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Handicapper Blog

Posted by Ken Warkentin on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 12:36 PM

RACE 1 

5-Enduro Hanover – Gradually regaining form since the recent sick scratch, closed from a very tough spot to just miss to Michael’s Wild Boy at Freehold, may hold a class edge in this one 

  

2-Michael’s Wild Boy – A solid third here on 2-5, parlayed that into two straight off-the-pace wins at Freehold, the latest a career best & draws an ideal stalking post 

  

7-Prove Up – Should jog here simply based on his last mighty surge in :27.3, plus the modest field he’s facing, yet his lack of early speed is a concern & he won’t be 29-1 this time 

  

RACE 2 

1-Ballineen – Off the board in five starts this season, been struggling against tougher mares, gets further class relief & lands the pole for a barn that can do no wrong 

  

3-Royal Mama – Made a quick adjustment to the Big M with a 10-1 upset rally, was forced wide but only came her back half in :58, draws well to prove that was no fluke 

  

4-Caviart Shelly – Just 1 for 25, but has been knocking on the door in her last three starts for Team Burke, beaten favorite outmuscled despite riding the live cover of the winner Hollyrocker 

  

RACE 3 

7-Candy Stash – Pretty consistent mare was a very strong seven for 20 last season, left alertly & shook loose late closing with keen trot last week, serious threat off that line 

  

5-Cash For Gold – Took a mark of 1:56.1 with an easy win in the General Brock at Woodbine before a miscue as a contender in that final, gelding with upside can bounce back here 

  

3-Dress For Success – Flashed potential with a good second in round one of the Super Bowl Series, she’s recaptured that form with two straight wins, including a mark of 1:56.3, draws better & poised to step up into a competitive field 

  

RACE 4 

2-Outburst – World champion & Grand Circuit stakes winning 2YO struggled to regain & maintain that top level success at three, however his qualifiers indicate he may be ready for this suspect field with a smooth start from post two 

  

3-Scorcher Hall – Gelding moves up after rebounding big time after a disqualification, lightly-raced 6YO continues to progress from an inside post 

  

5-Clementine Dream – Hasn’t hit her best stride this season against some salty company like Master Of Law, a question mark off the sick scratch & three-week layoff, but has too much class to ignore, finds a soft spot to spark her form 

  

RACE 5 

2-Double Bundy N – 1:54.3 winner here last season finished a much better third in his second start off the bench, remains at the bottom level, draws well again & doesn’t face any standouts here 

  

5-Majestic Stone – 6YO suddenly came up with the mile of his life in that 1:54.3 romp two starts back, while hammered down as the 3-2 favorite, not quite the same pop last week, question mark 

  

7-Skyway Cruiser – 8YO gelding has been enjoying a productive Winter at Monticello for Team Harmon, who add Ron Pierce & may believe he can step up his game here & thrive down the longer stretch 

  

RACE 6 

8-Odds On Amethyst – Erratic, yet promising gelding tripped out with an eye-catching 1:52.3 upset on a 14 degree night with a -2 variant, tough to go against if Takter has him right & Super Brett can draft behind the 9-DW’s NY Yank 

  

9-DW’s NY Yank – Classy gelding rested & refreshed off two straight wins in the Yonkers Open for Team Burke, the latest at a mile and a quarter, drew off in the Q, blasts off for Gingras 

  

5-Team Six – Switched to The Buckeye who tried him on the lead & he caved on a frosty night, look for Marcus to revert back to a closing strategy, connections believe he has the potential to be an Open class player 

  

RACE 7 

6-Mandy’s Mattjesty – Coming up a bit short against tougher at Yonkers, won here at the B-1 level in January 2014, lands in a highly beatable field for Team Burke 

  

5-Precious Rose N – Owns a mark of 1:51.2 here taken last season, nice $12,500 claim at the end of November, favored in three of her last four at Yonkers, in form & fits well here 

  

3-Trevor’s Bebe – Hit the board again with a crisp :26.4, got parked before that & usually in the mix with her stalking style, contender again with another inside draw 

  

RACE 8 

2-Take My Picture – Finally gets to drop & get away from the top notch trotters, 8YO can spark something in the win column with an ideal trip imminent from post two & nothing else jumps off the page in here 

  

3-Money On My Mind – Team Burke freshened this gelding & stretched his legs in the Q, returns at a very reasonable level & figures to be forwardly placed with an inside draw 

  

10-Upfront Billy – Jumped on his bandwagon last week when he romped from post nine, confidence restored to tackle another outside draw & class hike 

  

RACE 9 

6-Wikedwitchothwest – Was doing an admirable job dealing with outside posts flashing good speed off the wings before coming up flat off cover last week, plummets to the lowest of lows 

  

4-Sir Lehigh Z Tam – Mare ships in two for her last 34, sports dismal form & comes off a break at Yonkers, but this is a much softer spot & the inside post facilitates a tailor made stalking trip 

  

7-Rhapsody Rose – Her speedy, narrow loss at the C-2 level back on 1-29 is her lone highlight this season, 9YO has missed a couple of weeks, draws a demanding post, mixed feelings 

  

RACE 10 

2-Casanova Lindy – Fresh Nick Surick claim hasn’t missed the board in seven starts this season, draws an improved post, retains Super Brett, consistency & class gives him the edge 

  

4-Northern Matador – Gelding took a big step up in his second start here when he rallied to upset with a new lifetime mark, rewarded with an inside draw to in a very competitive final 

  

9-Fox Valley Legend – Claimed by a barn that has struggled here with a one for 39 so far this season, yet this gelding got it done again from post nine & can bank on plenty of action in this contentious affair 

  

RACE 11 

6-Sir Jillian Z Tam – Got locked in too long & shook loose too late in a furious :27.2 while chasing a well rated Medusa last week, may give her another chance now that she’s acclimated so well 

  

7-Charisma Hanover – Just 3 for 27 in a 4YO transition season, but no doubt a top class mare for Team Burke, cruised in just one qualifier, ready to return for this competitive match up 

  

8-Icommandmyspirit – The raging Chris Ryder barn has this mare revved up winning two straight against the best at Yonkers, responded to aggressive handling when she won here on 1-16 

  

RACE 12 

7-Angels Ransom – Bounced back nicely with a solid second to standout Upfront Billy, $73,400 winner last season may be able to put two strong efforts in a row together for Smedshammer 

  

3-Lauderdale – Gelding flirted with the stakes level at three, struggled last year, now seems to have regained some magic & moves inside off a convincing score 

  

8-Winding Hill – Finished third behind Angels Ransom after a quick start from the same post, expect another blast off & gauge how the front end is playing 

  

RACE 13 

2-Lexis Amigo – 9YO gelding jumped it off as the beaten favorite while going for three in a row, any kind of bounce-back effort should put this camera-shy bunch away 

  

5-HS Certified – Badly beaten favorite claimed after folding her tent last week, has to go back to the speedy second by a neck to Lexis Amigo before that 

  

10-Marquesas – By process of elimination & based on his decent fourth last time this gelding rates a look despite post ten in this wide-open finale 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  



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Ken
Warkentin

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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