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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, April 14, 2017

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 UStairwaytothestars Sister to Western Shore, 1:48.3 [$1,247,985] showed some improvement in her second qualifier on a day allowing two seconds, willing to watch this Tony Alagna trainee progres.
2 Twinkle Tough to gauge this late-blooming 4YO mare off two nondescript qualifiers @ Pompano, dam is a sister to Betterthancheddar, 1:48 [$1,634,314], draws inside & going to monitor accordingly.
3 Oneida Blue Chip Tuned up with a couple of minor shares in the Weiss Series @ Pocono, sibling is Nefertitti Bluechip, 1:52.2 [$310,985], can conceivably trip out from a favorable post & break through here.
4 Windsun Brooklyn Another promising Pat Lachance prospect, dam is a sister to Four Starzzz Shark, 1:47.4 [$257,267], qualifiers were excellent & she gets top billing fresh off the bench.
5 Sister’s Delight Flashed a bit of talent at two & has been decent in both starts this season, beaten favorite with a perfect two-hole trip, but into strong headwinds last week.
6 All About The Pace Product of the NY Excelsior A Category won two of four last year, miscued in her 3YO debut off the solid qualifier, has the talent to rebound in a soft spot.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1A-2-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 Romancing Rachel Won her qualifier with trot to spare under less than ideal conditions, tighter now, and aside from her one for 12 record, the inside draw can put her in play.
1A Southwind Woody Snowstorm Hanover & What The Hill are two of Ron Burke’s four Hambo prospects, Burke said this Muscle Hill colt can trot with all of them, the qualifier was solid & post draw favorable here.
2 Chapter Too Went the aggressive route in her quest to repeat & fell a head shy to Angel Cindy into stretch headwinds, lands the rail again, giving Campbell some options with a live filly.
3 Skidaway From the first crop of world champion Archangle, 1:50 [$1,140,972], gelding has developed nicely, put away after breaking his maiden @ Pocono last Fall, Pompano qualifiers were encouraging & draws well here.
4 Pretty Philly G Hasn’t been heard from in four starts since her modest win her modest maiden breaker back on 3-3, far back sixth behind Southwind Pearl last week.
5 Eddiction Cantab Hill sister to the incomparable Muscle Hill, 1:50.1 [$3,273, 342] makes her second lifetime start off a less than average qualifier here, planted firmly on the watch list – Trainer: Felt great in qualifier, but a little reluctant to pass horses, still a little green, will change her bridle to see if we can get her more engaged the last eighth.
6 Southwind Pearl Promising Muscle Hill mare brushed & crushed her round one division from post seven, this Muscle Hill mare has big chance to build on that in a more competitive match up – Trainer: Not a front ender, but got the job done, want to see her get a stalking trip.
7 Angel Cindy Added Jim Marohn, Jr. & took full advantage of a tremendous drive to score a 37-1 upset, has to build on that from a more demanding post.
8 Explosive Brother Just one for 25, but trotting specialist Richie Johnson has fine tuned this recent acquisition, his latest rally for second @ Pocono was his best effort to date, now needs a speed target from post nine.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-1-1A
H Horse Comment
1 Keystone I Wish Art Official mare has been on a long form spree four-race winning streak snapped with a neck loss to a gallant & classy Gweneeee J last week, Mike Watson claim heads a strong entry.
1A Vorst Finally gets some much-needed class relief after chasing monsters like Penpal in two of her last three, the post is tougher, but she gets a chance to pounce on the speed with the right set up.
2 Blush Hanover Has continued to charge hard in last three, right there in there in the photo with Gweneeee J last week, moves inside, sets up her rally & banks on a faster pace.
3 Joyful Game Twice a winner here this season returns at a winning level, didn’t have much punch again last week @ Yonkers , draws well to rebound at a decent price.
4 Gweneeee J Steps up accordingly fresh off a gutsy wire-to-wire win after shipping north from Pompano, fought off a trip-sitting Keystone I Wish & keep in mind she raced as a high as the Open level here last season.
5 Caribbean Rose N 8YO regained her winning form in a big way @ Pocono back on 3-21, fresh off a solid second @ Harrah’s Philadelphia, has a chance to keep it going in a reasonable match up – Trainer: Racing consistently, hoping to get involved early & should be competitive.
6 Givemeyourheart Faded from the pocket in the Freehold qualifier off back-to-back sick scratches after trying the much tougher Bluechip Matchmaker, definitely going to give her a start or two from this outside assignment.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 Enjoy The Journey Returns from chasing N/W 8 stock @ Yonkers where he made a rare early miscue last week, owns more of his share of success here & the rail facilitates a better fate than he was recently dealt here.
2 Winemaster Hanover Regained his winning form at the bottom level two starts back & followed up with a strong second to Hot Summer Knight last week, beaten favorite draws inside on the way up.
3 Montalbano Bi Hinted that he was coming around with that strong third two starts back, then faded to seventh last week, the class relief & post three again make him a threat.
