Ken Warkentin’s Weekend Selections for March 4 & 5

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Ken Warkentin’s Selections for Friday, March 4

3-Lionhead – Came out of a slight shuffle & got going late to land in the photo, seems to be heading in the right direction & draws well again to play that same stalk n pop game

5-Classic Venture – Just missed to a hard-charging Halliama twice recently while squandering perfect trips, draws a bit better & remains a big factor

1-Halliama – Beautiful bounce back mile & sterling rally in :27.4 to upset two weeks ago, draws inside again & has a chance to work out a smooth trip

1-Pappy Rocks – Launched a late move from a tough spot, 11-time winner last season now makes her second start off the claim & key try off the bench from the rail

3-Little Sandy Toes – Hasn’t been trending right since her mid-January win, no chance from post ten last out, moves inside & has a chance to rekindle form with Gingras

2-Flash A Smile – Finished a close second in a deadheat at big odds two starts back, then chased a pretty strong winner In The Night, so she’s hinting with an inside draw

4-Always A Force – Sports a sparkling 1:51.3 mark here last season, drops into a wide-open GSY division, draws inside & looms large for a strong combo of Verruso & Spicer

2-S Mckee – Landed on the edge fifth two starts back, then faded into the icy gusts last out, lands post two again, loves the Big M & overdue

1-Doctor Butch – Ultra classy 12YO warhorse hasn’t been heard from in his last few, but this is a much softer spot for him to trip out & possibly revive

6-Toccoa Falls – Rallied to a new mark of 1:53.4 first time Lasix, then was severely pace compromised into strong gusts, a major threat reunited with Gingras

7-You Will Be Queen – Brushed from post seven & almost held on in her Big M debut two starts back, returns with the same demanding post & retains The Money Man

2-Mystic – Lightly-raced 4YO ships from Mohawk into a new barn, son of Kadabra draws inside & remains somewhat of a mystery with a 41-day layoff to consider

5-Captain’s Reign – Red-hot item caught fire at the bottom claiming level in another new barn, lands midpack in a field ripe for the taking

3-Bungalow Bill N – Flashed a :27.2 to hit the board two starts back & that effort would beat this bunch, draws better, only one for his last 31, but has trip potential

4-Doc Semalu – More than lived up to the tote hype with a resounding score @ Freehold as the even money favorite & draws well for Verruso & Spicer

6-A Better Game – Drops back down a touch off a no-chance mile from post seven, steamrolled to the mile of her life before that & looms large with Corey back in the bike

7-April Ava – That was some Big M transition mile last out when she simply kept coming uncovered & barely prevailed for Team Burke, tougher draw, but a big threat to repeat

2-Lady Lou – Best Bet two weeks ago opened up & just missed again, remains a sharp item on the comeback trail for Team Alagna & draws inside once more

5-Notabadgame – Overmatched in his last two, a dominant GSY force in January, three weeks off & back class can prevail for a sharp barn

4-MV OK Palacio BR – Brazilian-bred gelding has been on the verge with three straight on the board finishes, just missed as the beaten favorite & draws better

9-El’s Disco Johnny – Dipped into this GSY Series, fired out from post nine & just missed with a super effort, look for a similar blast off attempt in a competitive GSY division

5-Meadowbranch Ricky – Has been landing on the fringes, finished well to hit the board in a strong field last out, now a dangerous midpack stalker with Dexter Dunn

4-Stormont Ventnor – Was able to turn his game around in a big way with a class drop & steamrolled first over for Team Cullipher, draws well to prove that was no fluke

2-Chiplosive – The other Team Cullipher threat in here has gotten his act together recently, a solid third to Stormont Ventnor last out & draws an improved post in a tricky field

5-Greenhill Hanover – That wire-to-wire 1:55.3 blowout @ Yonkers back in mid-January stands out, this is a solid dose of class relief & reunited with Joe Bongiorno

1-Wakemeshakeme – Here we go, a fresh Team Burke acquisition qualified well enough off a sick scratch & might be worth a swing lands the rail in a field of question marks

