06/12/2014 9:48AM

Giwner: Meadowlands Maturity Handicapping

Ken Weingartner/USTA Photo
Captaintreacherous starts from post 10 in his 2014 debut on Friday at the Meadowlands.

Friday’s $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity for 4-year-old pacers features the 2014 debut of last year’s Pacer of the Year Captaintreacherous. What may have originally been considered a walkover for “the Captain” became an intriguing puzzle when the son of Somebeachsomewhere drew the outermost spot on the starting gate. Or did it?

Let’s look at the facts.

• Captaintreacherous is clearly the most accomplished horse in the race with triple the career earnings of his nearest competitor.

• Captaintreacherous has a career mark that is more than a second faster than his nearest rival.

• Captaintreacherous has been preparing for this race for over a month with a steady stream of qualifiers and his connections are expecting a big season in his final year of racing.

• None of Captaintreacherous’ foes on Friday has distinguished themselves in 2014 as horses to fear.

Basically, despite the 10-hole, there really is no reason to play against Captaintreacherous in the Maturity. And if you felt so inclined, who would you even choose?

[DRF HARNESS: Watch Captaintreacherous make his 2014 debut and the full card from the Meadowlands on DRF!]

The most logical upset player is Apprentice Hanover and he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire this year. Sure he has yet to miss the board in 12 starts, but his best races were a couple of months ago. Plus he has yet to win a race in under 1:50 this year.

Odds On Equuleus, Rockin Amadeus and Dovuto Hanover have each paced fast enough to think they have a chance on Friday. Unfortunately they all have shown major holes in their games. Odds On Equuleus is way too sluggish early in the mile and has looked to be more of a grinder, plus the outside post should hurt his chances. Rockin Amadeus does his best work when left alone on the lead, something that seems unlikely to occur this weekend. Dovuto Hanover was one of the sharper horses in the game during the winter but has completely lost his form as the better older horses have returned.

Sunfire Blue Chip has proven talent but still has work to do to find his 2013 form. Twilight Bonfire has posted some good recent miles but nothing fast enough to win.

So, all roads lead back to Captaintreacherous winning his first start of the year. I’m expecting there to be some doubters that he will return sharp and be able to overcome the outside post. That could mean getting a $3.60 price instead of $2.60. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you have to take what they give you. Sometimes $3.60 is value!

[DRF HARNESS: Sign Up for the FREE newly designed DRF Harness Newsletter!]