Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Gary Budahn Trot brings out Silverlode

By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness

Silverlode, an impressive winner of last week’s prep, looms strictly the one to beat in Friday night’s featured $8,300 Gary Budahn Trot.

Silverlode is a 9-year-old homebred daughter of British Sterling out of the outstanding racemare and broodmare Charlotte’s Web who is owned by Desomer Stables, conditioned by Vickie Desomer and will have Steve Wiseman giving directions.

The bay mare comes into this assignment with 34 victories from her 110 starts with $161,778 in earnings and a 1:55 1/5 mark that was established here two years ago.

Silverlode has posed for pictures following three of her last four starts, including last weekend’s Budahn Prep over a sloppy track where she proved a punctual 3-5 favorite with Wiseman at the controls.

She was able to leave into a pocket trip behind stablemate Cadet, motored to command at the top of the lane and drew off by three and a quarter lengths to win as much the best. She should be tough no matter how things shake out early in Saturday’s final.

Franks Best is a hard-hitting 11-year-old who is owned and trained by Bob Johnson with Mooney Svendsen in his usual spot in the sulky. A 44-time winner with $263,000 in his account, he rallied for second in last week’s Prep after being well back early.

Rounding out the field are RSS Express, Franky Provolone, Winsom Kelly, Livid Luke, Dougs Hobby Horse and Cadet.


Reduced takeout wagers offer true value

There are two wagers offered here each night that come with a reduced 16 percent takeout rate, affording players the chance to gets some real value.

They are the 50-cent Pick 5, which is decided on the first five races of the evening; and the 20-cent Pick 4, which covers the penultimate four contests on the program. The Pick 4 comes with a $30,000-guaranteed gross pool.

To give you some idea of the value, last Friday evening’s 50-cent Pick 5 including a couple of bombs in Blue Star Maverick and Lilmessingaround and returned a healthy $9,962.

Using the regular takeout, the same ticket would have been worth $8,921, a difference of a cool $1,071. 

                                     ***
Friday evening’s Gary Budahn Trot at Cal Expo is named for a mainstay of California harness racing for more than 30 years, who passed away in April 2009.

Dr. Budahn served on the Board of Directors of the California Harness Horsemen’s Association for more than 12 years, including President of the CHHA for three terms. He was a strong voice in California harness racing for many years and was always there for the horsemen, helping them in any way he could.

Dr. Budahn was well known in harness racing for being one of the best veterinarians to grace the backside and was well respected throughout the country.

Along with his wife Debbi, Dr. Budahn started The Gusty Stable, sending out some of the best horses to ever race in California, including Doodlin and Claude's Last Lady.

Each represented The Gusty Stable in Breeders Crown events and were two of the best mares to ever campaign in the Golden State on the pacing and trotting side.

Along with those two outstanding mares, The Gusty Stable raced many more top performers such as Wilder Echo, Alfa Star, Amazing Glide and Claudius Augustus and was the breeder and developer of Direct Flight.

“Gary Budahn was a man of integrity and probably the best horseman I ever met,” said former driver Rick Kuebler, who guided many top performers for The Gusty Stable over the years. “When it came to diagnosing the problem of a horse, he had no equal. He had an intimate knowledge of the Standardbred and harness racing in that he was a top trainer and even spent time in the sulky.”

Friday, December 1, 2017

Rusty Nash Winner of 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge



With seven handicappers sharing the 100 points for selecting the race winner, there was no opportunity for Gordon Waterstone, Sally Hinckley or the others to move up and challenge Nash for the checkered flag.

By winning the Handicapping Challenge, Rusty Nash earned $3,225 for Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue in the United States and $925 for Greener Pastures – BC Standardbred Horse Adoption Society in Canada.  Second place finisher Gordon Waterstone earned $1,650 for Horse Lovers United (US) and $450 for Galahad Refuge (CA).  For finishing third, Sally Hinckley earned $825 for Helping Hearts Equine Rescue (US) and $225 for Morningstar Acres (CA).

HANA Harness would like to thank our Gold Sponsors Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment; our Silver Sponsors Aquaflow LLC, Eldorado/Scioto Downs, The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, and the Raceway at Western Fair District for their contributions which make this contest possible.  With the $8,000 being distributed to standardbred horse rescues this cycle, the HANA Harness contest will have facilitated in the distribution of over $33,000 over the past six years.

