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  • Week Of 11/29 - 12/5
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Track Handicapper Ken Warkentin Bio

 

Ken Warkentin has been a member of the award-winning broadcast team at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ as an announcer and television commentator for over 25 years. He is also the Track Announcer at Freehold Raceway.
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.  He anchors “Racing From The Meadowlands”, seen regularly on SportsNet New York and on TVG.

 

 

RACE REVIEWS by Ken Warkentin


 

 

Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment makes every  effort to post Race Reviews 48 hours before scheduled post time.  

Race Reviews For Friday, December 04, 2015

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 GLOBAL REVOLUTION Off going didn’t bother him at Philly in his last two, and he’s demonstrated versatility. Tougher task tonight.
2 CELEBRITY MASSIVE Outperformed his 74-1 odds two weeks ago, rallying massively from off cover. Breaks at Pocono are concerning.
3 EXPLOSIVE LYNN This lone 2-year-old chased admirably in her last after breaking maiden at Philly. Capable with right circumstances. Trainer: Raced OK last start; needs encouragement. Has ability to win.
4 MR LUCKY LUKE After hitting the exacta in 3 of his last 4, he stretches out to two turns. Good form, yet others show better late kick.
5 DALMATINKA Showed some ability to rally off cover two back, but her first-over bid at Philly didn’t impress. Will look for improvement.
6 CURFEW The third-time starter debuts for Ron Burke after a pair of solid qualifiers with hopples. Has potential; judge value accordingly.
7 MAGENTA MAN The Saratoga winner debuts for Julie Miller off a strong 11/20 qualifier. His sustained push to the fore was noteworthy. Trainer: New addition to Team Miller; had a solid qualifier.
8 ITSABOUTTIMEBABY After a rough start last time out, he angled wide to pass the tired. Despite mild gains, he seems outmatched again.
9 MUSCLE BLUES He seems to have one big move in him, progressing from off cover in 3 of his last 4. Minor choice from off the pace.
10 NEXTGEN HANOVER Showed little out of post 8 against N3L foes at Pocono after breaking maiden two back. Class and post don’t aid.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 8-7-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 ONLY IN MY DREAMS Note that Opulent Yankee towered over him in the 11/28 qualifier. Recent issues amid bids at Pocono concern.
2 BLINTZ Last week’s break concerns, as does a lackluster effort the week prior. Class relief will aid, but I’ll still wait to see improvement.
3 THE B STREET FAN Showing improved late kick since leaving Vernon, rallying mildly off stalking trips. Solid minor consideration again.
4 CANDID MAN While he beat conditioned $10k foes three back, he showed little late kick in more recent tries. Will wait for improvement.
5 KNOCKABOUT ROSIE Excuse her 11/20 effort, as she was left in the breeze from the outset. Last week’s pocket line is a truer indicator.
6 WHATA HUSTLER After making the pace last week, he lacked late. Still, he’s earned minor checks in two starts since leaving Monticello.
7 JACK’S REEF While he aided by ground-saving trips in his last two, he showed better late trot out of traffic last week. On the upswing. Trainer: Swam every day this week.
8 CRAZED N LINDY Recent efforts give plenty to like, just missing off a 4-wide charge last week after staying on from the pocket. Strong. Trainer: Raced very well recently; expected to continue performing well.
9 CUP DAY SPUR N The 10-time winner outperformed his odds at Philly last out, rallying well from off the pace. #7 and #8 can offer cover.
10 ARMSTEAD KYRA Stayed for minor shares against $10k foes at Monticello, but largely lacked kick. Post 10 doesn’t help matters here.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-10-2
H Horse Comment
1 SWEET JUSTICE After breaks at Philly and Yonkers, he qualified well a couple weeks ago. Inside draw should yield a stalking trip.
2 WINDSUN GALLIANO Good tracking, mild closing, and stalking efforts of late indicate solid form against similar foes. Options abound.
3 INNER PEACE Plenty to like from this one last week, having made two uncovered moves while chasing Ulster. Post relief should aid.