4 Exquisite Glide Was a much better second last week after missing time prior to his previous start, lightly-raced gelding with some back class draws well to keep it going.
5 Lauderdale Runner up to the raging Second Sister two starts back, set the pace & tired in the slop @ Yonkers two weeks ago, returns here at a reduced level, but this is a serious match up – Trainer: Had a little break & may need a race.
6 Sheer Flex Scored back-to-back here earlier this season for the $30,000 tag, has had two tighteners for his new barn, fresh off a no-chance trip @ Pocono, Big M lover worth a long look.
7 Danish Durango Got roughed up first over from the same post after missing a few weeks, classy winner in 1:52 here last season drops back down to a more competitive level, yet this is a very competitive affair.
8 Hot Summer Knight Dropped n popped on the verge & delivered with a convincing knock out punch & lifetime best from post seven last week, steps back up in career form – Trainer: Up in class, but sharp.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 King’s Cavalier 10YO was one for 20 last season, makes his 2017 debut for a new barn & driver off a modest qualifier @ Freehold, impossible to consider even from the rail.
2 Toss Cartwright Fresh off a narrow loss @ Yonkers on 3-23, that was only his second start of 2017, comes off a 22-day layoff, draws well, but remains a mystery.
3 Savage Cinderella Saratoga shipper has been struggling from demanding posts there in in her last three, Bob Davis can be aggressive with her in this wide-open match up.
4 B L Class Act Classy 10YO gelding has definitely come around in his last three, parked the mile & still just missed last week at Freehold, draws well here to assert himself – Trainer: In a good spot here.
5 Keystone Thomas Disappointing 0 for six season so far in 2017, flashed more speed from post eight & ended up parked out last week, 11YO seems off form & gets tossed here.
6 Panana Republic This mare has come back strong with back-to-back seconds at this bottom condition level here, the latest from post eight, knocking on the door & may kick it in with Hannah Miller.
7 Fox Valley Steffen Twice a winner here this season, equaled his lifetime mark of 1:55 on 2-23, then faltered & scratched lame, so how are we supposed to gauge him after a 42-layoff?
8 Landonfitz Distant runner up in a GSY Final here back on 3-17 was an okay fourth @ Freehold last out, tough draw here puts him in longshot land
9 Kerfuffle Cookie Rebounded off a miscue on 3-30 @ Yonkers with a pretty decent qualifier @ Pocono, but then broke again there, draws outside, goes back to Chuck Conner, Jr. & can be easily dismissed.
10 Tropical Storm Bi Gelding made a rare early miscue last out @ Yonkers over a sloppy track, hit the board in three of his previous four, stuck outside & seems a tad overmatched.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 Nerida Franco N Yonkers invader has won two of her last three, both in aggressive fashion, don’t know how that translates to the wmile track, but she’s expect to push off from the rail for best results.
2 Whiskersonkittens Made a rare miscue from post eight @ Yonkers last week, so we’ll toss that, previous success came against lesser company & seems overmatched despite the improved post.
3 Vintage Babe Did some fine work in the Petticoat Series @ Yonkers & gets plus signs for trying it on the engine here last week, not sure where she matches up best classwise.
4 Inittowinafortune Only two for 33 in 2017 is the itch, but off her back-to-back seconds here she wired weaker from post seven @ Harrah’s Philadelphia last week & we know she loves it here – Trainer: Went a very strong mile last out @ Harrah’s Philadelpia, she fits here & I expect a top effort out of her.
5 Prairie Sweetheart Undefeated 14-for-14 Florida-bred freak lost both qualifiers @ Pompano, but with a 1:49.1 mark @ The Red Mile there’s obviously enough talent here to extend her streak, an intriguing specimen indeed.
6 Windsun Glory Nine-time winner in 2016 won her last two of the season here & lowered her mark to 1:51.1 from post eight, fresh off excellent qualifiers she chased the monstrous Penpal in her 4YO debut.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 Rock Of Cashel 1:53 winner here last year forced to repeatedly bang heads in the heads in the Yonkers Open where he actually won back in February, this is a much more favorable spot.
2 Appomattox Quickly regained his winning form with two in a row last month, then was forced to chase Opulent Yankee in the slop, chance to rebound in much more favorable spot.
3 Watkins 10YO gelding made the switch to the mile track & rallied from never-never land to hit the board behind Battle Mage last week, the inside draw & proper class insertion make him a prime candidate.
4 Sumatra 0 for 11 this season, but everybody knows this classy gelding truly belongs on the mile track, draws well at a proper level & has a big chance to snap his skid.
5 Second Sister This mare drops back down after two valiant tries against the top class, still can’t believe the mile of her life on 3-24 from post & the draw is a bit better this time – Trainer: Fits here.
6 Starsaboveallerage Gelding has caught fire for trainer Allen Sisco winning two in a row, then latest a bottom-out score from post ten, his previous was a career best 1:55.2, this is a more competitive match up – Trainer: Racing well, but this will be a test for him.
7 Oho Diamond Draws a tougher post fresh off an eye-popping narrow loss @ The Meadows despite being parked off a slow pace there, rallied to beat these here back on 3-3.
