Sunday, June 21, 2015

New Leader in HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Challenge

 June 21, 2015 – After the three latest legs of the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge presented by the Bellino Stables, DRF Harness, Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, another handicapper stakes his claim to the top slot as Bob Zanakis trades places with Ray Garnett, taking the lead with 610.9 points to Garnett’s 588.2.

Leg 14 was pretty uneventful as the only race in the contest was the Battle of Lake Erie with two handicappers maximizing the opportunity provided by the veteran Foiled Again winning resulting in Earl Paulson and Gordon Waterstone earning 24.2 points for the leg.

In leg 15, Mark McKelvie earned top honors, earning 51 points, the result of selecting JL Cruz and Doo Wop Hanover to win their respective legs of the Graduate series for four year olds.  Several others correctly selected the winner of one leg of the Graduate.

Leg 16 contained the stakes races of North America Cup Night and with a number of favorites going down to defeat, those who relied on the favorites to come through were disappointed.  On the other hand, Sally Hinckley (75.8 points for the night) took advantage of the implosion of the top two favorites in the Goodtimes Trot, earning 54.5 points with her selection of The Bank who finished second in the race.  Due to the failure of many of the favorites, the best some handicappers could accomplish was selecting two winners out of the six races, with Bob Zanakis, Garnet Barnsdale, and Dennis O’Hara earning between 66 - 64.8 points

Standings as of June 20, 2015 - Leg 15
Total Points
Points Earned
Overall
Position
Pos
Handicapper
Prior Week
This Week
Total Points
Last Week
1st
Bob Zanakis
528.40
82.50
610.90
2nd
2nd
Ray Garnett
539.70
48.50
588.20
1st
3rd
Michael Carter
509.70
74.80
584.50
3rd
4th
Brandon Valvo
453.80
34.10
487.90
4th
5th
Gordon Waterstone
434.80
28.20
463.00
5th
6th
Ann Stepien
409.10
37.30
446.40
6th
7th
Derick Giwner
383.00
51.80
434.80
7th
8th
Josi Verlingieri
365.80
36.00
401.80
9th
9th
Jay Hochstetler
374.50
22.20
396.70
8th
10th
Garnet Barnsdale
302.30
81.30
383.60
13th
11th
Earl Paulson
321.00
45.00
366.00
12th
12th
Bryan Owen
333.30
29.10
362.40
10th
13th
Mark Dezii
329.80
24.90
354.70
11th
14th
Sally Hinckley
242.70
95.20
337.90
15th
15th
Dennis O'Hara
237.30
75.10
312.40
16th
16th
Rusty Nash
257.20
53.00
310.20
14th
17th
Mark McKelvie
170.20
51.00
221.20
17th
18th
Ray Cotolo
152.80
7.80
160.60
18th
19th
Mark Deutsch
152.10
6.10
158.20
19th


This week, only one event is on the contest calendar with the Meadowlands hosting trotters for a leg of the TVG series on Friday evening.  The Fourth of July weekend features seven races giving handicappers a chance of improving their position in the standings.   For further information on the contest, you are invited to visit the contest website at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Garnett Assumes the Lead in HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Challenge

 June 11, 2015 - With stakes season now in high gear, Ray Garnett. Previously in 6th place, assumes the lead in the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge presented by the Bellino Stables, DRF Harness, Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, as the standings have been shaken up with plenty of movement.  Garnett, with 539.7 points (268.2 for the week) finds himself in front by a slim 11.3 point lead over Bob Zanakis whose  528.4 (292.8 for the week) points leapfrogged him from 8th to 2nd place.  Previous leader Michael Carter finds himself in 3rd place with 509.7 points, just 30 points from the top spot.  Other handicappers who distinguished themselves during this past reporting period are Jay Hochstelter (214.2 pts for week) and Brandon Valvo (212.4 pts for week).

In the 11th leg of the competition, Mark Dezii and Brandon Valvo were both 2 for 2, including the winner of the Lismore at Yonkers Raceway, Purrfect Bags $24.20, which resulted in each of them earning 70.2 points for the evening. 

Mark Dezii along with Josi Verlingieri and Gordon Waterstone went 3 for 3 in the 12th leg at The Meadows in the 3 divisions of the Currier & Ives stake for 3yo filly trotters which earned each handicapper 71.4 points.

In leg 13, a total of 8 races were contested at the Meadowlands, The Meadows, Mohawk Raceway, and Scioto Downs and Ray Garnett and Bob Zanakis took advantage of the situation by exploding with 5 winners on the card earning 257.6 points taking down 3 of the 4 Graduate legs at the Meadowlands, the Currier & Ives for 3yo open trotters, and the Charles Hill Memorial Trot at Scioto Downs.  Jay Hochstetler earned 205.4 points with 4 winners for the evening.  The other 4 race winner for the evening was Brandon Valvo who scored 181.8 points.

