Thursday night at the Meadowlands has two races battling for $5,000 purses (NW2100L5 optional $5,000 claiming) along with another race where horses will be competing for $6,000. No, the Meadowlands hasn't hit rock bottom, amateurs take to the stage in two division of the GSY Amateur Pacing Series and one division of the CKG Billings Amateur Series.
I must confess, I have mixed feelings regarding amateur races. Why I couldn't see wagering on an entire card of amateur races, they do make for interesting betting races (as long as you don't bet heavy) and quite honestly, they tend to be more entertaining than others as the amateurs tend to race a more aggressive style of racing whereas your seasoned drivers tend to drive with more finesse.
I do have one suggestion for improving wagering on these amateur events. Most tracks list driving statistics based on drives at the current meet. This is fine for regular wagering events as drivers tend to compete frequently, but with amateur drivers driving infrequently and often borrowing horses to race, it is hard for gamblers to gauge the drivers' abilities. Therefore, I would suggest when it comes to amateur races, the driver statistics in the program should show their year-to-date statistics for all tracks.
Since I am handicapping the races for Thursday evening, I may as well offer my selections on the blog.
1st Pace - $5,000; Non-winners $2,100 last 5 Starts - Optional $5,000 claiming (GSY Amateur Pacing Series)
10 - Shania Twain (Yarock, 3-1) - Terrible post, but shows the best form. Consider at 3-1 and up.
2 - Mindexy (Zuccarello, 9-2) - Winless this year although competitive in amateur starts.
8 - Sharron R (Rathbone, 10-1) - Trainer turns over the reins; may add value to trifecta.
2nd Trot - $11,000; 2yo Colts and Geldings - Non-winners 1 extended parimutuel race lifetime
8 - FICO (Sears, 4-1) - Ships down from Canada off of good qualifier. Looks to score on first asking.
5 - Muscle Mountain (Takter, 3-1) - Was winning until jump in stretch. Could win it all, but won't play at likely odds.
10 - Crazed N Lindy (Tetrick, 6-1) - Stayed flat going decent clip. For this field that is saying a lot.
3rd Trot - $6,000; CKG Billings Amateur Drivers
2 - Red Light (Hoover, 3-1) - Finished strongly in last off poor trip. Just missed in prior Big M start.
9 - Valdez (Rathbone, 9-2) - Has been showing some fair efforts here. Dropping down.
1 - Tremendout Hit (Hechkoff, 7-2) - Driver was hot last week and horse going well. Could take it all.
5 - Drill Sergeant Sam (Gerry, 8-1) - Winner in last. Could be an overlay here.
4th Trot - $11,000; 3yos - Non-winners 1 extended parimutuel race lifetime
7 - Melady's Monet (Sears, 5-2) - Tons of speed despite breaks. If flat, down the road.
8 - Ringside Nguyen (Pierce, 3-1) - Woke up in last. Chance in very weak field.
10 - Cash Mccoy (D Miller, 4-1) - Completes chalky trifecta.
5th Trot - $20,000; Ima Lula LC Series - 4yo Mares (1st Leg)
7 - Cedar Dove (Pierce, 7-5) - Should be a stroll in the park.
3 - Pantholops (D Miller, 9-2) - Bounced back in last. Picks up share.
2 - Fitness Girl (Lachance, 6-1) - On the comeback trail. Needs start.
1 - Oh Sweet Baby (A Miller, 8-1) - Best of rest.
6th Pace - $9,500; Non-winners $4,000 last 5 starts - Optional $10,000 claiming
6 - Best Life (Pierce, 6-1) - Toss last. Edge in tough race.
7 - Corky Baran (Lachance, 3-1) - Veteran drops to the bottom. May win but not worth play at anticipated race time odds.
10 - In Kenny's Honor (Napolitano, 8-1) - Finished second from same post in last. Why not in exotics?
7th Pace - $12,000; 3-4yo Fillies and Mares - Non-winners 2 extended parimutuel races lifetime
6 - Camwow (Tetrick, 8-1) - Willing to give another shot at these odds.
8 - Odds On Guinevere (Pierce, 5-2) - Logical choice, but at these odds?
9 - Abriella (Berry, 3-1) - Second start back of layoff. Should be tighter
3 - Nelliesirishprayer (Callahan, 9-2) - Best of rest; not saying much.
8th Trot - $20,000; Ima Lula LC Series - 4yo Mares (1st Leg)
4 - China Pearls (Campbell, 5-2) - Raced well on the big track up north. Figures here.
5 - Jezzy (Tetrick, 5-1) - Still hasn't regained her form. Could pop anytime
1 - Lady Andover (Lachance, 7-2) - Consistent sort. May better rating.
9th Pace - $5,000; Non-winners $2,100 last 5 starts - Optional $5,000 claiming (GSY Amateur Pacing Series)
6 - Fox Valley Sosa (Sbarra, 6-1) - Made two moves to victory in last. Why not repeat?
8 - Cosmic Illusion N (Krivelin, 3-1) - On a streak. Note the driver change.
9 - DVC Gifted Indeed (G Campbell, 8-1) - Won last, but draws poorly.
3 - Erics Legend N (Shambo, 20-1) - Scratched sick in last. Maybe get in to make superfecta.
10th Pace - $9,500; Non-winners $4,000 last 5 starts - Optional $10,000 claiming
2 - Electrofire (Lachance, 5-2) - Drops and draws in. May be what is needed.
7 - CC Racy (Chiodo, 12-1) - Could land share with trip.
5 - Topgun Raider (Pierce, 7-2) - Occasionally makes a good account of self. Perhaps today?
1 - Mister Barnett N (Callahan, 4-1) - Toss last and there is a consistent horse here.
3 - Trouble Hanover (A Miller, 6-1) - May wale up with move inside.