Handicapper Blog

Posted by Ken Warkentin on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 11:39 AM


2-Big City Jewel – 4YO gelding had trip excuses in his last two – got parked, then was pace compromised & sprinted home in :26.3 last week, inside post gives him a chance to trip out


7-FF Bigshow – What do we do with this gelding fresh off a huge wake up mile in his second start for a new barn?  Appeared to be a handful & figures to be able to handle the step up to N/W of 3 in a field which has come up light


3-Rooster Rabbit – Dropped out of the Gilmour Series & chased the runaway My Name Is Sam on 3-14 before getting parked by a longshot & folding last week, draws well to rebound



2-JL Cruze – Can join the few who have won three Winter Series finals, the Super Bowl & Singer champ has been as dominant as can be, winning seven of nine this season, overcame post ten & snow to crush them last week, impossible to go against


1A-Opulent Yankee – Consistent gelding has clearly met his match & been second best to JL Cruze, draws well but can only turn the tables if the favorite somehow gets roughed up or has an off night, and his entry mates are obviously off form


3-Sheer Flex – Has acclimated well, performed admirably & finished his miles nicely since shipping here for trainer Dave M. Smith, however he will need some mayhem & more punch to pull off an upset, strictly an opportunist



5-Midnight Lightning – Was forced three-wide around a gapper & sprinted gamely in :27.1 to hit the board again, third in the Gilmour Final & has a big chance to push past a suspect field


7-Ticket To Roll – Keep in mind he’s just 1 for 22, but that was a strong second to blowout shocker FF Bigshow after a missing a few weeks, expect another strong start


4-Gokudo Hanover – Overcame a tough trip off a slow pace to grab third behind a runaway My Name Is Sam, improving 3YO can take the next step from a better post



4-Seek The Dragon – Claimed by Steve Elliott off a suddenly aggressive win as the favorite, yet was all out after a dreamy second over trip off the hot pace last week, was chasing superior foes like Windsong Gorgeous recently


6-Mambo Italiano – Regained his winning edge with that game grind in the slop on 3-14, wheeled right back with a brave effort with a similar trip & narrow loss to Diamond Said as the beaten favorite


7-Diamond Said – Huge bounce-back mile after the late break on 3-14, Tyler Smith catapulted off the hot pace to put a sparkling new mark of 1:50.4 on the son of Rocknroll Hanover



9-Steady Pulse – You’ve got to love the way this gelding tried to brush & almost paid off as the beaten favorite in his first start for trainer Michael Russo, you know there’s further improvement imminent


3-Gratias Deo – Clearly stepped up his game & earned that slight upset & new lifetime mark with a perfect drive by Andy Miller, draws inside to repeat


1-Fox Valley Tyrese – Don’t know where last week’s mile came from but he closed into a decent :55.1 back half to just miss, rewarded with an inside post



6-Windsong Gorgeous – John Campbell was just a passenger last week as this relentless 8YO was growling all the way in a career best 1:49.1 after the Virgil Morgan, Jr. reclaim, tough to go against this versatile winning machine


4-Smart Rokker – Gelding has caught fire winning four of his last five, poised to take another step up after he rallied for another new mark of 1:51.2 with a sharp :26.2


5-Sir Melo’s Z Tam – Things set up perfectly for him last week, but Windsong Gorgeous was in another world, gelding is in top form & will need the kind of upset he pulled on 3-7



3-JJ Shark – Surprised a few with his thunderous :26.4 rally to just miss in a terrific acclimating mile, he’s rewarded with an improved post in a competitive field


7-Artists Rally – Fresh off a narrow loss he left alertly, attacked late & sustained his momentum while fighting off Mighty Young Joe, classy 9YO is sharp enough to repeat


10-Dreamlands Art – Got back in the win column with a perfect two-hole trip in a sparkling 1:50.2, moves outside, but has plenty of back class & chased much better recently



5-Four Starzzz Z – This Team Burke gelding has had enough of Windsong Gorgeous, a solid third to that rival two weeks ago, can take advantage of a field riddled with question marks


6-Mister Virgin – 0 for ten this season, but sparked by a recent claim, off a game narrow loss to Windsong Gorgeous on 3-14 he was inexplicably positioned far back early with little chance last week, this gelding clearly thrives when on or near the lead


7-Ashley’s Husband – Similar to Mister Virgin he was caught out of striking range while closing into a :54.1 back half chasing Windsong Gorgeous & drops back to a winning level



3-Good Day Mate – Jumped on this bandwagon perhaps prematurely & chased a relatively fast 1:50.1 winner, now re-acclimated, drops again, switches to The Buckeye & draws another inside post


8-Sassy Hanover – Flashing solid speed off the wings with frequency, but merely overmatched, drops into a wide-open bottom level field with no standouts


1-Alex Bullville – Hammered down to 2-1 favorite, rallied to hit the board with only decent kick, continues down the class ladder & lands the rail in a field begging to be beaten



5-Hilarious Halo – This is a classy 9YO who took a mark of 1:48.3 here last season, he’s cranked up his game, comes off an impossible trip while closing :26.3, in a prime spot here


2-Relentless Dreamer – Almost stole one on the engine two starts back, then was blitzed from post nine last week, drops back to a softer spot


6-Outa My Head – Gelding makes his second start off the reclaim by Jennifer Lappe & was going well for these connections back in February



1-Rockeyed Optimist – Fastest of the season so far with that 1:48.3 wrapped up swoop at 1-9 last week, the Sonsam Series champ has blossomed for Steve Elliott & won nine of his last 12 here, versatile beast simply standout


4-Caviart Luca – Improving 4YO flashed a hint of top class talent at three & certainly going in the right direction on the comeback trail for Noel Daley, yet clearly second best barring any unforeseen circumstances


3-Lord Of Misrule – Team Burke gelding came up with a solid effort when he shook loose late for third in :26 flat last week, but will need to crank it up another notch



2-You Bet Your Glass – 12YO promptly regained his winning form with a well-controlled & emphatic score back at this $10,000 level & now moves inside, looks too good


5-Penn Turbo Ted – Reclaimed by Bill Mann off another no-chance trip, the beaten favorite in two of his last three switches to Tetrick


10-Triple Major – Gamely chased You Bet Your Glass while enduring an uncovered trip into a quickening pace, stuck outside that main rival, yet remains a live contender







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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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