08/03/2012 10:40PM

Final Hambletonian Day thoughts


In case you missed it, the Hambletonian is tomorrow!

Every harness fan will have their eyes firmly planted on the track at the Meadowlands on Saturday watching the best trotters and pacers in the country do battle.

For those thoroughbred players out there who have considered rolling the dice on a few harness plays, Saturday is the day! Hambletonian Day has the biggest pools and best wagering opportunities you will find throughout the harness year.

There are four guaranteed multi-race wagers on the card.

Race 1- $25k Pick Five

Race 6 - $50k Pick Four

Race 8 - $50k Pick Five

Race 12 - $100k Pick Four

It is worth mentioning that some crazy things happen on Hambletonian Day. Keep that in mind and don't be afraid to try a longshot.

Below is a brief horse-by-horse rundown of the Hambletonian field and my suggested pick four and pick five plays for the card.

1) Uncle Peter – He is probably the only horse I would feel confident with regardless of trip. My issue pertains to the likely 8/5 price tag he will offer. There are too many good horses signed on for me to back him on top. That said, he’ll be on many of my exotic tickets.

2) Market Share – He will probably float between 3-1 and 5-1 on the tote board. That just seems too short for a horse I’m convinced needs a perfect trip to win. I wouldn’t be shocked if he won, but I’m not betting on him.

3) Knows Nothing – Another horse that should be short odds (between 5/2 and 4/1). I love his quick acceleration but Jamieson will have to hope for clear sailing and time his move right. If he moves too early, I can see him getting nailed at the wire.

4) Archangel – I’m really unsure where he will fall odds-wise. Off his elimination, I think 3-1 or 4-1 is fair, but something tells me he might slide up to 6-1 or so. That is why he is my top pick. Well, that and the fact that I see him as one of the more versatile horses in this field.

5) My MVP – I’m hearing a lot of people jumping on this guy’s bandwagon. That worries me. He did close well in his elimination and has a 4-time Hambo champion in the bike. If he is over 20-1, there are worse ways to spend your money.

6) Prestidigitator – He was wide on both turns and still came home strong. Seems like people are mixed on whether this guy is a good or a bad bet off that effort. I’m a believer that he has a chance but I want at least 15-1 to try him as a win bet.

7) Guccio – This guy closes well every week and was on my radar for the final. But I can’t get past him probably coming away eighth or ninth when the field settles at the quarter call. If I could get 15-1, maybe, but at lower odds, I’ll pass.

8) Stormin Normand – Is really the wild card from where I sit. He has the early speed to gun off the gate and that is probably his best chance of winning. Remember, he has the highest earnings in the field. I’ll probably through him on some saver tickets.

9) Money On My Mind – Probably has no shot at finishing in the money unless he leaves. I’m guessing he will show some speed and hope for a tuck. If he finds a sweet spot he could hit the trifecta at about 40-1.

10) Gym Tan Laundry – Put in his best race in the Goodtimes final. He has to rocket off the gate to have any chance and Brennan is certainly good at that. I can’t recommend this guy on any tickets except the last spot of your superfecta.


$25k Pick Five – Race 1

1,3,10 – 1,4,5,6 – 7 - 2,4,10 – 2,4,9

.50-cent ticket = $54


$50k Pick Four – Race 6

5,7,9 – 4 – 1,2,3,6,7,9 – 1,3,8,10

$1 ticket = $72


$50k Pick Five – Race 8

1,2,3,9 – 1,3,8,10 – 4,5 – 2 – 1,3,4,6

.50-cent ticket = $64


$100k Pick Four – Race 12

1,3,4,6 – 4,8,11,12 – 1,5 – 2,10

$1 ticket = $64


You can watch live video right here on DRF.

Good Luck!

W.G. More than 1 year ago
One thought looking ahead to 2013 (provided of course New York State doesn't mess things up with NYRA the way some seem to think will happen): As the first Saturday in August is Hambletonian Day and also a big day at Saratoga with the Whitney, I would work it where for that day, a deal is reached between NYRA and The Meadowlands where Saratoga also takes the entire Hambo card and the tracks work together to alternate races throughout the day for that Saturday. In that scenario, Meadowlands would stay at noon for Hambletonian Day while first post at Saratoga would 12:15 PM and there being 13 or even 14 live races at the Spa since Meadowlands is of course usually 15 races for Hambletonian Day. I suspect Saratoga loses some people at the track every year on Whitney day to wanting to see both that event and The Hambletonian card, and this I suspect would work very well. The Vanderbilt (male sprinters) or Honorable MIss (for female sprinters) could be shifted to Saturday's card and along with the Prioress and Whitney (the two main stakes of that day at Saratoga) could be used to make up the thoroughbred half of a special 50-cent cross-breed pick-six I would have with those races and the Nat Ray, Hambletonian Oaks and Hambletonian and a special cross-breed pick four of the Hambletonian Oaks, Prioress, Hambletonian and Whitney (and also a double of the Hambo and Whitney). Those who love Hambo day as well as the thoroughbreds would likely love this.
W.G. More than 1 year ago
I wrote that before I remembered that next year, the Hambletonian is going back to heat racing (eliminations and a final on the same day). For this type of wager to happen, that for the Hambo and Hambo Oaks would likely have to be scrapped.
kingsailor2 More than 1 year ago
two more fun things: the "Hambletonian" anthem, and Miss New Jersey pulling the winners' face next to hers for a picture . . . she knows her horses, obviously !
kingsailor2 More than 1 year ago
Awesome single in the third there, sir ! Thanks