8 Tober Classy 9YO surprised more than a few with a wire-to-wire upset from post seven @ Yonkers off a sick scratch, certainly won’t be able to steal one like that from post eight here.
9 Battle Mage This mare has been in raging form since the recent sick scratch with two wins & two seconds in four starts, fresh off a gutsy score on the engine she draws farther outside, note the barn change to Ron Burke.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 Celebrity Stimulus Gelding finished first in the Billings Series & disqualified back on 3-20, finished a dull fifth last week in a GSY Final, now Dave Miller listed, plus the rail, rolling the dice here.
2 Proud Moment 12YO warhorse with close to $600,000 qualified with some zeal @ Vernon & makes his 2017 debut from an inside post, watching to see how he progresses.
3 Master Of Excuses This gelding’s latest excuse was being pace compromised after an inexplicably slow start last week, in line to work out a stalking trip – Trainer: Blood work showed a minor infection last week, treated with antibiotics, hoping for a stronger finish.
4 Pegasus Point 10YO with 11 seconds last year, has had two dull tighteners @ Pocono, previous form here wasn’t inspiring, guessing if he can step up in this wide-open field of question marks.
5 Two Hip Dip Took four starts to come around this season & exploded to win a GSY Final last week, horse-for-the-course continues to conjure up his back class.
6 Shady Mccoy 11-time winner in 2016 was hammered down to 2-1, rated kindly & couldn’t hold on last week, gets another shot at the rock bottom level for Team Orange Crush –Trainer: Better effort last week, hope to keep improving.
7 J R Jazz 9YO gelding went one for 38 in 2017, hasn’t been close in four starts this season, draws a demanding post & this is actually like a class hike, hello?
8 Doc Only three for his last 36, but his fourth last week was actually pretty good at 61-1, now this gelding needs to put together a bigger mile from post eight, good luck.
9 Expressive Action Just two for 28 last year, finished a no factor seventh in his second start of 2017 after making breaks, lands outside & gets a tab for later.
10 Tac’s Delight Classy 12YO has been on fire, jogged in his second start off a sick scratch, has now won two of his last three, has missed three weeks & draws outside, yet remains a contender.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 Weekend Getaway Clearly tailed off in her last two @ Saratoga, took her mark of 1:51.4 here a couple of seasons ago, hasn’t raced in 15 days, lands in a soft spot here, but the trainer was listed to drive on the proof.
2 Single Me Beaten favorite tried an ill-fated first over move from post nine & finished a decent fourth after shipping from Florida after a 16-day layoff, draws much better off that tightening mile with some back class on view.
3 Mac’s Secure Her lone win this season came at the N/W $5,000 level back on 2-3, draws inside again off an impossible trip, but her latest form is questionable.
4 Rockers Alley Got a bit of a shuffle, angled clear & just missed in a close photo last week, draws well again to work out another favorable trip & looks like a major threat here.
5 Ding Shows a three for 29 record in 2016 & finished off last season with three straight sixth place finishes @ Batavia, the qualifier @ Vernon Downs is worth noting.
6 Paydaze On The Way 1:53.3 winner here last season has suddenly caught fire @ Monticello reeling off four in a row there, she has to be considered for this slightly bigger price here.
7 Do Your Job Hasn’t done her job in four starts so far this season, did get an interference mark in her latest @ Harrah’s Philadelphia, now plunges to the basement here with some back class in her arsenal.
8 Four Hour Nap Andrew McCarthy gave her a great drive, she was all out & came up third best into some stretch headwinds last week, now stuck outside.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 Rose Run Quickley Dropped to the bottom rung & converted a perfect two-hole trip into a long overdue win, gelding has a chance to keep it going from the rail in this wide-open finale.
2 Stitch In Time 0 for nine this season, his form seems to be trending the wrong way, comes off a rare break from the rail last week, draws inside, but would need to rebound big time – Trainer: Better post & fits here.
3 Winwood Scout Gelding equaled his mark of 1:55.1 here last season, sharpened his sword @ Yonkers recently, no chance from post eight there last week, could surprise this bunch.
4 Big Bill Breeze Rallied to hit the board as a prominent player again in his second start off the bench, draws well a little tighter now & has enough class to mow this questionable field down.
5 Nowucit Nowudont This gelding has struggled in his last two since the claim & back-to-back wins, has always been tough to knock off when able to gain control.
6 Never Ever Clever This mare’s form has deteriorated in four starts since the win at the bottom level way back on 2-16, comes off a break two weeks ago, drops in an attempt to revive – Trainer: Ran into the gate last week, hoping she gets away clean.
7 Modern Mercury She has been pretty productive @ Pompano for Team Harmon, notching four wins this season, fresh off a strong second in Florida, hasn’t raced in 24 days & draws a demanding post here.
8 Painite Finally gets some much-needed class relief after landing on the fringes in five starts here, has missed a couple of weeks, lands outside again & will needed a strong pace to shoot at.