EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ When it comes to running on the main track at the Meadowlands, Gulf Reckoning has been perfect in four races.

If the 5-year-old gelding can stretch the streak to five, he'll post the biggest victory of his career.

Gulf Reckoning will face 10 rivals Friday night in the $750,000 Buick Meadowlands Cup for 3-year-olds and up.

``He has won a stakes at the Meadowlands at 3 and at 4, so this would be a natural progression for him,'' trainer Ben Perkins Jr., said.

This 1 1/8-mile race appears to be wide open. Geri, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap and 6 of 10 starts, is the 5-2 favorite, while Dramatic Gold is the 3-1 second choice.

Gulf Reckoning is listed at 6-1 in the Grade I race.

As a 3-year-old, Gulf Reckoning won the closing night feature at the Meadowlands, the Winter Quarters. Last year, he won the Grade III Paterson Handicap. The gelding, with career earnings of $319,485, also equaled the Meadowlands track record for a mile and 70 yards of 1:39 1-5 Oct. 20, 1994.

``He's very competitive,'' said Perkins, noting Gulf Reckoning has won 14-of-24 career races. ``When he has a chance to win, he wins. He has so much heart.''

The 40-year-old Perkins, a second generation horseman, is anxiously awaiting Friday night's race.

``My dad (Ben Perkins, Sr.) won this race two years ago with Conveyor, and I'd love to follow in his footsteps,'' Perkins said. ``I saddled Conveyor for my dad, but, no, my dad didn't give me any of the money.''

The person expected to earn a lot of money this week is trainer Bill Mott. Not only does he condition Geri, he also will saddle Cigar in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Saturday.

Geri worked four furlongs in 49 1-5 at Belmont Wednesday, indicating he has recovered from a cough that had sidelined him after his second-place finish in the Hollywood Gold Cup June 30.

Geri, to be ridden by Jerry Bailey, drew the No. 2 post and will be the co-starting highweight with Dramatic Gold at 119 pounds.

Dramatic Gold, winner of the Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap Sept. 8, drew post No. 9. He will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux.

November Sunset drew the No. 1 post. Jose Velez Jr. has the mount on the 20-1 shot, who was assigned 110 pounds.

The rest of the field in post position order with horse, jockey, weight and odds:

Geri; Run Softly, Eddie Delahoussaye, 110, 5-1; Devil's Honor, Craig Perret, 111, 12-1; Eltish, Delahoussaye also listed, 113, 5-1; Formal Gold, no rider listed, 108, 10-1; Stephanotis, Mickey Walls, 111, 15-1; Victory Speech, John Velazquez, 112, 6-1; Dramatic Gold; Mt Sassafras, Todd Kabel, 114, 15-1; Gulf Reckoning, Carlos Marquez Jr., 114, 6-1.

Run Softly and Eltish will race as a betting entry, as will Stephanotis and Mt Sassafras.