Handicapper Blog

Posted by Ken Warkentin on Tuesday, August 04, 2015 1:11 PM


6-Odds On Equuleus – Regained his winning edge with back-to-back lifetime marks of 1:47.4 and 1:47.3, then stepped up admirably to this Open level with one of his patented late surges, may blast off for speed in the daylight


3-Bandolito – Was red-hot & reeled off eight wins this season before the sick scratch, showed more interest in his second start off the bench at Harrington, inside draw advantage & stalking trip over several of the top contenders may put him over the edge here


9-Doctor Butch – Big M lover was used pretty hard in a torrid pace last week & only fell a buck shy, post nine complicates matters, but note the 8 for 23 record this season & his tactical speed



3-Broadway Donna – Undefeated five-for-five filly out of Fashion Farms Oaks champ Broadway Schooner [2009] has never been tested & keeps getting better, Jim Campbell said she’s done everything she’s been ask for & more & acts like a true professional


5-Miss Tezsla – Quickly found her best stride winning two straight for Takter & was flying home to just miss to the favorite Womans Will, look more of that big kick from an ideal stalking post


4-Kathy Parker – Named for the Hall of Fame Editor & GM of Horseman & Fair World Magazine, has progressed nicely as one of four Takter finalists, held off longshot Lindy’s On Fire after controlling the pace in her elimination & draws alongside the heavy favorite



8-Sandbetweenurtoes – Last year’s Mistletoe Shalee winner was conservatively handled, looking for room & raging late in :26.2 in the blanket finish last week, would likely thrive in the added eighth if she gets the right speed target


5-Anndrovette – Four-time Dan Patch Award winner, second in the last two editions & third in 2012, suddenly came around at the right time with a huge added distance upset in the Golden Girls, ideal midpack draw fresh off a nice tune up last week


2-Rocklamation – Last year’s Lady Liberty winner & co-winner of the Dan Patch Award has started to come around recently, fired out from post eight & got trapped with no chance to seriously bear down, moves inside & expected to be forwardly placed



5-State Treasurer – Last year’s runner up to Sweet Lou has been pretty consistent this season, the Mohawk Gold Cup winner was right there in the Ben Franklin, just missed in the Haughton with a :25.2, and was flying late again last week, Miller & Moore won the 2009 edition with Shadow Play


2-Doo Wop Hanover – Last year’s NJSS champion has really blossomed this season for trainer Steve Elliott, sweeping the Graduate Series, obviously had an off night in the Haughton, yet bounced back with an intense mile in the TVG Open leg & draws inside


6-JK Endofanera – 2014 North America Cup winner & one of last year’s millionaires has comeback with a vengeance in his last three since switching to Takter, rocketed home in :25.2 from an impossible spot in the Haughton & dug in bravely last week



10-Wind Of the North – Turned in an excellent comeback after returning from Europe, flashing trot at both ends & just missed by a nose in last week’s Open Handicap, obviously post ten complicates things, but this is a fresh & live prospect in an extremely wide open race


1-Intimidate – Millionaire Breeders Crown champion was steamrolling home to hit the board in a much needed acclimating mile last week, has some major upsets to his credit like last year’s Maple Leaf Trot & TVG Final here, lands the pole in a wild shootout & Scott Zeron now knows what he has


6-Market Share – Near quadruple millionaire son of 2004 Cashman winner Revenue S finished second in last year’s edition, 2012 Hambletonian hero signaled a return to top form with a suddenly aggressive 1:51.1 score, fresh factor & experience edge here



6-Bee A Magician – The 2013 Horse of the Year who went 17-for-17 that season is back on top of her game, more mature & stronger, winning eight of nine in 2015, including the Cutler, Charlie Hill Trot & Armbro Flight, tuned up with a pair of easy preps


8-Handover Belle – Has caught fire for Team Burke at the right time, that was some rally on 7-4, she just missed by a head to Market Share on 7-24, then bravely took a new mark of 1:51.1 last week


4-Classic Martine – 2014 Dan Patch Award winner upset Bee A Magician in a world record 1:51.1 on Hambo Day last year, struggling to regain her top form this season, makes her second start off a sick scratch & has a chance to step up from an inside post



5-Winter Harbor – Tony Alagna has sung praises for this $240,000 yearling, who made an impressive debut in the Kindergarten, then paid the price for a slow start from post nine & still trotted home in :27.3, has a big shot if he continues to step it up


2-Southwind Frank – NJSS champ with a stakes record 1:53.4 in the final, simply cruised in his elimination for Gingras & Burke, sire Muscle Hill won this in 2008, $100,000 yearling appears to be the real deal


4-Milligan’s School – Steamrolled away from the favorite Bar Hopping to romp in his elimination with a wrapped up :27.4, $120,000 yearling for Team Orange Crush has quickly come to hand



10-Pinkman – Takter’s top gun has been almost flawless this season, fresh off a stakes record in the Zweig in a perfect tune up, stole his Dancer division off a world record 1:51.3, post ten doesn’t stop this yet-to-be-revved-up gelding


2-The Bank – The season’s fastest 3YO with a 1:50.4 Dancer division, Takter calls him his most improved 3YO this season, so top form, plus drawing inside his high profile stablemates may give him the slight edge he needs


