Handicapper Blog

Posted by Ken Warkentin on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 12:58 PM


3-Classic Martine – The Armbro Flight winner added Lasix, reeled off two more & equaled her lifetime mark of 1:51.2 with a crushing :26.3, tough to go against from an improved post


7-Bee A Magician – Defending Horse of the Year bounced back from sickness in the Armbro Flight with a sharp :26 to get back in the win column on 7-12, 2013 Oaks world record setter had no excuse last out however


1-Handover Belle – Has had a productive season so far for Tony Alagna, tripped out to a career best 1:51.4 two starts back, forgive the rare miscue last week, stalks the speed & utilizes her big kick



3-Dovuto Hanover – Regained his winning edge with class relief & gutsy first over into a :53.1 back half, expect him to be part of the pace from a better post


6-Wake Up Peter - $210,000 January Sale purchase has racked up nine tallies off a winless season, chased Sweet Lou last week, parked before that, look for Brett Miller to blast in the daylight


9-Odds On Equuleus – Equaled his lifetime mark of 1:48.2 with an absolutely vicious :25.3 explosion, :25.2 before that, an honest pace is ensured & only needs to be within striking range to do damage



2-Act Now – Stormed home to just miss in the Mistletoe Shalee, NJSS champion freshened with an even qualifier, draws inside for Sears


3-Gettingreadytoroll – Bounced back with a strong 1:51.3 qualifier & rousing :26.1 rally to score in a career best 1:49.3, Takter trainee looks like the one to beat


1-Ideal Helen – Fresh off a narrow loss in 1:51 with speed at both ends at Pocono Downs, stakes winner at two from a productive family rides the rail



1-Doo Wop Hanover – NJSS champion & Hempt consolation winner with a noteworthy rally was no factor from post 10 in the Pace, moves inside after a three-week layoff & switches to Gingras


2-Western Vintage – Runner-up in the NJSS Final as the beaten favorite draws well off a strong qualifier with Brian Sears & has a chance to make a serious statement


9-Beat The Drum – Closed from a tough spot to finish second in his Adios elimination, pace compromised fourth in that final, tough draws, retains Pierce & looks for a speed target



8-Captaintreacherous – Rallied from a tough spot into a wicked :52 back half to finish second last week, pressured in the Haughton, no chance in the Ben Franklin, time to crown The Captain


7-Sweet Lou – Seven in a row, all with Pierce & first horse to win four under 1:48, all in succession, 1:47.1 world record Haughton, faces another post seven challenge, the field is strong, but by the way he’s been doing it he’s tough go against


6-Bettor’s Edge – Just missed to his stellar stablemate in a world record 1:47 Ben Franklin & rushed home for second in the Haughton with sharp speed at both ends, deserves strong support in a field with combined earnings of $20,488,182 and 283 wins



3-Lock Down Lindy – Leading the first crop of Lucky Chucky out of a half sister to Majestic Son (1:52.2, $1,756,883), unleashed an eye-catching power sweep to win her elimination for the red-hot Zeron-Alagna


5-Mission Brief – Talented Muscle Hill filly out of a Breeders Crown champion has kept her head in the game to romp in the sires stakes final & set a track record in her elimination, may be no catching her


6-Gatka Hanover – Some in the Buke barn think this Muscle Massive filly is better than Mission Brief, half sister to Heaven’s Door went unchallenged until she was gunned down by Lock Down Lindy, completes imposing Team Burke 1-2 punch



5-Guess Who’s Back – Muscles Yankee colt out of a half sister to millionaire Poof She’s Gone stepped up further to deny Canepa Hanover in a vicious :26.4 three weeks ago, Sears won this three straight years, including Muscle Hill


2-Canepa Hanover – The half brother to Triple Crown champion Glidemaster couldn’t sprint with Guess Who’s Back in the sires stakes final, bounced back with an easy win from post eight, Takter has won two of the last three


1-Centurion ATM – Ake Svanstedt taught him well in PA, then unleashed him to a decisive elimination score, Svanstedt noted he’s a strong horse who does everything right & the rail facilitates a smooth start



5-Dejatiero – Won his debut in handy style before the sick scratch, needed his last two, just missed with a game speed try, retains Dave Miller & likely takes charge of affairs here


1-Amped Up Hanover – Just 1 for 10 this season, but has been more competitive against Grand Circuit types lately & lands the rail in a so-so field for Team Burke


6-Marathon Man – Lightly-raced gelding seems to be gathering momentum with a perfect trip win two starts back, then chased Hambo entrant Doncango last week, tactical speed puts him in play