3-In The Night – That was a pretty convincing wire-to-wire romp at the bottom condition level last week, draws better for the step up in career form

5-Big Oil – Bright prospect for Team Orange Crush tripped out to score in his second start off the bench, now faces a stiffer test, yet definitely has room to improve

6-Yanks Dugout – Reeled off three in a row @ Dover Downs for Team Burke, including back-to-back Opens, ships into a prime spot here to rebound off a loss

1-JL Cruze – The King was sparked by a drop down romp here from the rail, right there as the beaten favorite in his last two as the beaten favorite in the Dover Downs Open

7-Buzz – Note the much-improved second to Trixie Dust as the heavy favorite, draws a better post & was facing a lot tougher earlier this year

3-Zlatan – This veteran has picked it up with two straight on-the-board finishes while pace compromised, now draws better & could be on the verge

6-Hatikvah – Badly beaten favorite bounced back with a decent qualifier after some Team Burke tinkering, late December qualifiers would be enough to threaten these

6-Bettor’s Heart – Rallied for a mild upset in :26.1 two starts back, just missed in :25.4 before that, almost went all the way in the Freehold feature, Nifty Norman trainee on fire

4-Annabelle Hanover – Almost stole one on the front end @ Yonkers last out, this versatile Team Cullipher trainee gets a tad of class relief & draws well

2-Major Battle – Took her 1:50.2 mark here last season, returns fresh off a strong score @ Yonkers, draws inside & matches up well with this competitive group

6-Crunch – Has taken a few starts to adjust to his new high percentage barn, a distant second to standout Ocean Ridge N last out & finds a prime spot end a long drought

8-DL’S Big Elvis – Beaten favorite a solid runner up to Opus Blue Chip as the beaten favorite, draws a tougher post, but remains a serious contender with Dexter Dunn

10-Opus Blue Chip – Went straight down the road to a dominant score fresh off the Richard Johnson claim, moves outside, but retains Joe Bongiorno


Ken Warkentin’s Selections for Saturday, March 5

5-Cool Blues Man – Excellent bounce back mile & narrow loss with a mighty late surge into icy gusts, a major threat if the pace & trip sets up right for him in this tricky opener

3-Just N Ace – Failed to threaten from a tough spot, now moves inside for his second try off the Rob Harmon claim, note the back-to-back solid seconds recently

4-Vergeofgreatness N – Unleashed a big rally from last to second two starts back, then struggled into strong headwinds, draws better & might be within closer striking range

2-Winning Linc – The Linc roughed it first over & gamely held third into fierce headwinds, rewarded with a better post off that huge effort & joins the series second start off the claim

8-Monty Mono – In a toteboard told the story scenario he unleashed a career best turnaround with Dexter Dunn & draws post eight again to prove it was no fluke

3-He’s Gone Badder – After back-to-back lifetime marks he simply went all the way again in round one & finally draws a decent post to keep it going

6-Angel Nation – Pegged this one when he steamrolled to a decisive score on February 4, found the Dover Downs Open a bit too much & returns to face several question marks here

9-All The Truth – Improving 4YO for Team Burke started last month off on a nice note, then made breaks on a windy night & now will have to rebound from an outside post, can do

1-Skyway Kon Man – The Kon Man finally moves inside where he has a chance to get aggressive & employ a stalk n pop strategy for Team Cullipher, upset possibility

3-Real Kid – 10-time winner last year, including a 1:52.3 mile @ The Big M, freshened off a couple of nice efforts here in December, draws inside & gets Double D

1-Ruthless Dude – Almost pulled off the perfect trio upset from post seven last week, 1:51.4 performer here last season moves inside while razor sharp for a high percentage barn

2-Machdavid –Clearly needed that acclimating mile first time Lasix while debuting here for a new barn, now drops into a softer spot & lands post two again

2-Just Wave Goodbye – Fired out from post eight & hit the board last week with a commendable effort, sports a 1:52.2 mark here last year & moves inside a complete toss up

