Tuesday, September 2, 2014

McKelvie Comes Out Ahead in a Wild Week in the HANA Harness Grand Circuit Shoot-Out

September 2, 2014 – The week off in HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs gave the handicappers the opportunity to think over their handicapping strategy and by doing so, they came out guns a blazing with five instances of handicappers scoring net profits of over $1,000 on any given day.  When the dust settled, Mark McKelvie was the big winner for the week showing a net profit of $2,586, leapfrogging from 8th to 3rd place.  While McKelvie won the week, Bob Zanakis regained the lead over Brandon Valvo with a swing a $2,919.25 thanks to his weekly net profit of $2,094.75.  Gordon Waterstone’s weekly net profit of $2,103 moved him from 12th place to 6th.

On Thursday, August 28, Bob Zanakis started the hit parade, playing a $6 price part wheel trifecta ($144 total) in the first division of the Champlain and it paid off handsomely as he received a dividend of $2,408.40.  Other key hits on Thursday  were Sally Hinckley’s $10 trifecta key ($120l) in the third division of the Champlain which paid $301, Dennis O’Hara’s $50 cold exacta in the same race which returned $260, and Ann Stepien’s $2 four-horse trifecta box ($48) earned $143.60.  On a typical day, Gordon Waterstone’s $20 trifecta key ($120) in the third division would normally have been the talk of the town with its $602 return but alas, Zanakis’ play overshadowed this accomplishment.

On Friday, August 2, the handicappers gathered their collective breaths with no particular breakouts.  While the day’s action was sedate, there were some individual bets worth noting.  Derick Giwner’s $150 exacta in the Zweig Memorial returned $405 while in the same race, Hinckley’s $25 trifecta key ($150) paid $307.50.

Saturday saw three players with big nights.  Mark McKelvie led the trio with a net profit of $3,226 thanks to a $20 trifecta part-wheel ($60) in the She’s A Great Lady.  Waterstone earned $1,403 as a result of a $10 trifecta part wheel ($200) in the same race and O’Hara’s $1,097 evening was attributable to a $30 trifecta key ($360) in the Metro which grossed $1,497.  Other solid plays were Ray Garnett’s $14 trifecta key ($280) in the Metro paid a $698.60 dividend as was Hinckley’s $10 trifecta key play, returning $499.  In the first division of the Simcoe, Josi Verlingieri had two winning tickets, a $25 exacta box ($150) paid $317.50 and a $125 win, place wager which returned $943.75.

With a one day break, the handicappers returned for a Labor Day stanza which belonged to Garnet Barnsdale with his hit in the Shady Daisy.  While Barnsdale had listed a $1 superfecta part wheel ($42), his ticket was reduced to a $.30 ticket ($12.60) which paid
$2,561.90, reflecting the size of the superfecta pool.  Waterstone was the only other player who won on Sunday as his $30 exacta box ($180) paid $438.

The current standings after the completion of four legs are:  

As of September 1, 2014 - Leg 27
Pos
Handicapper
Week Gain
Net Profit
Behind
1st
Bob Zanakis
$2,094.75
$4,303.45

2nd
Brandon Valvo
($824.50)
$2,780.00
$1,523.45
3rd
Mark McKelvie
$2,586.00
$1,962.00
$2,341.45
4th
Josi Verlingieri
$937.40
$1,551.55
$2,751.90
5th
Earl Paulson
($504.00)
$240.90
$4,062.55
6th
Gordon Waterstone
$2,103.00
$202.70
$4,100.75
7th
Brian McEvoy
$67.50
($110.00)
$4,413.45
8th
Derick Giwner
($715.00)
($759.23)
$5,062.68
9th
Garnet Barnsdale
$1,331.30
($894.70)
$5,198.15
10th
Ray Garnett
($480.40)
($1,102.55)
$5,406.00
11th
Sally Hinckley
($122.00)
($1,793.90)
$6,097.35
12th
Ann Stepien
($406.95)
($2,156.06)
$6,459.51
13th
Rusty Nash
($745.65)
($2,369.76)
$6,673.21
14th
Dennis O'Hara
$467.00
($2,579.70)
$6,883.15
15th
Ray Cotolo
($1,150.00)
($5,698.40)
$10,001.85
                                                                                   

