Posted by Ken Warkentin on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 12:46 PM


4-Mr Protab – Twice a runner up at this level recently, wasn’t quite up to a 1:54.1 runaway Majestic Sunset last out, draws inside to set up his usual stalking trip in a wide-open curtain raiser


1-Whatnblazes – 12YO was somehow able to spark his form with a solid rally for third last week, goes back to Marcus Johansson, moves inside, long overdue & finds a field he can handle


3-Fox Valley Steffen – 9YO has had some success in the amateurs this season & likes the mile track here, makes his fourth start off a lame scratch, draws well again & figures to be close up



3-Ideal Talker – Broke her maiden here in the Rainbow Blue Series & was second in that Final, mixing it up with some tough fillies recently, fresh off a narrow loss, looks like a prime spot


6-Sun Shines Bright – Her dam is 2012 Dan Patch Award winner American Jewel, 1:48.2 [$1,840,565], sister to U S Captain came right back with another dominant score & new mark of 1:52.2 two weeks ago, regally bred & lightly raced filly with plenty of upside for Team Takter


4-Hurrikane Empress – 2YO NJSS champion maintained consistency, while still looking for the winners circle this season, runner up to far superior Monica Gallagher in the qualifier



3-Pop Pop Joe – Has been a bit more competitive in his last two @ Harrah’s Philadelphia, gets some class & post relief, finds a soft field to stalk n pop


4-NY Whitesox – Recent claim with a mark of 1:54 here last month, bounced back with a solid second with pace at both ends last week & draws well, look for Eric Abbatiello to fire him out


7-Osiris Blue Chip – No chance closing from last chasing a sizzling 1:49.3 winner last week, gathering steam for his fourth start off the bench & hits rock bottom



5-Clouseau Hanover – Improving 4YO for Team Burke steps up fresh off a game grind & well-earned victory in his third start off a sick scratch, seems up to this test for class


6-Dealt A Winner – 2015 Cane Pace upsetter in a world record 1:47.3 been knocking heads with top Free For Allers, no factor from post 10 in the Haughton, gutsy third in the Ben Franklin consolation, chance to assert himself & score an overdue win


4-Express Stride N – I still don’t know how he closed from ninth to win by a nose with a career best 1:49 on June 23, wasn’t as effective when pace compromised in his last two, the latest as the beaten favorite @ Tioga Downs, dangerous with the right set up



10-Icommandmyspirit – 8YO mare is a Big M lover, with some back class regaining form on the comeback trail, off a close second to Daenerys Hanover two weeks ago, now in a tough spot to turn the tables, but may be sharp enough to do it


3-Daenerys Hanover – Very consistent 4YO fresh off a solid career best on the engine, while overcoming post nine, just missed with game grind before that & draws better


8-Intoview – 7YO has had some success here in the past, returns at this reduced level with another demanding post & banks on some mayhem up front



1-Evaluate – Rated #7 on the Road to the Hambletonian, sports a 1:51.4 mark in PASS, a solid fourth in the Beal, fourth again behind Zephyr Kronos in the Dancer, lands the rail again to establish position & step up in this final prep


5-Met’s Hall – Last year’s Breeders Crown runner up certainly has the credentials, but his late start this season has him playing catch up, can’t fault him for not being ready to go in 1:50 last week, yet could surprise in his second start off the bench


8-Zephyr Kronos – Takter trainee tebounded from an early miscue with a strong :26.3 rally to hit the board in the Dancer, draws outside a potentially competitive field & needs a bit more with the Hambo on the horizon



4-Mylittlesurfergirl – Just missed to a well-rated Stormtracker when last seen here on June 8, took her mark of 1:51.3 @ The Big M this season, returns to the mile track here, draws inside & adds Gingras


5-Penpal – Finally nailed her when she powered past N/W $8,500 types two starts back, toss out her Golden Girls debacle, this Big M lover drops back to an ideal spot 


7-Rockin Praline – Went all the way for a new mark of 1:50.3 two starts back, then just missed to Penpal with a lively effort, trainer Nick Surick has her on her toes



3-Hey Blondie – Took a lot of tote action in her third start of the season & uncorked a nice :26.2 rally for third in the Del Miller, Grand Circuit winner at two draws inside again & may be on the verge in a tailor made spot


7-Bill’s Lady – Ships in fresh off a narrow loss against older foes @ Pocono after a sick scratch, was holding her own against top fillies in PA, might get the target she needs & quickly adapt to the mile track


5-Piranha Fury – PASS winner this season & runner up to the highly rated Phaetosive two starts back, no factor chasing that rival in the Del Miller, another closing threat with the right set up



6-Sprinter N – Blasted off in :26.3 & split them late to nail the place deadheat with Quality Bud last week, 1:50 winner here this season has been knocking on the door


7-Bruce’s Magic – Took full advantage of a class drop, fought off pressure, then oncoming monsoon headwinds to score decisively as the 2-1 favorite, look for him to be put in play again


5-More Dragon – Couldn’t have been driven any better last week, rallied to a late lead & rebuffed to fourth as the beaten favorite, gallant winner in a career best 1:50 before that



5-Fly On – In full regroup mode off two consecutive breaks, qualified adequately behind the classy JL Cruze & has the credentials to step up in this wide-open field for Team Orange Crush


4-New Jersey Viking – Took a mark of 1:52.4 fresh off the barn change back in early April, moved up to the Preferred & raced in the Graduate, now looking to bounce back after some freshening


2-Shoshie Deo – Opened his sophomore season with a three-ply sweep of the NJSS Series, qualified well against some fellow Hambo hopefuls & draws inside a field full of question marks



2-Go Big Spinder – Just missed a huge upset in 1:49.3 three starts back, got off to a slow start, then tried to close into vicious headwinds in last Saturday’s finale, drops a notch & draws inside


5-Bettors Glass – Took full advantage of a torrid pace & catapulted to a 1:49.1 upset two starts back, too far back after getting bothered on the first turn last week


6-So Take That – Woke up with a triumphant upset two starts back, then was too far out of range on the step up to this level, classy horse-for-the-course can threaten with the right trip



5-Urbanite Hanover – 1:52.4 winner here in the slop this season flashed some improved late pace for minor spoils last week & drops a notch to ramp it up further in a wide-open finale


4-Frankandjoanne – Rallied to hit the board from post eight in his second start off a sick scratch, class & post relief may be enough for an overdue win


6-Outcry – 1:51.1 winner here back on June 16 has been on a bit of a roll recently, wasn’t a factor in a 1:49.3 sizzler last week, look for him to fire out & be more assertive in this easier match up










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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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