Handicapper Blog

Posted by Ken Warkentin on Thursday, April 25, 2013 12:53 PM

2013 Season First Half Highlights 


The 2013 season at the Meadowlands Racetrack started with a bang on the racing and wagering front with the successful implementation of the A-B-C classification system, the addition of a second Pick 4, big money guarantees, and full and competitive fields, wide-open betting boards, and positive news with a state-of-the-art grandstand on the rise. 


Plus, Yannick Gingras leading the world’s best driving colony, teamed with Ron Burke, the sport’s top trainer, along with the traditional array of fierce Winter Series action, a steady line-up of nightly promotions, and small wonder $3 million handles have become the norm. 


Once again, the big story headlines in January were produced by the amazing Golden Receiver.  The 8-year-old son of Village Jove, and pride of breeder/owner Nina Simmonds, made it back-to-back Presidential Series sweeps.  Tim Tetrick drove for trainer Mark Harder, who enjoyed a strong first half of the meet.  The Golden One looked better than ever in a 1:49.3 final, and gears up for another run at the Summer’s free for all slugfests.  Harder also won the Charles Singer Memorial Final with Real Babe. 


One of the other highlights of January was a rags-to-riches pacer who swept the Clyde Hirt Series.  Holdingallthecards, a son of Cam’s Card Shark purchased for a bit more $1,000 by Wisconsin road contruction worker Bill McIntyre, took a mark of 1:50.3 in the second leg, then dominated the final in 1:51.1 for Tim Tetrick and trainer Scott Di Domenico. 


Andy Miller, a strong third in the standings, won three Winter Series finals, and two from post 10.  The first came when Windsun Galliano set a stakes record of 1:53.4 in the Super Bowl for his wife, trainer Julie Miller.  Andy swept the Junior Trendsetter with Meadowlands Pace hopeful Resistance Futile, a Real Desire colt that Bob Siegelman looked after for Blair Burgess.  Resistance Futile was impressive with a 1:51.3 romp and a final quarter of :26.2.  Andy also captured the Exit 16W Final with Mr Dennis in 1:52.3 for trainer Nick Surick, who was tied for third going into the Championship Meet.


The dominant duo of Yannick Gingras and Ron Burke came through with a trio of finals.  Oil Magnet swept the Winter Survivor, one of several new acquisitions for Team Burke.  The Western Hanover nine-year-old ran his winning streak to seven in that final beating stablemate Boiler Bob The QB.  Escape The News scored back-to-back battles with Warrawee Needy in 1:48.4 and 1:49.3 to take the Aquarius.  And on the trotting side, Quick Deal was eye-catching in the frigid conditions of the Horse & Groom Series with miles of 1:52.1 and 1:52.4 in that final.  On February 16, Yannick Gingras won seven races, one shy of the record set by Mike Lachance in 1995. 


As Spring finally sprang, and with Yannick Gingras and Tim Tetrick spending their weekends in New York, the sport’s leading driver really turned up the heat at the Big M, and Corey Callahan grandslams were commonplace.  The top gun in Delaware for the fourth straight season captured the Rags to Riches Final with Cane Ridge in a speedy 1:50, a mile that featured a dazzling :52.4 half. 


The Meadowlands stellar driving colony also featured the rising star of 19-year-old Joe Bongiorno, the stalwart Hall of Fame bound Dave Miller holding down second in the standings, the firmly established presence of Simon Allard, who won both finals of the Gina Giant and Night Styles, and the vintage Hall of Famers John Campbell and Ron Pierce. 


The 2013 Championship Meet once again features outdoor activities added to the menu of fan-friendly promotions, like the popular Friday Night Winners at the Wedge, Bands Brews & BBQ, Jersey Fest, Camel & Ostrich Racing and the Summer Beer Festival.  Plus, with major stakes events like the Meadowlands Pace and the Hambletonian, the Meadowlands Racetrack continues to be a leader in world class racing, great betting races and family entertainment.  



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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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