Standings as of Saturday, June 6, 2015 - Leg 13
Total Points
Points Earned
Overall
Position
Pos
Handicapper
Prior Week
This Week
Total Points
Last Week
1st
Ray Garnett
271.50
268.20
539.70
5th
2nd
Bob Zanakis
235.60
292.80
528.40
9th
3rd
Michael Carter
379.80
129.90
509.70
1st
4th
Brandon Valvo
241.40
212.40
453.80
8th
5th
Gordon Waterstone
268.50
142.10
410.60
6th
6th
Ann Stepien
291.00
118.10
409.10
2nd
7th
Jay Hochstetler
160.30
214.20
374.50
13th
8th
Derick Giwner
256.20
114.60
370.80
7th
9th
Josi Verlingieri
272.00
93.80
365.80
4th
10th
Mark Dezii
235.50
94.30
329.80
10th
11th
Bryan Owen
275.10
46.60
321.70
3rd
12th
Garnet Barnsdale
160.50
141.80
302.30
12th
13th
Earl Paulson
148.30
148.50
296.80
15th
14th
Rusty Nash
138.80
106.20
245.00
16th
15th
Sally Hinckley
188.30
54.40
242.70
11th
16th
Dennis O'Hara
157.20
80.10
237.30
14th
17th
Mark McKelvie
98.00
72.20
170.20
17th
18th
Mark Deutsch
92.20
59.90
152.10
18th
19th
Ray Cotolo
88.40
52.80
141.20
19th


This week, the Battle of Lake Erie at Northfield Park is the only race on the contest calendar.  The following week is another big week for the handicapping challenge as the third leg of the Graduate series for 4yo trotters and pacers is on tap at the Meadowlands (6/19) while Saturday night (6/20) has the North America Cup, Roses Are Red, Fan Hanover, Goodtimes, and Armbro Flight being contested at Mohawk while a leg of the TVG series for trotters takes place at the Meadowlands.

For details on the specific races and other information regarding the contest, visit http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Competition Heating Up in HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Challenge

 May 26, 2015 -  Nine legs into the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge presented by the Bellino Stables, DRF Harness, Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, finds Michael Carter holding on to his early lead with 319.7 points but as could be expected finds himself with company at the top.  Two other handicappers find themselves within a hundred points of Carter; Anne Stepien, thirteenth place as of the last report now finds herself vaulted into second place with 283.6 points; Bryan Owen, third in the last report remains in the show spot with 268 points.  In addition to these two handicappers, five others are laying in contention in the 200s. 

Prior to this week, with single race dates, movement has been slight but as stakes action has kicked into high gear, dates have multiple races and this is where the points start adding up fast and it showed this past weekend.  On Sunday, three handicappers (Ray Garnett, Josi Verlingieri, and Bob Zanakis) went a perfect three-for-three earning 145.8 points thanks to victories by Great Vintage, Radar Contact, and Father Patrick in the trio of invitational races at Harrah’s Philadelphia.  Stepien and Brandon Valvo, going two for three earned 64.2 and 51.8 points respectively.

On Monday DRF Harness’ Derick Giwner and Stepien went four for four in the Graduate series races at Tioga Downs crediting each with 128.4 points as a result of selecting Shake It Cerry, Opulent Yankee, Doo Wop Hanover, and Rockeyed Optimist to win their respective divisions.

After the first nine divisions, the standings show:

Standings as of Monday, May 25, 2015 - Leg 9
Total Points
Points Earned
Overall
Position
Pos
Handicapper
Prior Week
This Week
Total Points
Last Week
1st
Michael Carter
331.70
45.60
377.30
1st
2nd
Ann Stepien
91.00
192.60
283.60
8th
3rd
Bryan Owen
173.30
94.70
268.00
2nd
4th
Josi Verlingieri
87.60
179.80
267.40
9th
5th
Gordon Waterstone
162.30
94.20
256.50
3rd
6th
Ray Garnett
69.70
182.70
252.40
15th
7th
Derick Giwner
111.20
137.90
249.10
5th
8th
Bob Zanakis
50.80
175.30
226.10
17th
9th
Sally Hinckley
129.80
53.60
183.40
4th
10th
Brandon Valvo
100.10
66.20
166.30
6th
11th
Mark Dezii
76.00
84.40
160.40
13th
12th
Jay Hochstetler
85.20
68.00
153.20
11th
13th
Dennis O'Hara
80.30
69.80
150.10
12th
14th
Garnet Barnsdale
98.00
38.80
136.80
7th
15th
Earl Paulson
86.30
50.00
136.30
10th
16th
Rusty Nash
71.10
58.20
129.30
14th
17th
Mark McKelvie
52.80
33.20
86.00
16th
18th
Mark Deutsch
50.50
34.30
84.80
18th
19th
Ray Cotolo
48.20
33.10
81.30
19th


This week (May 29 and 30), the Grand Circuit challenge heads north to The Raceway at Western Fair District for the season closing Molson Pace on Friday then heads to Yonkers Raceway for the Art Rooney Pace and Lismore Pace on Saturday for three year olds of both sexes.  The following week finds the contest at June 5 at the Meadows for the Currier & Ives for three year old filly trotters and June 6 at a quartet of tracks; The Meadows for the Currier & Ives (three year old open trotters); The Meadowlands for the Graduate Series (four year old open pacers and trotters); Scioto Downs for the Charlie Hill (four year old open trotter); Mohawk Raceway for the Somebeachsomewhere (three year old open pace).

For details on the specific races and other information regarding the contest, visit http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com