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Kleinhans Has Another Promising Pupil

Published: March 5, 2009 6:38 pm ET

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With the help of his racing manager, Anthony Altomonte, trainer Peter Kleinhans has carved a niche for himself by acquiring green horses with great potential.

Wearable Art, the 2007 Berry’s Creek winner, and current winter series standout Oliver Cleo are among their shrewd purchases. On Friday night, they will send out their most recent prospect, Pangiorno, in the opening leg of the Matts Scooter Series for three-year-old colt pacers. Pangiorno is rated at 3-1 on the morning line from post four in the eighth race, the first of the two $16,000 divisions on the card.

“I like to get lightly-raced two-year-olds that showed some talent,” Kleinhans said. “That’s where Anthony Altomonte as a racing manager comes in. He watches the races and he’s good at dealing with people. This has added to the flexibility of getting a good one. I’ve always said being a good handicapper and being able to watch races well is important. He’ll call me up with three or four horses, and I might like one of them.

“Usually, I’ll like one out of every 20 he picks,” he added. “A lot of trainers just don’t have the time for this, plus they’re training horses given to them by other people. This is the value of having a racing manager like Anthony Altomonte. It seems like he watches every race. I don’t know if it’s good for his betting, but it’s good for finding horses.”

Pangiorno was a $45,000 private purchase on October 23, 2008 by Kleinhans and Altomonte, whose nom de course is AJKS Stable. Illinois horsemen Robert Sanders developed the son of The Panderosa.

“After he finished fifth in his first two races, Anthony spotted him,” Kleinhans said. “I liked his races at Woodbine. He took a lot of air up there, so we bought him after that. We sent him to Paul Buer in Canada and he did well with him, winning three-in-a-row. Then, we figured he was a better horse than we originally thought. He beat Captain Sir coming first over in his second to last race up there. Captain Sir was second over and couldn’t go by him, then went on to win a Breeders Crown elimination.”

After a 1:54.4 victory on Nov. 24, 2008 at Woodbine, Pangiorno was turned out for the season. He tuned up for the Matts Scooter with 1:56 breeze in a qualifier last Thursday morning.

“I don’t know if he’s totally race tight, but I think he’ll be good in Friday’s Matts Scooter,” he said. “He’s paid into a lot of stakes starting with the Berry’s Creek.”

While Kleinhans has plenty of pacing power in his arsenal, he is prepping his stable star, millionaire trotter Enough Talk, for the Su Mac Lad Series that begins March 20 at the Meadowlands. The 2008 Dan Patch winner for Older Trotter of the Year, Enough Talk won nine of 25 starts and $867,501 in a globetrotting campaign that took him through five countries last year. He finished third in Sweden’s famed Elitlopp and second in the Copenhagen Cup in Denmark.

Domestically, Enough Talk became the first trotter in history to break the 1:50 barrier with a 1:49.3 mile in the Patriot Invitational at Colonial Downs. He also nabbed wins in the $190,000 American-National and $100,000 Oleg Cassini Invitational. In one of the most tightly contested divisions, Enough Talk edged out Corleone Kosmos 79-57 for end-of-year honours.

“I think Enough Talk deserved the Dan Patch Award,” Kleinhans said. “If it wasn’t for Corleone Kosmos stopping in our face twice, we would’ve won two more races. For instance, in the Nat Ray, we followed him and he quit, and in the Breeders Crown, Corleone Kosmos had a perfect trip and barely won.”

Kleinhans is weighing whether to send Enough Talk to Sweden again this May.

“The Swedish press called me [Tuesday] and asked me if I was going back there for the Elitlopp,” he said. “At this point, I don’t know. I’m leaning towards staying in the U.S. this time. Business wise, it’s probably better to stay here, but I really loved it overseas. You certainly get more press there and it’s not like you lose a whole season. He’d only miss the Titan Cup and the Maxie Lee. Also, he’s the type of horse that can handle it. He’s tough.

“I heard Arch Madness might be going, and if they send him over there, I’d be more likely to stay here,” he said. “I’m not afraid of him, but those two are so close in talent, so if you can avoid another good horse why not?”

(The Meadowlands)

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