Posted by Ken Warkentin on Tuesday, January 08, 2019 7:48 PM


4-Fleur De Hill – Toss out her latest from post ten when she started slow & broke over an off track, now she moves inside & drops into a weak N/W 2, while slipping under the money cap


7-Hammer Creek – Forced wide while pace compromised & barely outsprinted & finished second again, just one for 23, yet may be on the verge in a soft opener


6-Storming Mist – Betting favorite in his last three, broke & got parked in his return to this oval, this is a lightly-raced stalking type with some upside



5-Fraser Ridge – Fresh threat ships in for Scott Di Domenico off two straight blowouts @ Dover Downs, the latest in the Open there & was strong in the win column last season


7-Muscle Diamond – Capped off 2018 with a five-race winning streak, his latest a decisive rally off perfect cover, classy, versatile & freshened again to keep it going in a competitive field


6-Trolley – Took control over an off track & tired late as the heavy favorite last out after going three-for-three on Lasix, more patient handling may be in order to bounce back



2-Pancakes – 8YO has come around & acclimated in her last two here, solid runner up to the big favorite Fox Valley Bailey & draws inside again


7-Cheap Thrills – Just one for 26 last season, but regained form since the early November sick scratch, stormed home to hit the board just behind Pancakes in a nice rebound effort


9-Lotus Seelster – Lands outside again off a no-chance mile, but take note of the aggressive effort chasing standout Fox Valley Bailey two starts back



1A-Fly On – Tackles another outside draw off a no-chance mile from post ten, rounding into form for Team Orange Crush & entrymate Opulent Yankee gets class & post relief


5-Texican – Paid off as the heavy favorite with a final surge & new lifetime mark of 1:54, a strong second before that & rates serious contender status despite the bump back up in class


7-Chromeo – Trond added trotting hopples recently, seemed to struggle on the turns, yet found his best stride to just miss last week, a threat with a similar trip



2-Hammer Time – Strong second to standout Godspell Hall two starts back, back on the rail again off a decent fourth in the slop last out, improving 5YO has trip potential


1-Max Volo – Took a new mark of 1:56 with trot at both ends two starts back, then a solid third on the step up in class, draws better on an improving trend & doesn’t face much


4-Winbak Noelle – 4YO mare with some stakes experience just two for 20, tough to gauge off a slow qualifier in the slop here, draws well in a wide-open field



6-Rubber Duck – Beaten favorite made a rare break on the first turn after a slow start last week, now gets another class drop & eligible to rebound for a high percentage barn


3-Hot Summer Knight – Needed a few starts & some class relief to regain his winning form at his favorite track, 11-time winner last season lands inside again fresh off a career best 1:53.3


4-Nows The Moment – Almost blew up the toteboard in his sparkling Big M debut, rallied stoutly from a tough spot at 81-1 & gets another inside draw in a field of question marks



5-Penpal – Three-time beaten favorite was forced to close from never-never land again, classy mare lands an ideal midpack draw to set a stalking trip within closer range & long overdue


3-Stormtracker – The hot mare on the rise for Linda Toscano, held on gamely while working hard in the slop last out, poised for a double class hike from another inside post


9-Delightfulmemphis N – Lived up to her heavy tote hype with a perfect second trip from post nine & equaled her lifetime mark, looking for similar luck from the extreme outside tonight



3-Mandella Blue Chip – Gets another drop in class off an eye-catching rally in :27.3 last week & draws a bit better in this wide open field


5-Blitz Victory – Kicked off 2019 with a class drop n pop & took a new mark with a perfect drive by Mitchell Cushing, certainly a logical threat to repeat


2-Duluth – Was barely outkicked by Blitz Victory at better than 57-1, just two for 38 last year, but rates a long look off that effort from an improved post



5-Derf Hanover – Gelding capped off 2018 winning three of his last four & fresh off a new mark of 1:53.4 in the slop, sharp & versatile 5YO well deserves much attention


7-Exs And Ohs – Made it back-to-back upsets here when she closed from the clouds in :27.2 & took a new mark of 1:54.2, razor sharp 4YO looms large again


6-Miss Ruby – Repeated & romped to a new mark of 1:54.1 two starts back before getting collared by Exs And Ohs last week, drops back down & remains a live item



1-Hepburn Hanover – Has returned to form after a late-November sick scratch, just missed as the beaten favorite last week & looks for another smooth trip from the rail again


10-Fox Valley Bailey – Came right back with her second straight blowout & took a new mark of 1:53.3 as the even money favorite, steps up in class & lands outside, but remains a threat


8-Lady Of Heaven – Beaten favorite tired after setting the pace in the slop, has hit the board in her last three & will be looking make a late move from a tougher outside post



2-Starsaboveallerage – Responded to a perfect second over trip to grab the runner up spot in the slop last out, gets a bit of class relief, draws better & may be worth a swing


3-Bastille – 13YO warhorse flashed speed from post eight on the step up in class & held for minor spoils last week, moves inside with stalking potential in a wide-open match up


9-Iron Dome – Rallied with more vigor to be a much better third in his second start off the bench for Team Harmon, fresh Team Harmon trainee deserves a long look despite post nine



3-Bell A Chick – Flashed plenty of late trot from way back to grab second to Photo King, makes his second start in nine months & draws well again at his favorite track to turn the tables


6-Photo King – The King needed no photo when erupted to repeat from post eight, 12YO on his toes right now fresh off that excellent acclimating mile


4-Justcallmeronald – Got parked from post seven chasing Photo King & held for minor spoils, an aggressive third in the slop before that, a factor from an improved post here



5-Two Hip Dip – Put it all together & tripped out to a mild upset back on 12-6, changed barns & got parked off a sick scratch last week, now draws better to set up his big late move


7-Lauderdale – Just missed with a surprisingly good, aggressive effort from the same post in a much-needed comeback, this veteran horse-for-the-course is a serious contender here


4-Goneinapuffofsmoke – Makes his first start in six months off a couple of decent qualifiers, rates some consideration by process of elimination & with patient handling from an inside post



7-OK Heavenly – Beaten heavy favorite got shuffled out of contention & shook loose too late last week, big chance to atone at this reduced level


2-Our Els Dream N – Tried to close from an impossible spot at 47-1 last week, recent winner owns some back class & lands post two again to trip out


1-Icommandmyspirit – Tailed off & scratched sick, yet this speedy mare & Big M regular is eligible to bounce back from the rail in a wide-open finale 









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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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