Handicapper Blog

Posted by Ken Warkentin on Friday, January 24, 2014 2:30 PM

2014 Meadowlands Pace Winterbook

The 2014 Meadowlands Pace at the New Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment is scheduled for Saturday, July 12, and the 38th edition could be an affair for bargains like He’s Watching and Western Vintage, or the continuing onslaught Somebeachsomewhere offspring like Captaintreacherous, or from former Pace champions like Well Said, Mach Three or Rocknroll Hanover.  Here’s a look at some early contenders for one of the summer’s classics for the glamour boy division.

1-He’s Watching - $3,000 was all it cost David Menary for a son of American Ideal as a Harrisburg yearling, and everybody was watching He’s Watching carve out an undefeated eight-for-eight freshman campaign, including a complete sweep of NYSS.  His regular driver Jim Morrill, Jr. owns the biggest upset in Pace history – Holborn Hanover paid $119 in 2004.  He’s Watching set world records of 1:50 at Tioga Downs and 1:52.2 at Yonkers Raceway, as well as track records at Buffalo Raceway, Vernon Downs and Batavia.  In addition to earning just under $300,000, half interest was sold to Muscara Racing Trust.


2-Luck Be Withyou – Luck was certainly with long-time Ontario partners Bill Cass and John Craig when they selected a son of Western Ideal for $77,000 as a yearling and they struck gold with a brother to world champion filly American Jewel.  Luck Be Withyou came up with some late-season heroics in the Champlain in 1:52, then won a Breeders Crown elimination in 1:50, before paying off with perfect Ron Pierce piloting in the sloppy track final in 1:52. 


3-Western Vintage – Picked out by yearling aficionado Perry Soderberg for just $7,000, this son of Western Ideal served notice with a three-ply sweep of NJSS, with miles of 1:52.4, 1:52.1 and then 1:52.2 in the final at the Big M, and followed up with a second in the Metro and a 1:49.4 mark in the Bluegrass.  Trained by Nancy Johansson, Western Vintage banked over $300,000 and added Marvin Katz as an owner last Fall.


4-Somestarsomewhere – The Burke Racing Stable shelled out $110,000 for a colt from the second crop of Somebeachsomewhere, and after growing through some maturing issues, patience paid off with a world record 1:49.4 Breeders Crown elimination, while coming off a 1:49.2 International Stallion Stakes division.  Somestarsomewhere finished third as the beaten favorite in the Breeders Crown Final.


5-Sometimes Said – From the first crop of 2009 Pace champion Well Said comes one of the standout performers from Breeders Crown night for John and Jim Campbell.  Sometimes Said overcame post nine to finish a close second at 34-1.  John Campbell owns a record seven Pace trophies.  The handy, versatile and well-mannered Sometimes Said was just 1 for 10, with seven runner-up finishes, yet had almost $300,000 in the money column for Fashion Farms.


6-JK Endofanera – Trainer Ron Burke could be loaded with top three-year-olds in 2014, and JK Endofanera served ample notice with a 1:51.4 Governor’s Cup win as the 4-5 favorite with Brian Sears.  The son of Art Major was a late-season acquisition and joins stablemates Somestarsomewhere and Carracci Hanover. 


7-Some Major Beach – The half brother to the great Somebeachsomewhere, and a homebred from the Australian-based 2008 freshman champion Major In Art, Some Major Beach looked like he was going to shock them in the Metro before he got interfered with in the stretch.  Trainer Tony Alagna, who won his first Meadowlands Pace with Captaintreacherous, said this colt matured a lot over his freshman season and finally broke his maiden at the end of October in 1:53.1 at Pocono Downs.  Alagna could add stablemates Ideal Magic and Journeyman to his Pace contingent.


8-Limelight Beach - $25,000 qualifies as a bargain price for the $200,000 winning Somebeachsomewhere colt Limelight Beach.  The stablemate to world champion Beach Memories for trainer Brian Brown went two-for-two in Grand Circuit action at The Red Mile, including a 1:49.4 upset over So Surreal.


9-Let’s Drink On It – In one of the greatest races of all-time Art Official handed Somebeachsomewhere his only career loss in the 2008 Meadowlands Pace in a world record 1:47 for trainer Joe Seekman, who has a top level prospect from his first crop.  Let’s Drink On It, a $12,000 steal, won a Metro elimination in 1:51.1 before tailing off, then stormed home to win the American National in 1:51.2 on November 9th.


10-Arthur Blue Chip – How proud can Dr. Ian Moore be training a 2YO from the first crop of his former star Shadow Play, who was the sport’s leading money winning pacing colt in 2013?  Arthur Blue Chip, a $135,000 brother to millionaire Kenneth J, banked just over $390,000, took a mark of 1:51 in a Metro elimination and finished a game, parked out second in the Governor’s Cup.



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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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