06/07/2012 3:10PM

Meadowlands, Tioga, Mohawk and some Belmont action


The argument of quality versus quantity has long been debated in history. When it comes to racing, a case can be made for both sides. In wagering it is clearly better to have full fields and contentious races.

This weekend, many of the best standardbreds in North America will on display at Mohawk Racetrack vying for spots in next week’s rich finals for 3-year-olds of both sexes and gaits. While my interest in watching these elimination races is high, wagering on races where at least half the field in each split makes the final is hardly a prime opportunity.

Although most of the regular driver colony at the Meadowlands has set sail for Mohawk this weekend, the East Rutherford track could have some of the best opportunities of any harness track in the country on Friday and Saturday.

As George Washington said, “I cannot tell a lie,” the caliber of the talent at the Meadowlands this weekend is very weak. That said, what the card lacks in quality it makes up with quantity. Friday’s card features 12 races with full 10-horse fields in 11 of the contests. On Saturday, it’s 13-race card offers five 11-horse fields and two 12-horse fields.

In addition, with Freehold Raceway closed and Yonkers Raceway on a brief hiatus, there are many shippers on the card, creating quite an interesting puzzle for the handicapping mind. Those who are willing to put the time in to research and watch some replays from other tracks could end up fattening their bankrolls.

You can find my complete analysis on our Meadowlands Event Page - http://www.drf.com/events/new-meadowlands-harness-meadowlands

If you like the best of both worlds – quality and quantity – perhaps you should check out Tioga Downs on Sunday, June 10. The track is playing host to the $184,000 Bettor’s Delight for the best older pacers in the country and the $182,000 Artiscape for the top mare of the same gait.

Both races came up very tough. Five millionaires will go behind the gate in the Artiscape. The 10-horse field features Anndrovette ($1,534,297), Ginger And Fred ($1,635,175), Dreamfair Eternal ($2,345,439), Chancey Lady ($1,946,437) and Put On A Show ($2,033,132) amongst the richest combatants.

While shy of the $1,000,000 mark, 4-year-olds Drop The Ball, Rocklamation, and Krispy Apple are all legitimate contenders for the top prize.

The Bettor’s Delight comes in with seven million-dollar earners. Another 10-horse field is led by Won The West ($3,930,036) and 2011 Pacer of the Year Foiled Again ($3,797,805) on the money-making leaderboard. The dynamic duo is coupled with Clear Vision and Meirs Hanover to form an imposing 4-horse entry for trainer Ron Burke.

The entry’s main competition is sure to come from 2011 Bettor’s Delight winner and track record holder Bettor Sweet or last year’s runner-up for Pacer of the Year honors, We Will See.

Best of all, the top six money-winning drivers in the country will all be at Tioga on Sunday. All the big names, Brian Sears, Tim Tetrick, Yannick Gingras, Ron Pierce, Dave Miller, and even George Brennan, who is being allowed to drive one last weekend at Tioga, will be on hand.

You can read my analysis, check out my video breakdown of the $5,000 guaranteed pick four, view live video, see last year’s race replays, and much more on our Tioga Event Page - http://www.drf.com/events/tioga-downs-june-10-2012-tioga-downs.

Triple Crown

Is it logical to think that I’ll Have Another will not win the Triple Crown because history says it probably won’t happen? I’m struggling with that logic as I look over the past performances for the Belmont Stakes.

There is no doubt that I’ll Have Another has been the best 3-year-old to date. But will he be the best on Saturday? Something tells me no.

I want to be wowed by a potential Triple Crown horse and I’ll Have Another has simply been workman-like in victory. So, my money, should I be tempted by the peer pressure to sway away from harness racing for a few hours, will go elsewhere.

For what it’s worth, here is my play: Dullahan, Union Rags and Paynter with I’ll Have Another with ALL. Also, Dullahan, Union Rags and Paynter in the first and second slots with I’ll Have Another third. Those two trifectas should cost me $36 on a $1 wager.

Whatever you elect to wager on, Good Luck!