The first card of the year happens tonight at the Meadowlands. I have been doing a little bit of digging on some trainer stats.
We all know that betting hot trainers is usually a futile pursuit. Virtually no one can make money betting hot folks off the claim, or overall if they are supertrainers, because they are horribly overbet. But at times, looking at them as a subset can help a little, in my opinion.
Last year for the first few weeks of the meet, some trainers stood out.
Ross Croghan was 8 for 32, but you lost your shirt betting him. (Ross will not be an issue this year as he is on suspension)
Mickey Burke was 6 for 30, but you lost your pants betting him.
Mark Kesmodel was sneaky good. You made 78 points on your bankroll betting all his early starters. I think he will have his charges ready for the meet. 3 of those wins were with layoff horses of 30 days or more. In 2007, he was ROI positive as well, so definitely this is a pattern.
On the other side of the coin, Mark Ford and Bruce Saunders did not have banner starts to either the 2007 or 2008 meets. They are both quality trainers with quality stock, so we'll see if this holds this year. I do remember Mark sending some last year that had a full season under their belts, and they seemed a bit dull.
On the bias front (I am never much with bias in harness racing) speed wins races at the Meadowlands, not unlike many other places, and it is somewhat underbet there. This is a bit more pronounced the last couple of years with the small field size. They simply do not mix it up like they used to. However, perhaps with the full fields the next few cards we will see some second over tows get the job done.
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