Sunday, March 26, 2017

Rose, Garnett Win Legs of Hambletonian Society GC Handicapping Challenge


(March 26, 2017) –  Matt Rose swept Friday night’s (March 26) three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series to take a solid lead early on in the 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge by opening up a 50.5 point lead over Ray Garnett who managed to muscle into second place by 1 point over Rusty Nash by winning Saturday’s leg of the challenge by winning two of the four races.  Rose has now won two of the four legs contested thus far.     

Clearly, Rose is taking advantage of the early legs at Yonkers, his home track, by winning all three races on Friday’s slate including Empress Deo ($25), Mackenzie A ($4.60), and Bedroomconfessions ($2.90) which allowed him to net $41.70 for the evening.  However, even a home track can be cruel as Saturday night was a different story, resulting in him having to settle for a couple of show placings.

Garnett and Russ Adams both had two winners on Saturday evening, but the difference was Garnett’s tabbing of Keystone Velocity ($13.20) in the first division of the Levy which allowed him to eke out a net profit of $12.60.  Also selecting Keystone Velocity was Anne Stepien.

In the overall net-profit competition, Nash ($62.10) remains on top, leading Rose ($58.80) by $3.30. Ray Garnett moves into third this week with a net profit of $36.80 as Ray Cotolo fills out the top quartet with a net profit of $22.60.

The standings thus far after four legs are:
  
Pos
Handicapper
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
1st
Matt Rose
143.5
2
2nd
Ray Garnett
92.0
1
3rd
Rusty Nash
91.0
1
4th
Dennis O’Hara
50.0
0
5th
Russ Adams
50.0
0
6th
Ray Cotolo
46.0
0
7th
Gordon Waterstone
45.0
0
8th
Sally Hinckley
44.5
0
9th
Steve Horoky
44.5
0
10th
Anne Stepien
41.0
0
11th
Adam Friedland
37.5
0
12th
Bryan Owen
33.0
0
13th
Jay Hochstetler
28.0
0
14th
Michael Carter
23.0
0
15th
Megan Maccario
19.0
0
16th
Terry Wilson
18.0
0



Next Up:  The Challenge returns to Yonkers Raceway on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 for the third legs of the Matchmaker and Levy Memorial Series.  The Challenge remains at Yonkers Raceway until the conclusion of the two series on April 22.

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.  

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Rose, Nash Sprint to Lead in 1st Leg of 2017 GC Handicapping Challenge

Prize Fund Now Stands at Record $8,000


(March 19, 2017) – The opening two legs of the 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge are in the books with Matt Rose and Rusty Nash sprinting to the early lead, each winning a leg.  However, with more winners for the weekend, Rose takes a 76.5-67point lead over Nash as the total prize pool reaches a record $8,000 thanks to the added Gold Sponsorship of WEG Entertainment and the Silver Sponsorship of Aquaflow, LLC.     

While the Levy tends to be the home of favorites, several of handicappers were undeterred in going against the anticipated chalk and they were successful.  Hitting 2nd division winner Long Live Rock ($38.60) were Ray Cotolo, Ray Garnett, and Nash.  Taking down 4th division winner Soto ($14.00) were Cotolo, Adam Friedland, Jay Hochstetler, Steve Horoky, Nash, Bryan Owen, and Rose. 

In the near-miss category, Rose just missed a big price in the 3rd division of the Matchmaker on Friday evening when Hidden Land was bested by Regil Elektra in a photo.  While denied the winning mutual, Rose picked up the place and show mutuels of $15 and $13 respectively, helping his net profit in the early going.  In the net-profit competition, Nash ($58.90) leads Cotolo ($42.40) and Rose ($35.40).   

Standings as of March 27, 2017 - Leg #4
Pos
Handicapper
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Overall Net Profit
1st
Matt Rose
76.5
1
35.40
2nd
Rusty Nash
67.0
1
58.90
3rd
Ray Cotolo
37.0
0
42.40
4th
Steve Horoky
35.5
0
8.70
5th
Dennis O’Hara
35.5
0
(1.20)
6th
Adam Friedland
28.5
0
12.40
7th
Bryan Owen
24.0
0
2.20
8th
Ray Garnett
19.0
0
18.20
9th
Jay Hochstetler-
19.0
0
9.80
10th
Michael Carter
19.0
0
(4.80)
11th
Russ Adams
17.0
0
(14.00)
12th
Megan Maccario
15.0
0
(6.00)
13th
Sally Hinckley
9.0
0
(8.00)
14th
Anne Stepien
9.0
0
(19.40)
15th
Gordon Waterstone
9.0
0
(29.10)
16th
Terry Wilson
9.0
0
(34.40)



Next Up:  The Challenge returns to Yonkers Raceway on Friday, March 24 for the second leg of the Matchmaker series while Saturday (5/25) is the second leg of the Levy Memorial. 

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.  

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rescue Selections Made for 2017 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

New Handicappers and Canadian Rescues Added


(March 8, 2017) – With a little over a week to go before the first leg of the 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge, this year’s handicappers have made their selections of rescues to represent, attempting to win needed funds for their deserving groups. 

With former participants ‘retiring’ from the handicapping challenge, three new handicappers join the fray.  Steve Horoky has been a fan for long time, getting actively involved by claiming his first horse at Hiawatha Park in Sarnia before concluding his active career in the sport as an owner/trainer at the old Windsor Raceway.  Megan Maccario was born into the industry as her family has been long time owners racing in New York and New Jersey.  Megan is currently the lead harness and New York thoroughbred racing correspondent for Pick Insider.   Lastly, Terry Wilson, a former owner of standardbreds for 30 years on the Ontario circuit is now pleased to be ‘just a fan’.  All three are hoping to make a big splash in their debuts.

With additional Canadian sponsorship, each handicapper has selected an American Standardbred rescue in addition to a Canadian adoption society to represent as Canadian sponsorship fees will now be distributed in the same manner as American funds; donations going to the rescues of the top three handicappers.  The Canadian adoption societies Galahad, Greener Acres, Morningstar Acres, Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society, Performance Standardbreds, and Sadies Place span Canada from New Brunswick to British Columbia.  A new American rescue, Future for Standardbreds makes its debut this year, joining the returning American rescues.  Some rescues handle more than standardbreds; all donations are marked for Standardbred rescue use only.

The following is a list of handicappers along with their respective rescues.  Fans are encouraged to learn more about these rescues and to consider making a donation to one or more of them.

Handicapper
American Rescue
Canadian Rescue
Russ Adams
Michael Carter
Ray Cotolo
Adam Friedland
Ray Garnett
Sally Hinckley
Jay Hochstetler
Steve Horoky
Megan Maccario
Rusty Nash
Dennis O'Hara
Bryan Owen
Matt Rose
Anne Stepien
Gordon Waterstone
Terry Wilson


Last Call for Sponsors:  Time is running out on becoming a sponsor.  Sponsorship opportunities levels are available for as low as $100.  Those still considering to become a sponsor are encouraged to do so quickly. Information about sponsorship may be found at http://tinyurl.com/hskso6k.

Next Up:  The 2017 challenge opens up on Friday, March 17 with the opening leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers Raceway.  The action continues Saturday evening with the opening leg of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at the Hilltop oval.

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, and Wellbourne Farms.  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