06/12/2014 9:09AM

Giwner: Top 5 value plays on North America Cup night


In all facets of life, people are always in search of value. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five horses which could provide the best bang for your buck on Saturday’s stakes-filled Mohawk card.

SHEBESTINGIN (Roses Are Red Final – Race 7)

She is co-fourth choice at 8-1 morning line, which in itself is a very enticing number. Looking over the field, it seems obvious that either Anndrovette or Somwherovrarainbow will be the favorite and either mare is very capable of winning. After that the winning candidate of third choice becomes murky. I’m thinking the morning line oddsmaker has it right with Yagonnakissmeornot followed by our selection of Shebestingin.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch the $1 million North America Cup and full card from Mohawk Saturday on DRF!]

Let’s think about this . . . odds ranging between 5-1 and 10-1 on the fastest pacing mare in history? A month ago she may have been the favorite in this race. She really wasn’t that bad in her elimination and early speed horses were not having the best night. Rumor has it she trained very well for Saturday’s race.

HE’S WATCHING (North America Cup Final – Race 10)

Here is another one listed as the fourth choice on the early line at 5-1. That price is probably pretty accurate, though I’d expect he’ll be third choice at worst come post time hovering in the 3-1 to 5-1 range. This is probably one of the most wide-open NA Cup finals we have seen in years and upwards of seven horses probably have a reasonable chance at crossing the wire first.

If there were no eliminations and just one dash for the cash, you could make a strong case for him as the favorite in this race. And what did he really do wrong in his elimination to knock him down a few pegs? He was a game second after racing on the lead on a night where leaders at the three quarter call only won three races. Oh, and we get Tim Tetrick in the bike. You know, the guy who won this trophy last year.

FANCY DESIRE (Fan Hanover Final – Race 9)

She is listed as the 8-1 co-fifth choice, but that is a bit ambitious, perhaps. She faces three horses that defeated her soundly last week and was 6-1 in that spot. One of her conquerors, likely favorite Uffizi Hanover, can certainly win the race, but she is an awful bet as the chalk. Maybe at 5-2 or higher she’d be worth considering. With some longshots it is hard to tell, so my range on Fancy Desire is between 10-1 and 30-1, with anything north of 15-1 meriting a play.

So why is a filly that only finished fourth in her elimination and just kept pace in the stretch a good play? She paced home in 25 3/5 in her elimination. Granted others finished faster, but those same foes could end up with tougher trips this week. She is the only finalist in the race to have clocked a mile in under 1:50, and that was a huge 1:49 1/5 time at Pocono 25 days ago. On top of that, we get one of the best big-money drivers in the sport in Ron Pierce, who is never afraid to take a chance at long odds.

BEE A MAGICIAN (Armbro Flight Final – Race 5)

There is no doubt she will go off as the second choice in the race behind Perfect Alliance. The question is whether she will be 2-1 or skyrocket to something like 7-2. Quite frankly, the way Perfect Alliance has raced thus far this year, it is very hard to think any of these mares can defeat her. But if Bee A Magician drifts up to 3-1 or higher, isn’t she worth a flyer versus 3-5 on Perfect Alliance?

Making a case for Bee A Magician is easy. She went undefeated last year in 17 starts and has trotted faster than any of Saturday’s rivals. The biggest knock against her is that she only finished second in two races that were worth about one-eighth of what she’ll race for tonight.

BETTOR’S EDGE (Mohawk Gold Cup – Race 8)

His early odds are 12-1 and that might be a bit low. I’m looking at him as the fifth or sixth choice in the wagering with a range between 15-1 and 30-1. Foiled Again and State Treasurer should each be 2-1 or lower and Sunshine Beach and Thinking Out Loud between 3-1 and 6-1.

Anyone who watched Bettor’s Edge fire off the gate and power away to win by more than five lengths in 1:48 1/5 had to be somewhat impressed. That was a big reversal of form. Perhaps he was brought to life by Yannick Gingras being in the bike. I don’t know. The facts are that he went a huge mile last week, hails from the most powerful barn in North America, and will offer bettors a price. What more could you ask for?

While I will use all of the horses listed above on at least one ticket, I can’t say they are my top picks (except He’s Watching and Shebestingin). They simply represent quality horses which should offer a pari-mutuel price that will be higher than perhaps warranted.

If you want some last minute advice and information, I'll be doing a DRF Harness Live session from Mohawk that you can access on the www.drf.com/harness homepage and I'll also tweet out the link when it is available.

Finally, we asked a group of industry participants for their top picks in each of the six stakes races on Saturday. You can view that here.

Good Luck!