Posted by Ken Warkentin on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 12:06 PM


1-Dancingwithdelight – Just one for 24 in 2017, off since October, but debuts for Team Burke off a strong qualifier chasing stablemate Rockin Ron & draws the rail in a camera shy opener


9-Wick N – Gelding took a few starts to acclimate to the mile track here, just missed with an energetic effort in the slop last out, looking to rally into a speed target


2-Grave Dancer – Only three for his last 40, runner up to a heavy favorite Yo Cheyenne Rocky two starts back, couldn’t make it up in the slop last time & draws better here



1-Life Happened – Art Major colt was a surprisingly good second to J K Fielding in his Big M debut, launches from the rail again while ripe for further improvement


6-J K Fielding – Jennifer Lappe tinkering & patience paid off with a turnaround & dominant score in last Saturday’s snow, expensive yearling looks to build on that positive move


2-Long Beach – Lightly raced & well bred 4YO plagued by recent sick scratches clearly needed last week’s mile & draws well again with plenty of upside



6-Brickman – Went seven for 24 last year with a mark of 1:50 @ Pocono, recent form okay, drops back into a soft claimer, returns to the mile track & owns a big kick


7-Ultimate Beachboy – 0 for 19 last season, yet has plenty of back class, back with Team Burke & qualified with enough vigor to rate him contender status fresh off the bench


1-Walks Of Life – King of the $7,500 claimers has reeled off four in a row, fresh off a strong score in the slop two weeks ago & steps up to face a highly suspect field with the rail



8-Iwillmakeyousaywow – Price Play last week raced well, forced wide & rallied to hit the board from a pretty tough spot, tougher post, yet this 1:50.3 winner here last season remains a threat for Team Buter


7-Iammrbrightside N – Gave a positive indication with his sudden surge to hit the board from post ten in the slop behind Big Top Hanover, beat better here last year


3-Southwind General – Twice beaten favorite has tumbled down the class ladder, just missed with a premature move two starts back, the month off is a concern, but the draw was kind again



1-Century Churchill – Jumped on his bandwagon last time when he finished a close second as the beaten favorite in the slop, gets another shot at this reduced level from the rail


5-Elrama N – Classy horse-for-the-course just missed to the standout Sprinter N in the slop, gets some class & post relief & can capitalize on his sharp form


7-Cowboy Terrier – Fresh Burke acquisition steamrolled to a decisive score in the slop, makes his third start off the bench & poised to step up



4-K-Lees Shakenbake – Beaten favorite was roughed up first over @ Yonkers, can thrive down the longer stretch here, recent Burke acquisition gets some class relief for his return to the Big M & draws well


1-All Week – Paced a solid :55.2 back half after another slow start, further class relief & inside draw gives him a chance to push off into stalking position, just three for his last 39 & long overdue


5-Nocturnal Bluechip – Smaller track performer won here in 1:51.4 at the bottom level last season, sharpened up with speed @ Freehold & could surprise for Team Orange Crush



7-Rockin Ron – Sports a 1:47.2 Canadian Pacing Derby elimination mark & finished second in that final, pushed past $1 million with two straight stakes to cap off 2017, qualifier was superb & looks ready to rock for Team Burke


3-Endeavor – Forced wide from a tough spot in the slop two weeks ago, unleashed some brilliant moves here before that & moves back inside to loom as a prime stalk n pop threat


6-Western Joe – Speedy, talented & versatile 4YO has won three of his last four, including two Preferreds here, upset winner in the slop two weeks ago logically remains one to fear



5-P H Kenny – New lease on life after an 0 for 35 season with the switch to Andrew Harris in his last three, two wins, a new mark of 1:53 here & narrow loss from post ten, continues onward


10-Rocket J – January Mixed Sale purchase scored back-to-back & lowered his mark to 1:51.1 for his new connections, rebounded with a solid second in the slop @ Yonkers last week


8-Durant – Consistent gelding has enjoyed a strong Winter here, claimed fresh off rousing score

in the slop by a productive barn & his gate speed overcomes the outside draw



5-Phil Your Boots – Steady check earner in a tougher class @ Yonkers recently, drops into a wide-open field here & gets a chance to stalk a field of question marks from an ideal midpack post


1-Yo Cheyenne Rocky – Moves inside off a forced wide no-chance trip, regained his winning form with a dominant wire-to-wire romp before that, his barn is going well & this is a suspect field


9-Spicebomb – Been flashing some sharp final quarters recently, managed to snag second three starts back, early miscue in the slop last out, tough post, but drops another notch



4-Sams Triple Crown – Stormed home with a rousing upset from post nine on 1-27, too far back from post ten in the slop last time, this 4YO gelding has clearly come around & draws better


9-Beyond Delight – 2016 Metro winner ships into the Brett Pelling barn, qualified well behind 1:46.4 performer Dr J Hanover & may be a threat right off the hop despite the outside draw


7-Big Stretch Mark – Impossible to ignore this razor sharp gelding after two upsets in his last three, took a new mark of 1:50.3 & looms large with his consistent stalking style



9-Northern Virgin – Completed the Northern exacta with sudden speed from the same post last week, may go further with that boost of confidence & this field has definitely come up light


7-Workandplayhard – Forced to work much too hard when caught three wide from post ten, second try off the Robert Lounsbury claim switches to A Nap with a one for his last 47 on view


2-Hope For Badlands – Hasn’t won in a long time, but has come around recently, knocking on the door while dealing with a couple of post tens, missed three weeks, but draws inside again



6-Awesomeness – Just missed in the his last two Preferreds with wicked final quarters, Pelling trainee has a chance to assert himself in this slightly easier spot


5-Sweet Beach – Dropped out of the Preferred & almost overcame a nightmare trip from post ten, this Cancelliere brothers gelding has ramped up his game & draws well to stalk the speed


1A-Hug The Wind N – Impressive winner in his US debut here, then just missed in the Preferred, no factor in the slop last time, now gets some class relief with potential untapped



3-Pepper Guy – Almost on a t-bred schedule this lightly-raced 4YO has reeled off six in a row, gets a better post after missing three weeks & has potential for further improvement


9-Rolling Sea – Has proven that he’s for real with two blowouts here sandwiched around an early miscue, 3YO gelding may give Pepper Guy a tussle with the right trip from post nine


7-Rockin Machine – Fresh face with mile track experience just missed in the NJ comebacker @ Freehold, launches off that for his new barn with astounding statistics




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