4 MISS PANTHERS While she failed against easier in her last, her first-over try earns respect. Debuts for the red-hot Spagnola tonight. Trainer: Trained well Wednesday morning, first trip for the new stable.
5 POCKET PASSER After recent success at Monticello, he stayed even to pass the tired last week. A better dispatch should benefit.
6 FOLLOW MY DREAMS Even despite outside draws at Pocono in her last two, she lacked late in those miles. Waiting for improvement.
7 SWIFT WARRIOR A strong Rosecroft qualifier is a welcome sight after gait issues at Philly. Change of venue can aid this winner at $10k.
8 LASER LUCY Mild gains two back are promising, but a two-move mile last week proved too much. Minor choice with right circumstances.
9 GO SEE LO GO While he passed the tired three back, a break and a failed bid more recently give pause. Others are better suited here.
10 FOX VALLEY LEGEND This 14-time winner returns to Rob Harmon with a strong chasing qualifier. Pace scenario should be kinder. Trainer: We just brought him back from Indiana. Qualified OK; lands post 10.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-5-10
H Horse Comment
1 KIWI PRES After working to secure a tracking spot last week, he backpedaled immediately once he angled off the pegs. Must do better.
2 STARSABOVEALLERAGE He was even in a qualifier behind Opulent Yankee last week. He’s rising in class; could well need the start.
3 PASSING JETTA Sustained gains to take third at nearly 40-1 in her last. She’s in for the optional tag, and the class relief should aid.
4 GOVERNOR VICTORY He showed explosive speed in two Vernon wins, but ended up making a speed break on 11/21. Can rebound. Trainer: Trained well earlier in week. Prefers big track; sometimes hard to manage.
5 CHOCOLATE XPLOSION He was aided by a pocket trip last week, yet he dug in to stave off two threats in the end. Strong form helps.
6 CHOCOLATE SURPRISE Hasn’t hit the board in three races since leaving Illinois. While this spot is a step down, she’s lacked in the lane.
7 MR MCRAIL He showed mild staying power two back at Plainridge, but how does that translate here? Will need ideal trip and solid pace.
8 ES MUCHO Shared the win two back; since had to negotiate dull cover on the far turn before flattening. A kinder journey will benefit. Trainer: Scoped sick last week; expect to be better.
9 TAKE HEART While fast middle sectionals did him in last week, he’s shown little as of late. Will wait for improvement.
10 THANKYOUKESSEL Gradual late progress from well off the pace in his last two outings gives hope. Can fill exotics with similar.
11 SCORCHER HALL After recent gait issues, he qualified strongly two weeks ago. He was well backed in the summer; demand fair value.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 PRIVATE PERFORMANC Her local debut saw her gap third-over cover on the far turn after forcing the outer flow. Kinder trip should aid. Trainer: Raced OK in last; expected to improve. Still getting to know the mare.
2 KAMWOOD LAUGHTER N After yielding to the pocket last week, she was devoid of stretch kick. Others here still show better late pop. Trainer: Trained fine this week; acting fine.
3 IHEARTQUESTIONMARK Debuts locally after mild success at Plainridge. Late staying power remains a variable for this presser-stalker. Trainer: Raced well at Plainridge; trained well Tuesday.
4 MARMARIA While she never got involved from fifth-over last week, her 27.4 LQ was plenty strong. Post relief should aid some. Trainer: Glad to see Andy Miller aboard. Changed shoes; hopefully will help.
5 LARJON LAURA Note her progress from the back in her last two races, forced four-wide last week. Tonight’s midpack draw should help. Trainer: Racing well despite posts. Trained well Tuesday; should like midpack.
6 YANKEE TATTLER Traffic trouble was no help last week, as she was all-out to stay even late. She was much better in the clear at Tioga. Trainer: Trained well this week; came out of her last race well. Should be in form.
7 ODDS ON AVENTURE She was flat last week after three months off, yet she’s not lacking for back class. Second-off-the-layoff angle? Trainer: Training fine, just needs to keep race tight. Second start since Sept.