5-Outburst – World record setter at two recaptured his winning edge in the PA Allstars at Pocono before winning again at Harrah’s Philly, had no shot from post nine here last week


10-Wheelsandthelegman – Only one loss in seven starts, romped in a PASS division & beat Hambo entrant Il Sogno Dream last week, expecting a blastoff from post ten & we’ll see how far he goes


8-Auspicious Hanover – Stablemate to Datsyuk dropped out of stakes action & was able to regain his form from tough posts at Pocono, the latest was a gutsy, grinding effort



3-D’Orsay – Won last year’s Duenna in a world record 1:51.4 on Hambletonian Day, has really sharpened her sword with two narrow losses in grinding style & draws well to stalk the ample speed on view


9-Master Of Law – The switch to Takter has worked wonders with a thunderous :26 to win the qualifier, then a methodic steamroll to a new mark of 1:52, still the challenging draw may make things interesting


6-Natural Herbie – Raging Indiana-bred gelding ships in fresh off back-to-back lifetime marks & Hoosier Park track records of 1:52.3, has been a versatile performer, yet gets a serious test for class here



1-Sebastian K – Quickly re-established his superiority with a decisive elimination, was overpowering before the off track Maple Leaf Trot nose loss, the world’s fastest trotter will be starting for the fourth consecutive week, yet has thrived on his new American racing regimen


9-Market Share – The 2012 Hambletonian hero & last year’s beaten favorite has definitely come around in the heat of the season, shook loose too late in the Maple Leaf, conservatively handled last week, triple millionaire needs to somehow get involved from post nine & will likely get the hot speed target he needs


4-Archangel – Rebounded from making breaks in two of his last three to post the fastest trotting mile in Big M history, there’s little doubt the same strategy will be employed from a slightly better post, we’ll see what happens when pressure comes & the monstrous Sebastian K comes calling



1-Designed To Be – Leads the Team Orange Crush trio with world records at two & three, she hasn’t been able to stretch out in her last two, leaves alertly from the rail again with Sears, who set the stakes record of 1:51.4 last year with Horse of the Year Bee A Magician


11-Shake It Cerry – Set a track record winning last year’s Merrie Annabelle enroute to divisional honors, has continued to dominate her class, yet has had her own way with controlling speed, always tricky second tier start, yet follows Designed To Be out of there for a Donato Hanover exacta


8-Heaven’s Door – Lightly-raced, yet talented Muscle Hill filly unfurled her brilliant speed winning the NJSS Final in 1:52, runner-up to Shake It Cerry, who stole the Del Miller, three-week layoff & post eight, yet Svandstedt will have her ready to roll & we haven’t seen her best



10-Father Patrick – The 2013 Dan Patch Award winner has simply been flawless, exceptional & sitting on idle, Takter & Gingras have called him the perfect horse, tuned up with a superb qualifier, won the Dancer from post nine & cruised in a world record 1:50.2 in the Beal from post eight, yet the ten-hole could make it interesting


7-Trixton – Not far behind in the shadow of his stellar stablemate, this speedy, handy & improving son of Muscle Hill has done his share dominating the NJSS Final & setting a Mohawk track record of 1:51.3 in the Goodtimes, a big, growthy colt with a bright future is next in line if Father Patrick somehow gets roughed up


5-Nuncio – The Beal & Dancer runner-up completes the most formidable trio in Hambletonian history, prepped perfectly with a 1:51.4 career best in the Reynolds, six-time winner Campbell has been nursing him along & if they mix it up enough the ultimate Hall of Famer could pick up all the pieces.



1-Rocklamation – Betsy Ross runner-up, third from post ten in the Roses Are Red & now fresh off a new lifetime mark of 1:48.3 in the Golden Girls from post nine, last year’s third-place finisher moves inside


2-Drop The Ball – Last year’s upsetter over Anndrovette in 1:49, streaky mare on the upswing fresh off an aggressive post eight elimination tally in 1:49.2, 2011 Mistletoe Shalee winner knows when to come up big


5-Anndrovette – One of the greatest pacing mares of all time, three-time Dan Patch Award winner took her third straight Roses Are Red, then tailed off some, last year’s runner up & third in 2012 has a chance to bear down on the big stage just as she’s done in the past



2-IAM Bonasera – Rocketed home from last in :25.4 fresh off the bench, then tried to close into a :53.2 back half, owns plenty of back class & primed for an aggressive effort from an inside post


4-Ultimate Beachboy – Decent 4YO transition season in the shadows of stellar Burke stablemates, gets class relief & draws well in a wide-open finale


7-Urgent Action – Rode a resurgence before a couple of sick scratches, then qualified well & took a post eight tour, switches to the Bionic Man for his second try off the bench




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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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