 2YO Crown, a sharp second in the Hoosier Derby signals a return to form in a field with combined earnings of $16.9 million  


5-Foiled Again – Ultimate warhorse & defending champion has typically & in timely fashion sharpened his sword with four straight narrow losses, the latest with a :26.3 on both ends, oldest to win a Crown has his sights on the rarefied $7 million plateau, they will never ever come any gamer 



3-Lyons Levi Lewis – Metro & Matron Stake runner up angled with an eye-catching late burst for Pierce, draws post three again, so this Burke-tuned colt is in line for a similar trip in a wide-open final 


5-Go Daddy Go – Governor’s Cup runner up steamrolled to a career best 1:51.1 in a sparkling US debut, Bob McIntosh noted he’s been good since Day One, John Campbell is pretty excited about his prospects & the midpack draw gives him options 


10-In The Arsenal – Got too revved up when blasted to the front, yet held well for third as the beaten favorite, saddled with post ten again, yet Brian Sears could find a way to overcome it 



5-Yagonnakissmeornot – $62,500 supplement has been on fire since the Rene Allard late-July acquisition winning six of her last nine, stormed home from a tough spot to nail Shelliscape by a nose in the Allerage Farm & Pierce figures to have her in a stalking mode in a handicapper’s nightmare 


4-Somwherovrarainbow – Was a 2YO Crown champion & Dan Patch Award winner, rounding back into top form after a recent sick scratch, runner up to Anndrovette in the Roses Are Red & to Rocklamation in the Artiscape draws inside, well rested for this match up & may be an inviting price 


9-Rocklamation – Last year’s runner up to Shelliscape ranks as the division leader with key wins in the Golden Girls, Lady Liberty & Artiscape, pace compromised in last week’s prep, expect her to get involved earlier this time & figures to get a fast pace to shoot at in a competitive field 



6-Father Patrick – Like his stablemate, also 11 for 16 in 2014, leading money winner this season beat Nuncio in four major events & trotted a world record of 1:50.2, big chance to atone for losses in three of last four after some Takter fine tuning with divisional honors & Horse of the Year impact 


3-Nuncio – Wasn’t particularly at his very best at Dover Downs & still made it five stakes wins in a row, really hasn’t gone a bad race all year, gallant in defeat in the Hambletonian, draws inside to control the race in the most anticipated match up with stablemate Father Patrick 


7-Odds On Amethyst – Takter has a serious shot at a 1-2-3 finish in here, this gelding won his first start for the Trotting Master in a career best 1:52.1 in Lexington & bounced back with a decisive score from post nine here last week 


RACE 10 

6-JK Endofanera – North America Cup upsetter shook loose too late in an excellent prep last week, shuffled in the Monument Circle before that, like Always B Miki he got his confidence up this Fall 


4-Always B Miki – Red-hot division leader has won 9 of 10 since his amazing second in the Pace, bottomed them out in :26.4 to hold off JK Endofanera, yet the pressure will logically ramp up for this amazing final with many possibilities 


5-Limelight Beach – Gelding became a new horse shortly after the mid-season Burke acquisition & suddenly caught the winning habit taking the Jug in straight heats, polished it off with a :26.3 on the engine last week 


RACE 11 

1-Your So Vain – Hambletonian Maturity winner was a hard-charging second to Maven in an excellent comeback last week for Ake Svanstedt, freshest of all making his second start in three months & figures to be within striking range with an alert start from the rail 


4-Maven – Jimmy Takter won this with the great Moni Maker in 1998, the record $750,000 Harrisburg buy going for her third straight Crown, fresh off a track record at Vernon Downs she swooped them from post ten in the elimination, count on Gingras to have her forwardly placed with her new found confidence 


9-Commander Crowe – Third in two previous Crowns, but fresher this time around, this amazing 11YO invitee is a 60-time winner on the verge of $5 million, prepped with a strong second in the International Trot Preview & qualified well while adding Lasix, yet now tackles post nine in a formidable field 


RACE 12 

3-Garnet River N – Twice beaten favorite has cycled skyward, came scooting up the rail & went inside one cone last Saturday, lands an ideal stalking post & switches to The White Knight 


1-Blatantly Best – Forced into an impossible trip in his return on Lasix, proven winner here at this level moves inside & owns a big kick 


4-OK Commander – Converted a perfect second over trip into an all-out dead heat win in last Saturday’s finale first time Lasix, remains at the same competitive B-2 level with another favorable draw 


RACE 13 

1-Destination Moon N – Legitimate excuse trips in his last two at Harrah’s Philadelphia, wire-to-wire career best before that fresh off the bench, Toscano trainee lands in an ideal spot 


4-Urgent Action – Took his mark of 1:49.3 at the Big M this season & always thrived here, won two in a row at this level back in May & draws well in sharp form 


8-AGood Time To Rock – Suddenly turned his game around with a pace-controlling score in PA for Team Burke, despite post eight Gingras will likely blast to secure position 









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Ken Warkentin has been a member of the award-winning broadcast team at Meadowlands Racetrack as the Track Announcer and television commentator for almost 20 years. Ken has appeared on national television networks such as ESPN, called 11 editions of the $1.5 million Hambletonian, and worked as a member of the broadcast team for NBC Sports and CBS Sports.

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