8 COVER MODEL She sustained a strong bid at Saratoga last week, just beaten off live cover. Ships south and rises amid improving form. Trainer: Bridle changes from last; trained well Tuesday. Bigger track should help.
9 GLAM CAM While she faded from first-over last week, she was in the faster division of this class. Past staying power gives some hope. Trainer: Had a good week; jogged 6 miles Monday through Thursday.
10 LEXUS ARTIST She tailed off badly on the far turn when we last saw her, but she qualified well at Yonkers since. Post 10 doesn’t help. Trainer: Has been training and acting fine; came out of her 11/27 qualifier OK.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 7-8-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 ITZAZIAM Outside draws did him no favors in 1m2f events at Yonkers. He’s better when near the pace, but others have been sharper.
2 LAZURUS This stalker-closer earned minor checks in his last five races, staying on well at Philly. Solid minor consideration on the rise.
3 HYWAY MARCUS After beating similar foes for Francisco del Cid, he broke twice for Ron Burke. Qualified well; judge value accordingly.
4 IN NOMINE PATRI He was even off ground-saving trips in his last two after chasing from first-over three back. Good choice for exotics.
5 KLM EXPRESS While a pocket winner three back, he’s not done much in upper-level events. Cuts back to a mile; others are sharper.
6 T JS MR LAVEC After wins at Monticello and Plainridge, he works into a tougher group. Can this likely pacesetter do enough here?
7 DETROIT RAPPER He steps up after winning from post 10 not once, but twice. He’s capable from the lead or from far back; lots to like. Trainer: Absolutely sharp right now. Best from off pace; likes chasing horses down.
8 UVA HANOVER Since winning three back, he’s chased upper-level foes stoutly from pocket trips. Likes to be close; is no doubt sharp. Trainer: Had a good week; not much to say.
9 UPFRONT BILLY Mild traffic trouble and dull cover marred last week’s effort. A clearer journey should play more truly, but he’s in tough.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-4-7
H Horse Comment
1 SPIRIT OF DESIRE Despite a seventh-place finish in her last, she wasn’t lacking for pace in traffic. Still, she faces stout company here.
2 BULLVILLE MAGGIE After sweeping forward to beat N5L foes at Pocono, she labored after losing cover last week. Others are sharper.
3 GEISHA GIRL N Recent Philly efforts off pressing, stalking, and closing trips all yielded solid results. Prime choice given pace pressure. Trainer: Should improve on the mile track; jogged fine all week.
4 MOREMERCY BLUECHIP The class edge in this group goes here, but recent stakes tries didn’t avail clear sailing. Second-time Burke. Trainer: Trained well Tuesday; should be able to compete.
5 CHEYENNE ROBIN Overcame plenty in an impressive 1:52 win two weeks ago. She steps up a good bit, yet she boasts strong form.
6 ICOMMANDMYSPIRIT Outside draws last month were no aid against tougher in Yonkers tries last month. Will wait for improvement.
7 NOT BEFORE EIGHT This NYSS contender demonstrated improved kick off cover in her second start back. Rounding into form.
8 CLEAR VIEW HANOVER After nearly a year away, this 15-time winner returns off sharp qualifiers. Minor consideration off the shelf.
9 SIR JILLIAN Z TAM Give her plenty of credit for a sustained first-over bid on 11/13. She clearly prefers the big track; be wary of value.
10 CLORIS HANOVER A 1:51 winner at Pocono this fall, this mare failed to convert from the pocket last week. Will wait for her to rebound.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-9-7
H Horse Comment
1 TIRADE HANOVER This 27-time winner steps up off a hard-fought Open win at Dover last week. He’s kept sharp while rising steadily.
2 WORLD CUP He moves up after only mustering an even finish off stalling cover in his last. Needs to be prominent for best results.
3 OPULENT YANKEE He’s no doubt fit given his 11/28 qualifier, and he gets some relief tonight. Outside pair will prove his biggest threats.
4 IL MAGO Capable stalker-closer mounted late rallies to hit the board at Yonkers this spring. He’s had 5 months off; others are sharper.
5 CROSBYS CLAM BAKE While he’s enjoyed strong form of late, this field is the toughest he’s seen lately. :27.3 LQ last week gives hope.
