Posted by Ken Warkentin on Wednesday, July 08, 2020 1:04 PM


2-Big Stretch Mark – No factor after a slow start from post nine, shuffled before that, horse-for-the-course likes to leave & get involved when on his game, is he ready now?


6-Coach Cal – 11YO is a new face here, scored fresh off the bench & claim @ Yonkers, so ships in brimming with confidence & lands in a real soft spot


1-Soho Chelsea A – Backed through the field in his return, but was overwhelmed by a sizzling 1:48.4 winner, tallied from the rail back in late February & has license to show more



8-EL Ideal – Wonder why this colt wasn’t kept Hambo eligible, nevertheless the Bluegrass, Kindergarten Classic & Valley Victory winner looked superb in his latest qualifier here & stands out despite post eight


6-Capricornus – Rated #8 in the Road to the Hambletonian Top ten, distinguished himself as a major stakes player at two, a sharp second in both start this season for Team Melander


3-Beads – Broke in his first two starts this season with trotting hopples added, then unleashed a perfect wire-to-wire qualifier with Jimmy Takter at the lines & draws inside, big question mark



4-Trojan Banner N – Took a mark of 1:51 here fresh off the bench, & did well against Preferred foes, chased a revved up Western Joe @ Harrah’s Philadelphia, now gets class & post relief 


1-Ana Afreet N – Kicked home off cover with a :53.3 back half & took a sparkling new mark of 1:50 when the favorite Shamwow broke on a late lead, back inside for a hot barn


8-Escapetothebeach – Made a miraculous recovery from a late misstep two starts back, then tackled the Graduate Series again, tough post here, but this is a live item



2-Franco Totem N – Just missed to The Devil’s Own N with sharp pace at both ends two starts back, caught in heavy traffic as the beaten favorite last out, horse-for-the-course now drops & draws inside again


6-Hayden Hanover – 1:47.3 performer here in 2019 has perked up in his last two, a close second in :26.3 two starts back, then succumbed to pressure on the lead, now gets class relief


3-Party Boy – Gave him a big chance, had a smooth second over trip & was pace compromised last time, key third start off the bench at this reduced level & draws post three again



4-Sorella – Has emerged like a new horse at three, going two-for-two for the unstoppable Team Takter, tripped out to nail a good Hambo eligible in a sharp 1:51.2 and maybe the big dance is her destiny?


1-Common Sense S – Liked her in the NJSS Final, she got shuffled & came flying late to hit the board, this is a major league filly back on the rail & looks to spark Team Svanstedt


9-Ramona Hill – Dan Patch Award winner & dominant Breeders Crown upsetter from post ten looked splendid in both qualifiers, faces an uphill assignment right off the hop, yet might be up to it



3-Sintra – Leads the three-ply Burke Brigade, has come out flying with a close second from post nine, then just missed again to Geez Joe, draws inside that rival on the verge 


9-Backstreet Shadow – Went all the way in a powerhouse Roll With Joe performance for Team Burke, 1:47.3 winner here last season was on fire before the shutdown & blast off is likely in a wild Open affair


2-Highalator – Got parked from post eight in the Roll With Joe, then was forced to cut it from post seven @ Harrah’s Philadelphia, his post ten upset here on June 6 was a smooth cover trip & he finally draws inside



4-Maesteraemon – One of three Team Melander trainees in the Hambo Top Ten, finished sharply in his latest two qualifiers, too far back from post seven in his 3YO debut, back half in :54 & now draws better to show more


8-Back Of The Neck – One of Team Svanstedt’s best Hambo hopefuls, rated #5 in the Top Ten, looked pretty confident when he almost wired them in his sophomore debut, an impressive 1:51.2, :54.2 back half, tougher post here


7-Synergy – Rated #6 on the Road to the Hambo, well established colt just missed to Maesteraemon in his latest qualifier, a solid third in his comebacker & ready to bear down



3-Tall Dark Stranger – Dan Patch Award winner came out with a 1:47.4 explosion in a dazzling first start of 2020, draws inside to follow up, Team Takter has been on fire & tough to go against


10-Papi Rob Hanover – Nice 3YO debut, while suffering the bad post blues, post ten again with the big prize next week, still one of the most talented colts out there not close to top form yet


2-Captain Barbossa – Liked the way he finished in both 3YO starts so far, made up a ton of ground from post ten & just missed to the raging Allywag Hanover in :25.3, now moves inside



10-Bettor’s Wish – 2019 Dan Patch Award & leading money winner had no chance in the Roll With Joe, then erupted to win a division here in decisive fashion, now slammed with post ten, but they will mix it up in this competitive final


3-Workin Ona Mystery – Stormed home from a tough spot to win a division @ Tioga, closed like 

a rocket to grab second in :25.3 here last week & finally moves inside an incredible field


4-Dancin Lou – 2019 Breeders Crown champ blew them away in his first two starts this season, then left alertly & squeezed through late in :25.4 as the beaten heavy favorite last week, draws better & expected to be forwardly placed



3-Gimpanzee – Has come back going two-for-two in impressive fashion, rallied from an near impossible spot to nail Chin Chin Hall two weeks ago & gets some post relief


4-Winnerup – Really turned it on with a strong rally to just miss in a division here, back half in :54.3, the American Viking draws well to apply a stalk n pop strategy


1-Chin Chin Hall – Nifty Norman has this gelding on his toes, got parked through a fast pace in the Cutler, nailed late by Gimpanzee here before that, big upset chance from the rail



1-Donttellmeagain – Solid third with strong pace at both ends in the Preferred two weeks ago, now gets class & post relief & might be ready to fire his best at a decent price


4-Western Joe – Joe is back @ The Big M fresh off a rousing 1:48.4 score against Rock The Devil @ Harrah’s Philadelphia, 1:48.2 winner here on 6-20 draws inside on a form spree


7-The Devils’ own N – Forced wide from never-never land & still hit the board chasing Tall Dark Stranger two weeks ago, another challenging post, but razor sharp right now



7-Palomar – 1:49.4 performer here last season has been cranking it back up @ Pocono, nine-time winner in 2019 lands a challenging post, but has versatility in his arsenal


4-Decision Day – Flashed a hint of his return to form two starts back, now gets further class relief & draws better in a wide-open field


8-Arque Hanover – Raced much better when he ran into a buzzsaw in Billy Badger N & paced home in :25.4, another tough post, but drops again



2-Letschasethedream N – Blasted right down the road with a new mark of 1:50.2 in a sparkling comeback, then got parked through stiff fractions from post eight, now moves inside to rebound


3-Sams A Champ A – Going well before the shutdown, a solid second from post ten in the comeback, took a mark of 1:50 here last season & draws inside with Dexter Dunn


9-Laredo Torpedo N – Ran into a 1:48.4 winner with a perfect second over trip from post ten in his return mile, stuck outside, but continues his class plunge





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Blogger Bio


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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