FINAL STANDINGS (79 Legs)

Pos
Handicapper
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Points Back
Last Week
Streak
1st
Rusty Nash
1,503.99
8

1st
8
2nd
Gordon Waterstone
1,467.29
11
36.70
2nd

3rd
Sally Hinckley
1,426.77
11
77.22
3rd

4th
Anne Stepien
1,386.11
10
117.88
5th

5th
Megan Maccario
1,381.90
9
122.09
4th

6th
Dennis O’Hara
1,356.14
11
147.85
7th

7th
Matt Rose
1,339.88
10
164.11
6th

8th
Steve Horoky
1,272.83
5
231.16
8th

9th
Russ Adams
1,218.54
8
285.45
9th

10th
Ray Garnett
1,121.90
7
382.09
10th

11th
Jay Hochstetler
1,063.50
5
440.49
12th

12th
Bryan Owen
1,051.90
9
452.09
11th

13th
Michael Carter
900.03
3
603.96
13th

14th
Terry Wilson
839.76
3
664.23
14th

15th
Ray Cotolo
834.33
5
669.66
15th

16th
Rich Mattei
644.30
2
859.69
16th



This contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hinckley Takes Week in Hambletonian Society Handicapping Contest

Final Leg to Decide All

(November 26, 2017) – In the penultimate leg of the 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge on Saturday evening (11/25) at the Meadowlands, Sally Hinckley came out on top for the week to move into third place.  While still in the lead overall, Rusty Nash’s fifth place finish leaves the door open to the possibility of Gordon Waterstone grabbing the brass ring in seventy-ninth and final leg of the contest.

Hinckley took the weekly title easily with six winners out of eight races, including What The Hill ($12.80) in the TVG Final for open trotters who was victorious in a minor upset.  In a card comprising of the Final Four stakes and the TVG Finals, the only race where she didn’t cash in was the Goldsmith Maid; her selection in the Governor’s Cup finished second.  By the time all eight races were contested, Hinckley had a net profit of $35.30 for the evening.  Finishing second with a net profit of $.90 for the evening was Megan Maccario who had four winners for the evening which was good enough to keep her in the race for third place, the final cashing position next week.  Also with four winners on Saturday evening card was Jay Hochstetler whose net loss of $5.30 was good enough for the show position.

With only the Hap Hansen Progress Stake remaining the sole race to be contested in the contest, five handicappers remain in contention to earn a check for their respective rescues.  While the race for first place comes down to Nash and Waterstone, it is possible for Hinckley to land in second place, knocking Waterstone down to the show position in a worst-case situation (Nash can finish no worse than second place).  Should Hinckley have a bad week, Maccario and Anne Stepien remain in the race mathematically for the show position.
  
Standings thru Saturday, November 25, 2017 - Leg #78

Pos
Handicapper
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Points Back
Last Week
Streak
1st
Rusty Nash
1,484.70
7

1st
7
2nd
Gordon Waterstone
1,448.00
11
36.70
2nd

3rd
Sally Hinckley
1,407.48
10
77.22
5th

4th
Megan Maccario
1,379.90
9
104.80
4th

5th
Anne Stepien
1,366.82
9
117.88
3rd

6th
Matt Rose
1,337.88
10
146.82
6th

7th
Dennis O’Hara
1,336.85
10
147.85
7th

8th
Steve Horoky
1,270.83
5
213.87
8th

9th
Russ Adams
1,218.54
8
266.16
9th

10th
Ray Garnett
1,102.61
6
382.09
10th

11th
Jay Hochstetler
1,061.50
5
423.20
12th

12th
Bryan Owen
1,049.90
9
434.80
11th

13th
Michael Carter
898.03
3
586.67
13th

14th
Ray Cotolo
834.33
5
650.37
14th

15th
Terry Wilson
820.47
5
664.23
15th

16th
Rich Mattei
644.30
2
840.40
16th



Next Up:  The final leg of the contest concludes with the Progress Stakes at Dover Downs on Thursday, November 30.   


The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.