6 CASH POOR Outside posts on half-mile tracks haven’t helped lately. He’s best when prominent, but he faces sharp, classy company.
7 WAITING ON A WOMAN The 50-time winner kicked clear at will last will for a handy score. Clearly fit, but finds tougher in #3, #8, and #9.
8 MASTER OF LAW The American-National winner threw a :26.4 LQ in traffic in the TVG, but to no avail. Kinder offerings here will aid. Trainer: Raced well in TVG final, but was too far off the pace. Should be a factor.
9 HANDOVER BELLE Given close tracking trips, she’s shown good staying power with top distaffers. Post 9 is her biggest obstacle here. Trainer: Had the week off; usually comes back fresh with a week off.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 PAN LUIS OBISPO Solid overlay potential, given her gritty first-over effort last week. Inside draw should enable tactical control.
2 FUTURE LIFE Post relief should aid this one after she was beaten by just her pocket rival last week. Others have been sharper, though.
3 YOU LITTLE RASCAL While last week’s effort was an improvement over past lines, she was still just one-paced off dueling leaders.
4 SOLID QUEEN After two-moving to the front last week, she edged clear in mid-stretch. Tonight’s group shapes up to be far tougher.
5 WEEKEND GETAWAY After near misses at Saratoga, she pushed to the fore in first-over fashion last week. Grit and form are present. Trainer: Trained well Tuesday; appears healthy and sound. Needed trip over big track last week.
6 JUST SAYIN She’s hit the exacta twice in as many starts with Lasix at M1, pouncing from the pocket last week. On the upswing for sure. Trainer: Came out of last race well; had a good week. Trained a light trip.
7 MARTY PARTY The 21-time winner wasn’t lacking for pace last week, splitting foes in deep stretch. She was stronger yet two back.
8 JUNGLE GENIE N This versatile mare looks to go 3-for-3 in the States off a gritty win, but she’s bound to face heavier pressure tonight.
9 FOUR HOUR NAP While she worked early to be prominent last week, she couldn’t convert from the pocket. Outside draw hinders.
10 SIR LEHIGH Z TAM She rallied admirably up the pegs last week after blasting from post 10. It’s a lot to ask for a second straight week.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-9-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 RIVER RUNS THRU IT This mare faded under pressure last week in her first start in over 3 months. Will wait for her to round into form.
2 EXHILARATED She wasn’t lacking for late pace in two starts this meet, carried six-wide to the finish last week. Solid minor consideration. Trainer: Paced hard late; trained even better this week. Just had no luck lately.
3 LOOKOUT STOKK ZONE While a winner against just easier at Harrington, she’s struggled in recent tries. Others boast better form.
4 SHERKIN HANOVER Recent tries at Pocono have been fruitless. Post and class relief can aid, but others seem more apt to advance.
5 FANTICIPATION Class relief from Yonkers outings should aid some, but she’s regressed late in three straight. Wait for her to rebound.
6 MISS DEFIANCE Her win two weeks ago saw her sustain a first-over bid for five-eighths of the mile. Strong presser-stalker type.
7 K J’S CAROLINE While she hasn’t hit the board in recent tries, she mustered mild late gains last week. Worth including in exotics.
8 EXOTIC BEACH After a pillar-to-post win three back, she showed solid gains from well off the pace. Pressure from #6 or #9 will aid.
9 PANCAKES This mare dueled into the lead on the far turn last week, only to be beaten from off cover. Plenty to like off that stout effort. Trainer: Raced well last week, though a bit short. Jogged and trained well this week.
10 PURITY Despite being passed while even late last week, she sustained a three-wide push for the entirety of the far turn. Kinder trip helps.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 SLEAZY DOES IT Mild gains off stalled cover earned her a small share last week. Held her own against 10s at Fhld; minor consideration.
2 MOJARRA HANOVER She stayed even off a stalking trip last week, but class relief only yielded her minor checks in her last two tries.
3 SPECIAL KIM Give credit to her effort to secure a stalking spot out of post 10 last week, but others largely show stronger staying power.
