06/30/2016 8:44PM

Giwner: Seeking fair value in the Sun Stakes Finals at Pocono

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One of the issues plaguing harness racing right now is deceiving morning line odds. Often enough tracks put forth lines that simply don’t represent the value you are likely to receive come post time.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at Saturday’s Sun Stakes Finals at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono to provide a clearer picture as to who will be the favorites, the fringe players and the longshots.

The $300,000 James Lynch Memorial has a pair of clear favorites in Pure Country and Darlinonthebeach. It is fair to think that Pure Country will be the favorite come post time and while I’m rating her at 8-5, I can certainly see her getting pounded down to even money. Could she win as the even money favorite? Yeah, sure. But betting her at that price is bad judgement. Darlinonthebeach ranks as my second choice at 2-1 and that should be a pretty accurate representation on what you’ll get at post time. Below is my Lynch morning line.

[DRF HARNESS LIVE: Watch Pocono LIVE + Real-time insights from the DRF Harness team this Saturday at 6:30 p.m.]

POST HORSE FAIR ODDS
1 JK FANNIE 25-1
2 I SAID DIAMONDS 5-1
3 NEWBORN SASSY 5-1
4 LINDWOOD BEACHGIRL 25-1
5 SKINNY DIPPER 50-1
6 DARLINONTHEBEACH 2-1
7 PURE COUNTRY 8-5
8 BLUE MOON STRIDE 12-1
9 PENPAL 20-1

The $500,000 Max Hempt Memorial has a clear favorite in Racing Hill. For my money, fair value is 7-5. Don’t get me wrong, I expect he’ll be closer to 4-5 at post time, but this is not a morning line as much as it is a guide for playing the races on Saturday. While I see 5-2 as fair for Control The Moment, I wouldn’t be running to the window to bet him at that price. Boston Red Rocks is another that just hasn’t done enough this year to draw my interest at the odds I’m listing. Although it seems strange to list fair odds and say they could be a bad bet at that number, I’m trying to give an impartial view of fair odds without considering my personal preferences.

POST HORSE FAIR ODDS
1 MORE DRAGON 30-1
2 RACING HILL 7-5
3 WESTERN FAME 20-1
4 JK WILL POWER 20-1
5 TALK SHOW 12-1
6 BOSTON RED ROCKS 5-1
7 KATIES ROCKER 6-1
8 CONTROL THE MOMENT 5-2
9 BIG TOP HANOVER 30-1

The $500,000 Ben Franklin could be the most anticipated race in decades and it seems pretty obvious that favoritism is going to be split between Wiggle It Jiggleit and Always B Miki. I’m giving the slight edge to Wiggle It Jiggleit because he drew better and didn’t have to work as hard as Always B Miki last week. Freaky Feet Pete might seem high at my 4-1 price, but you have to take into account that WIJI already beat FFP once this year and this represents the best field FFP has ever faced. Ultimately it seems unlikely that any of the top three will be overbet because such a good case can be made for the other contenders.

POST HORSE FAIR ODDS
1 MEL MARA 12-1
2 SHAMBALLA 15-1
3 WIGGLE IT JIGGLEIT 8-5
4 STATE TREASURER 15-1
5 SUNFIRE BLUE CHIP 40-1
6 FREAKY FEET PETE 4-1
7 ALWAYS B MIKI 2-1
8 ALL BETS OFF 25-1
9 ROCK N' ROLL WORLD 50-1
10 ALWAYS AT MY PLACE 25-1

Wrapping up the stakes action is the $500,000 Earl Beal Memorial. I’m placing fair value on Southwind Frank at 6-5 but I expect he’ll be much lower than that come post time. I have Bar Hopping at 3-1 as the second choice despite the outside draw. I’m not sure I could play him at that price, but it is fair off his impressive elimination win. Brooklyn Hill is another horse that I have rather low at 9-2 but just doesn’t tickle my fancy. If he didn’t win last week, I just can’t back him against this better field.

POST HORSE DRIVER
1 REIGNING MONI 25-1
2 HOLLYWOOD HIGHWAY 30-1
3 TRUEMASS VOLO 20-1
4 DAYSON 4-1
5 TROLLEY 25-1
6 BROOKLYN HILL 9-2
7 SOUTHWIND FRANK 6-5
8 DICE MAN 50-1
9 BAR HOPPING 3-1