This week, one leg of the contest will be held on Saturday, September 6 at Mohawk Racetrack with a trio of races scheduled, the Simcoe for 3yo open pacers and the Champlain for 2yo open pacers and 2yo filly pacers will be contested.  As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Verlingieri Tops in Last Summer Weekend of HANA Harness Grand Circuit Shoot-Out

August 24, 2014 – In the final two legs before the mid-season break of HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, Josi Verlingieri dominated her fellow competitors with a net profit of $1,886.25, more than $1,000 ahead of the rest of the pack.  While Verlingieri leapfrogged from 8th to 4th place with her performance, Brandon Valvo remains on top at the mid-season break, leading his fellow handicappers with a net profit of $3,604.50, $1,395.80 ahead of his closest competitor, Bob Zanakis

Other handicappers had less profitable, though significant weekends.  Overall leader Brandon Valvo ended the final weekend of the summer portion of the competition with a weekly net profit of $830 edging out Earl Paulson who had a net profit of $800.

As for key wagers for the weekend, after starting off with a $70 loss in Leg 22 (August 15), Verlingieri reversed her fortunes dramatically with a profit of $1,956.25 in Leg 23 (August 16) by going all in with a $125 Win and Place wager on Solar Sister ($27.50, $7.80) in the 3rd leg of the Eternal Camnation at Mohawk Racetrack.  For Leg 22, the inaugural Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park, Earl Paulson netted a profit of $662.50 thanks primarily to a $25 Exacta box of three horses ($155 total) which returned $835.  Valvo managed a $609 profit in Leg 22 with a $50 Win, Place wager on Milstein Memorial Consolation winner National Debt which returned $475 plus a $10 Trifecta part-wheel ($60) on the Milstein Memorial with its $294 dividend while scoring a $221 profit in Leg 23 primarily with his $10 Trifecta box ($60) in the Joe Gerrity Memorial at Saratoga Raceway which returned $206.  Paulson scored a $600 profit in the Friday night leg of the competition primarily with a $25 Exacta three-horse box ($150) which returned a gross of $835 and a $137.50 profit on Saturday evening with a $5 Exacta box ($30) in the 3rd division of the Eternal Camnation which returned $252.50. 

Other performances worth noting were Sally Hinckley’s $386.50 profit in the Saturday evening stanza with a $20 Trifecta key ($240) in the 3rd division of the Nassagaweya which returned $600 while Rusty Nash scored a $230 profit thanks to a $353 return on a $20 Win, Place wager on the 3rd division of the Eternal Camnation. 

The current standings at the break are:  

As of August 16, 2014 - Leg 23
Pos
Handicapper
Week Gain
Net Profit
Behind
1st
Brandon Valvo
$830.00
$3,604.50

2nd
Bob Zanakis
($500.00)
$2,208.70
$1,395.80
3rd
Earl Paulson
$800.00
$744.90
$2,859.60
4th
Josi Verlingieri
$1,886.25
$614.15
$2,990.35
5th
Derick Giwner
($143.00)
($44.23)
$3,648.73
6th
Brian McEvoy
($12.50)
($177.50)
$3,782.00
7th
Ray Garnett
$0.00
($622.15)
$4,226.65
8th
Mark McKelvie
($500.00)
($624.00)
$4,228.50
9th
Rusty Nash
$18.52
($1,624.11)
$5,228.61
10th
Sally Hinckley
$216.10
($1,671.90)
$5,276.40
11th
Ann Stepien
($240.00)
($1,749.11)
$5,353.61
12th
Gordon Waterstone
($500.00)
($1,900.30)
$5,504.80
13th
Garnet Barnsdale
($498.00)
($2,226.00)
$5,830.50
14th
Dennis O'Hara
($463.00)
($3,046.70)
$6,651.20
15th
Ray Cotolo
($500.00)
($4,548.40)
$8,152.90