9-Canepa Hanover – Set the table for & was trotting with stablemate Pinkman to the wire in the Zweig, tied a Mohawk track record of 1:51.3 in his Goodtimes elimination & set a stakes record of 1:51.1 in the NJSS Final, Takter has called him this year’s Trixton, overcomes post nine with his sheer ability



6-French Laundry – Fresh off an ideal tune up beating stablemate The Bank here last Friday, Muscles Yankee colt was also a fast-closing third to that rival in the Dancer, NJSS Final runner up peaking perfectly for Takter


2-Mission Brief – Tough to go against the world champion filly with an inside draw, fresh off her decisive 1:51.4 score in the Zweig, trainer Ron Burke is confident she’s turned the corner after dealing with back issues & faces a solid Takter 1-2 punch


7-Uncle Lasse – Needed his race in the Zweig after missing three weeks, second by a nose to Pinkman in the Beal & set a track record of 1:51.4 at The Meadows, very little to fault this Takter trainee



10-Resolve – Finally gets away from the red-hot JL Cruze after several attempts, just missed by a neck in the added eighth Hambo Maturity in a world record, draws outside, but has plenty of speed to shoot at


4-Not Afraid – No chance from post eight in the Yonkers Open last week, been consistent & strong in the win column for Takter, owns experience over the track & draws well in a seriously wide open event


7-Luminosity – Steady Team Burke gelding has been a major factor in the Yonkers Open, toss out his latest from post eight, eight for 22 in a career best season so far, look for him to get involved



2-Wiggle It Jiggleit – One of the top performers in the sport in 2015, winning 14 of 15, most recently the Hempt and Meadowlands Pace in a career best 1:47.4, talented & versatile gelding has had three weeks off to freshen up for an even stronger second half of the season


1-Dude’s The Man – Pace runner-up successfully dealt with his issue with shadows by romping as the Adios favorite, consistent colt lands the rail alongside the standout & may have more to possibly turn the tables


9-In the Arsenal – Wired his Pace elimination with such authority, which makes his Pace debacle quite puzzling, but that was three weeks ago, post nine certainly doesn’t help, let’s look for a blast off & bounce back effort



2-Wild Honey – The Zweig runner-up to Mission Brief seemed to spin her wheels early from post seven & got underway too late last week, this Takter trainee has a nose for the charmed circle, draws an improved post & is reunited with Gingras


1-Lock Down Lindy – Was the victim of bad racing luck before she was unleashed & exploded to a career best 1:51.4 elimination, two-time Oaks winner Tim Tetrick lands the pole with a prime candidate


7-Livininthefastlane – Second to the ill-fated standout Spirit To Win, razor sharp PASS winner for Team Orange Crush, who were second in the 2014 edition with Designed To Be & Andy Miller pulled an Oaks upset in 2008 with Creamy Mimi



Pinkman – Dealt a bad hand drawing post ten in his elimination, yet should at the very least make it through to this final with his raw talent & versatility, this gelding has simply proven to be Takter’s top gun & it’s time Gingras got his due by revving him up & unleashing him today


Canepa Hanover – Takter has emphasized the NJSS champion has a world of ability, this talented & handy son of Muscle Hill can relax & control the pace or stalk & uncork one big burst, Takter has referred to him as this year’s Trixton, Takter’s patience has paid off with this big, strong colt


French Laundry – Perhaps the most unheralded of the Takter quintet, yet one of the more distinguished, the NJSS Final runner up was going into the Goodtimes on a high note before the rare miscue, Gingras has noted he’s better following horses, tuned up with a career best 1:52.4 here last week



2-Band Of Angels – Used the NYSS program to sharpen her sword, won the Shalee elimination in 1:50 & finished a solid third in that final, then zipped around Batavia last Sunday with plenty left, lands inside here for Team Burke


4-Wicked Little Minx – Nancy Johansson said she’s a big, strong filly, like a Mack Truck, simply dominated the Miss New Jersey from post 10 in a career best 1:50 fresh off the bench, so logically she’s going to even tougher, especially with an inside draw


7-Stacia Hanover – Turned in a big rebound speed try in the Miss New Jersey after her Mistletoe Shalee debacle, when you go back to her Lynch elimination win you know there’s talent here, dangerous if truly back at her best



3-Massive Lightning – Gelding from the first crop of 2010 Hambo winner Muscle Massive, fresh off a narrow loss in 1:52.3 with trot at both ends & draws inside again for the high percentage Steve Elliott


2-Musical Rhythm – Well bred colt added Lasix, qualified well, then rallied in :27.3 to finish second in an inspiring comeback for Tony Alagna & lands inside


9-Walter White – Takter tuned colt just outside the Hambo bubble has had his moments recently, shows a solid second to Habitat in the Beal consolation, freshened with a decent qualifier, chance to make some noise in this wide open affair despite post nine



1-Bettor Than You – Left alertly, sat a pocket & was left in the wake of a revved up Calvin B, who was elevated to the Open, Team Burke gelding in line for another smooth, stalking trip from the rail


8-My Name Is Sam – Took advantage of some class relief, brushed into a wicked pace & just missed in 1:49 in his third start off a sick scratch, sharp item remains a serious threat despite post eight


10-McArdles Lightning – Has regained his form against better in his last two at Harrah’s Philly, the added distance may help his cause from post 10 & trainer Steve Elliott has had a terrific meet



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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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