7-Sunshine’s Finest – Mid-January claim has landed on the edges in his last two, tried to close from a tough spot last week & makes his key third start off the bench

8-Undertaker – Beaten heavy favorite failed to fire off cover with the same late pop he displayed in his previous two, stuck farther outside, yet can rebound in a wide-open division

5-Lyons King – You’ve got to like the way this veteran has sharpened his sword on the comeback trail @ Yonkers for Team Bongiorno & figures to utilize his tactical speed here

2-Wrapper’s Delight – Emphatically made it three in a row & two-for-two off the claim, 9YO in career form moves inside to capitalize & add to the speed factor in this tight match up

6-Palomar – No doubt Team Cullipher fine tuned this Big M horse-for-the-course since the claim, fresh off a vicious :25.4 rally & rates highly in an impossible start to the Early Pick 4

4-Decision Day – Veteran horse-for-the-course on the fringes recently, gets his third straight class drop, draws inside this drop down derby & always brings his work boots

6-Ana Afreet N – Here’s another dangerous drop down candidate eligible for a wake up call, this Team Cullipher trainee has too much back class to ignore & switches to Tetrick

5-Odds On Delray – Note the solid second to De Los Cielos Deo two starts back, the class drop & his tactical speed can place him in a stalk n pounce position in this tricky puzzle

2-Rockin The Aces – Upset better in early February, has continued to finish well, gets some class relief & draws inside where he can sit close to the pace in this headscratcher

7-Vettel N – Team Bongiorno charge thundered home to hit the board as the beaten favorite last week, has reached as high as the Preferred, drops another notch & overdue

5-Delightful Terror – Took three starts on Lasix to kick in late last week, January claim stalks from midpack again & might get to attack a quicker pace target this time

8-Captain Barbossa – 1:47.1 track record in 2021, Preferred runner up in the comebacker, key third start off the bench, might be poised to uncork a winning rally

6-Tito Rocks – Acclimated quickly to the Big M last month, drops out of the Preferred, keeps Dexter Dunn & tactical speed makes him a major player in this competitive affair

7-Shvaiko – Tripped out to a new mark of 1:50.4 last week, consistent sort for a sharp barn now acclimated & has license to step with last year’s Rising Star in the bike again

3-Let It Ride N – Notorious closer just missed in his venture to Dover Downs, Preferred upsetter here in early January returns with an improved post & Double D at the lines

6-American History – Sub 1:48 performer in three of his last four seasons has returned in stellar form for Team Alagna, fresh off well-rated & gutsy dig in late repeat last week

5-Sonny Weaver N – Off to a productive start in 2022 for Team Cullipher, a solid third in last week’s Preferred will play his usual opportunist role

1-Laughagain Hanover – Fired hard from post seven, then got blocked to the wire behind Truffle Dog & company, just missed before that & now moves inside on the verge

8-Truffle Dog – Left alertly for a pocket ride & the rail opened up to pay off the chalk players last week, draws a tougher post, but remains on quite a form spree

7-Pretty Ricki – Took the aggressive route, set reasonable fractions & just missed to the trip sitting Truffle Dog last week, more demanding post, yet fully acclimated now

10-Hail Christian N – Wow, his light bulb suddenly flicked on, flashed substantial speed & just missed to the favorite Trump Nation, stuck outside, but fourth straight class drop

2-Rockeyed Optimist – Classy 11YO finished a solid third behind Hail Christian N last week, draws inside that rival, drops a notch & long overdue

1-Betting Exchange – Dropped to this level & bumped into standout Rogerthat Bluechip, remains at this reduced level & moves inside to work out another smooth stalking trip

5-Game Of Change – Made it two for three since the recent barn change, dropped into this series, Dexter Dunn saved ground, angled & unleashed him to a convincing score

2-Rockabilly Charm – Was suddenly able to turn his game right around with a perfect trip in a soft division last week, lands post two again while brimming wit renewed confidence

7-Three Dragons – Recent form is nothing to write home about, but this is his second start for Team Burke, draws a demanding post, yet could make an immediate impression here