Handicapper Blog

Posted by Ken Warkentin on Thursday, February 26, 2015 11:27 PM


1-Brick Bazooka – Lightly-raced & talented gelding shows a close third, then tailed off in the Escort & Sonsam Series, now we get a barn change to Team Burke & the rail, which could spell rebound in a suspect opener


9-Lonewolf Currier – Drops again off a huge effort & narrow loss last time, post eight is surely more of a challenge, but he does hold a class edge


2-That Man Of Mine – Looking at last season’s numbers it’s hard to believe he’s been a fringe player at the C-2 level, draws well off an early miscue, chance to trip out at a price



2-JL Cruze – Simply dominated the Super Bowl Final, a round one winner when he stole a :58 half, then rallied to just miss off another moderate pace, will leave to protect the rail again & looms as the one to knock off


4-Walk The Walk – Big horse with a rhythmic gait who tries hard has missed 23 days after a convincing repeat in the first leg, this Muscle Hill 4YO has a chance to step up for the raging Chris Ryder Stable


1-Opulent Yankee – Was able to stroll through a :57.1 half under no pressure enroute to stealing round two, 1;51.4 performer last year no worse than second in six starts this season, heads a strong three-ply entry for connections who won this year



4-OK Gorgeous – Sat in as the 4-5 favorite, was completely blocked & never fully extended last out, gets another big chance to atone at this reduced level despite the tougher post & switches to Brett Miller


3-Caviart Luca – Just two for 17 last year, but capped off his sophomore season with a gritty second to Journeyman here, won his qualifier with a sharp :26.1 and draws well in a wide-open field


6-Mojito Hanover – Finished a solid second before he found the Sonsam Series to be a bit too tough, returns to N/W of 3 where he can be more effective



5-Diamond Said – Dropped a notch & the fresh claim reeled off the mile of his life, an eye-catching 1:51.1 with Gingras, jammed back in for the same reduced price


4-Outa My Head – 9YO gelding repeated in style, actually lowered his mark to 1:51.3, and has won three of four, draws favorably to maintain his form spree


9-Explodent – twice beaten favorite & favored in his last four, used way too hard & still held second behind Diamond Said last out, faces a similar outside post dilemma



1-National Seelster – Found room along the cones to squeeze through & sprinted home in :26.3 to go two-for-two, lightly-raced, yet very professional colt lands the pole with a bright future


9-Fast Movin Train – 0 for ten, beaten favorite in his comeback here, then almost went all the way, while barely outsprinted in :26.3, post nine now a hindrance


8-Coaster – Set a rated pace in his Team Burke debut & wasn’t up to National Seelster, gelding remains a serious contender despite the tougher draw



4-Rediscovery – 1:50.1 performer at three rocketed his back half in :54 and sprinted in :26.1 chasing a well-rated Major Uptrend, two tighteners under him now & draws alongside stablemate 2-Company Man


6-Rockeyed Optimist – Crushed foes with a sizzling :25.4 in round two after a nose loss in the first leg, raging gelding may be simply too much for these


3-Major Uptrend – Looks to avenge his off-the-pace loss in the Escort Final with a sweep of this series for team Burke, dangerous controlling speed from an inside post



5-Ashely’s Husband – Pulled off the classic drop n pop & mild upset with a sterling rally off cover in a sharp 1:51, gelding stepping back up in class, yet is a prime candidate to repeat


1-Windsong Gorgeous – 8YO was reclaimed after repeating with a scintillating 1:49.4 career best, moves inside & looms as the one to knock off again


10-Rock Out – Gelding stepped up to this level after hitting the board by closing from last into a :54.4 back half, lands outside, but capable of blasting off for position



2-Capozzo – Just missed against some upper level foes in 1:49.4 two starts back, then was caught out of position three weeks ago, however gets further class relief


1-All Fired Up – Ships in fresh off a narrow loss at Yonkers, figures to be forwardly placed from the rail with his tactical speed, drops further, one to fear


3-Rock Star – Improving 5YO stepping up after hitting the board by closing from last into a :54.4 back half, draws better, picks up The Buckeye & may be part of the speed equation



3-J M Jet Set – Flashed some sneaky late pace in his debut here after shipping south from Woodbine, acclimated now, draws a bit better & matches up well in this wide-open field


2-Spender Hanover – Looking at a three for his last 35 record & no factor ninth last out, but his rally for second before that is worth noting, plus gets class & post relief


9-Midnight Dylan N – Like the way he’s hit the board in all three here with consistently strong finishes, launched very wide from far back last time, needs a similar effort from post nine again



3-Hilarious Halo - $400,000+ winner with a mark of 1:48.3 here last season, off a no-chance mile from post ten, previous form at Freehold was solid, lands in a prime spot to snap his drought


5-Mariner Seelster – Kicked home in a sharp :26.3 from an impossible spot, drops to the bottom rung, draws an ideal midpack post & long overdue


10-Urbanite Hanover – Beaten favorite followed up a 1:52.4 blowout by setting the pace & fading to fourth on a frigid night, look for him to get involved despite post ten



1-Southwind Serenity – Still recall her 1;50.3 romp in the slop back on 12-5, working her way back in shape, big effort & barely outgamed by the well-timed Empress Deo last out, part of a strong Team Burke entry


5-Witch Dali – Catapulted off a hot pace from post ten to take the Worldly Beauty, set a rated pace & folded as the beaten favorite last time, might revert back to an off-the-pace strategy in her attempt to rebound


4-Empress Deo – Goes for the Burning Point Series sweep off two straight surges & back-to-back lifetime marks with the red-hot Brett Miller, possibly lurking at a value price



8-Wiggle It Jiggleit – Skipped the Sonsam for this series after an impressive first over 1:49.4 mile made him three-for-three, any semblance of that effort makes him tough to go against


2-Rodeo Romeo – Chris Ryder trainee got off to an encouraging start with a rally for third from post ten, then disappointed as the beaten favorite, moves inside to bounce back


1A-American Rock – Rocknroll Hanover colt off to a great start at Woodbine this Winter, just a head shy of winning his first three starts, chance to follow Wiggle It Jiggleit into contention



6-Ilikethemtrashy – Hopped on board last time & zipped home into a brisk :54.2 back half to hit the ticket, now drops from chasing tougher claimers


3-Panchester United – Have to always respect the barn change to Team Burke, landed on the fringe from post ten last time with a :26.4, ten for 28 record last year worth noting, yet hasn’t raced in three weeks


2-K-Lees Shakenbake – Responded to class relief & regained his winning edge with one of his patented rallies into a :54.4 back half, the move inside makes him an intriguing prospect



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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 25 years. Ken has appeared on national television networks such as ESPN, called 15 editions of the $1 million Hambletonian, and worked as a member of the broadcast team for NBC Sports and CBS Sports.

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