4 GAME OF DREAMERS Tasked with a fifth-over trip, this mare mounted a massive five-wide rally to make up 7 lengths. Post relief helps.
5 ALIBI SEELSTER After kicking forward off a second-over trip two back, she was all-out to stay even last week. Judge value accordingly.
6 GALARINA She’s hit the board in 3 local starts, all via different tactics. Versatility will aid, but we won’t likely get boxcar odds given form. Trainer: (report not available at press time)
7 DEPTH MORE DEPTH After exerting herself early two back, she surged late for fourth last week. A closer stalking trip helps all the more.
8 DELIGHTFUL PLAN She’s hit the top 4 in three straight, but was all-out in traffic last week. Capable stalker-closer needs a clear journey. Trainer: Looks to have a decent shot; jogging well this week.
9 G NOTE Overmatched in two tries since defeating $3k starter company at Plainridge. Will require far too much to go her way here.
10 BORN TO DREAM Even finishes yielded her minor checks in two starts since arriving from Dayton. Post 10 presents a major burden.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-11-9
H Horse Comment
1 CELEBRITY STIMULUS Was a respectable third from first-over last week. He faces similar tonight; post relief is sure to help him late. Trainer: Came out of last week’s race OK; trained Wednesday morning.
2 OVER AND OUT He comes back off a 3-month layoff, holding his own against tougher this summer. Wait for him to round back into form.
3 LO RAIL CROSSING His three-wide bid off the far turn last week yielded an even finish behind the clear Ulster. Others are sharper.
4 SOAPY SAP The veteran distaffer split foes late while full of trot last week, chasing Ulster in vain. Strong stayer when room avails.
5 ULSTER His debut for Kyle Spagnola was impressive at worst, as he won at Andy McCarthy’s pleasure. Seek value in exotics. Trainer: Same as always, he’s capable but sometimes moody.
6 MR RIDGETAKER Breaking issues and lackluster efforts have plagued this one of late. Will watch for improvement.
7 HAWAIIANCAVIAR Outside draws have not helped recently, and his late gains last week can be attributed to a tiring second flight.
8 BLOOMFIELDCANTIFLY Excuse her first-over effort from post 10 last week. Still, prior outings were lackluster. Others offer better.
9 FEISTY LOVE Mild late progress was a welcome sign for this one rising out of lower-level Vernon races. Consider in exotics.
10 SWISS MOCHA Recent breaking issues are cause for concern, especially since his staying power has only been mild at best.
11 ASHLAKE This mare cuts back to a mile, showing late gains in two of her last three. Good minor consideration on the lateral move.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-9-5
H Horse Comment
1 SHOOT THE THRILL While he shows the strongest closing sectionals in this group, past breaking issues concern. Be mindful of value.
2 MASSACAIA After failing at odds-on on 11/10, he shows a decent qualifier from 10 days ago. Morning form has yet to translate.
3 MAGGLIO A cut back in distance can aid this 26-time winner, who led in the middle stages of the Billings final two weeks ago. Trainer: Had last week off; trained well this week.
4 GREY ICE Despite mild gains through the far turn last week, he was lacking in mid-stretch. Others show better staying power.
5 XTATIC HANOVER In his Burke debut last week, he switched into a gallop while pressing a fast third quarter. Will the bigger track help?
6 NEW YORKS BEST A winner 4 and 5 back at Plainridge, he seems at his best when involved early. Debuts for Silvestri. Assess value.
7 MARION MAYDAY In four starts at Freehold, he’s been unable to hit the board. This group is tougher yet; others are better suited.
8 TAG UP AND GO After a slow start two weeks ago, he managed to pass tired foes late. Class relief and a stronger dispatch can aid. Trainer: Added Lasix; improved in training trip. Fits well in class.
9 BALLARE HANOVER This mare vaulted clear of conditioned 10s at Saratoga two back, yet broke more recently. Now goes two turns.
10 DIVINATION In two tries at Tioga late in the summer, she offered mild late gains. With a post 10 start, she’ll need live cover to factor.
11 ARCTIC TALE He makes his local debut after struggles in Toronto. A second-row start should help him get close, but he’s lacked late.