Experts handicappers weigh in on their picks

05:31 PM 18 Jun 2011 NZST
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Courtesy Of Woodbine Entertainment - Pepsi North America Cup

With the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup set for Saturday, June 18 at Mohawk Racetrack, WEG's media department got the inside scoop from some of North America's top harness racing handicappers, as they provided their NA Cup picks along with some insight for tonight's featured race.

Greg Blanchard – Western Fair Raceway (Powerful Mist)

Powerful Mist overcame poor cover to win easily in his elimination. Should be sitting on his best race in the final and has an excellent starting spot. Slim call in a wide open field!

Dave Briggs – The Canadian Sportsman (Up The Credit)

Up The Credit is the horse I’ll take. He’s racing great now over the ones that are supposed to be racing great now every time.

Dave Brower – The Meadowlands (Shadyshark Hanover)

I'm going to go with Shadyshark Hanover, who seems primed for his biggest effort of the year. He's now raced into shape and showed a lot of heart in last week's elim, doing the dirty work. It's time for the Bionic Man (Tim Tetrick) to win a Cup!

Stan Burgstein – Harness Tracks of America (Shadyshark Hanover)

I think Shadyshark Hanover will be tight this week. I’m also going to go with Big Bad John for second and Up The Credit third.

Mike Hamilton – Mohawk Racetrack (Up The Credit)

Up The Credit was a lightly raced two-year-old who won his elimination without going to the bottom of the well, suggesting that he will peak tonight.

Bob Heyden – The Meadowlands (Big Bad John)

Big Bad John doesn't know where the end of the mile is. He’s in career form and has come back a beast and gives an exclamation point to the final crop of the #1 stallion in horse racing (Western Hanover). Brett Miller, on his very best day, can drive with anyone, period.

Chris Hickey – Mohawk Racetrack (Powerful Mist)

Powerful Mist should be well spotted at the head of the lane to unleash his tenacious closing speed. He’s a big upset threat with a good trip.

Roger Huston – The Meadows (Big Bad John)

I have been a supporter of Big Bad John since early last year and have seen nothing to diminish my thoughts. He has done everything that they have asked of him and has responded each and every time.

Ken Middleton – Mohawk Racetrack (Shadyshark Hanover)

Shadyshark Hanover was one of the steadiest colts in the division last year, and I like the way he's progressing leading up to the NA Cup final for trainer Miller and driver Tetrick. I think he's sitting on a big race, and the post position gods were extremely kind to him on the day of the draw.

Jeff Porchak – Standardbred Canada (Powerful Mist)

I think a horse like Powerful Mist might get overlooked. He has certainly flown under the radar, but he's fast, versatile and sharp as a tack. He picks up a top driver in David Miller to drive, he's due for a win here. My heart says Big Jim, my head says Powerful Mist. 3-1 exactor.

Frank Salive – Pompano Park (Up The Credit)

In an ideal scenario, Up The Credit is second or third over after Rockabillie, Powerful Mist, Big Jim, and Big Bad John have taken turns out front past the half in 53.4. If it unfolds some way close to that he'll get that 1:48 mark sooner than expected for Carl and Jody Jamieson.

Ken Warkentin – The Meadowlands (Big Bad John)

Big Bad John is an emerging star by Western Hanover, who’s tied with Cam Fella siring four cup winners. Driver Brett Miller finished second in last years Cup with We Will See. Miller noted Big Bad John always paces strongly through the wire.

Gordon Waterstone – Horseman & Fair World (Shadyshark Hanover)

Shadyshark Hanover couldn't have landed a better spot by drawing post five. Driver Tim Tetrick should get a golden trip in here and rallying late off what should be a lively tempo in front. Last week's elimination effort showed he's on the right track for the rich final.

Greg GANGLE

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