                                                                                   
The fall portion of the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out begins with a bang as there are four legs this Labor Day weekend starting Thursday, August 28, when the $267,000E Champlain Stakes for 2yo filly trotters will be contested at Mohawk followed by Friday (August 29), when the $375,000 Zweig, $160,000 Zweig Filly, and $200,000 Crawford Farm stakes will be contested at Vernon Downs along with the $280,000E Champlain Stakes for 2yo Open trotters and $215,000E Simcoe for 3yo filly trotters will be contested at Mohawk.  Saturday (August 30) evening features a full slate of stakes at Mohawk; the $650,000E Canadian Pacing Derby, $685,000E Metro Pace, $450,000E She’s A Great Lady, $240,000E Simcoe Stakes for 3yo Open trotters, and the $215,000E Simcoe Stakes for 3yo filly trotters.  The weekend concludes on Monday (September 1), when the $437,325 Cane Pace and $90,000EShady Daisy are contested at Tioga Downs.  Any consolation races will be included in the contest as well.     

As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.                                                                                                                                                                  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Survivor Week in HANA Harness Grand Circuit Shoot-Out

 August 10, 2014 – Perhaps with the Hambletonian in the rear view mirror the general opinion was it was time to swing for the fences in HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, but whatever the reason, the Dan Patch Invitational leg of the handicapping contest turned into a survivor round.  While Sweet Lou was an obvious key horse in the race, the handicappers for the most part were unable to construct a ticket which used both Bettor’s Edge and streaking Carol’s Comet in their exotic plays.  As a result, the successful handicapper this past Friday was the handicapper who managed to get their head over the waterline.  Three handicappers were successful in the effort with Brandon Valvo winning the week with a $50 net profit and regaining the overall lead ($2,774.50) from Bob Zanakis with a tenuous lead of $65.80.  Other handicappers who managed to show positive results for the week were Earl Paulson ($30) and Brian McEvoy ($20).

Obviously, the number of key wagers this week were minimal but Rusty Nash greatly reduced his potential deficit by wheeling Sweet Lou in the Superfecta for a dime investment ($33.60 total) and managed to collect $116.65.  Earl Paulson managed his $30 profit with a $150 Win ticket on the race winner which paid $180 while weekly winner Brandon Valvo employed similar strategy by earning $50 with a $250 win ticket on the FFA pacer.  Brian McEvoy managed his $20 profit with a combination of Win and Show wagers on the race winner.  Bob Zanakis managed to stay close and within reach of the top spot by playing a $15 Exacta partial wheel ($75) which grossed $193.50.

The current standings are:  

As of August 8, 2014 - Leg 21
Pos
Handicapper
Week Gain
Net Profit
Behind
1st
Brandon Valvo
$50.00
$2,774.50

2nd
Bob Zanakis
($56.50)
$2,708.70
$65.80
3rd
Derick Giwner
($237.00)
$98.77
$2,675.73
4th
Earl Paulson
$30.00
($55.10)
$2,829.60
5th
Mark McKelvie
($240.00)
($124.00)
$2,898.50
6th
Brian McEvoy
$20.00
($165.00)
$2,939.50
7th
Ray Garnett
($248.00)
($622.15)
$3,396.65
8th
Josi Verlingieri
($235.00)
($1,272.10)
$4,046.60
9th
Gordon Waterstone
($250.00)
($1,400.30)
$4,174.80
10th
Ann Stepien
($238.00)
($1,509.11)
$4,283.61
11th
Rusty Nash
($45.35)
($1,642.63)
$4,417.13
12th
Garnet Barnsdale
($250.00)
($1,728.00)
$4,502.50
13th
Sally Hinckley
($250.00)
($1,888.00)
$4,662.50
14th
Dennis O'Hara
($250.00)
($2,583.70)
$5,358.20
15th
Ray Cotolo
($250.00)
($4,048.40)
$6,822.90

                                                                                   
This coming weekend, the Challenge picks up the tempo with races at several tracks.  Friday evening the contest stops at Northfield Park for the inaugural $400,000(Est.) Carl Milstein Memorial for 3yo pacing colts.  The contest then moves north Saturday with the $260,000 Joe Gerrity Memorial at Saratoga Raceway before heading to the Canadian Maritimes for the popular $75,000 Gold Cup and Saucer at Red Shores Charlottetown.  Two year olds get their time in the spot light as well with Mohawk Raceway hosting the $215,000(Div.) Eternal Cammation for 2yo pacing fillies and the $245,000(Div.) Nassagaweya for 2yo pacers. 

As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.