Friday, March 13, 2015

Field and Rescues Announced for 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

(March 13, 2015) - The field has been set, the races picked,  and the rescues selected for the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, all sponsors who have renewed their support for standardbred rescue with their sponsorship (additional sponsors are anticipated).

 As for handicappers, one old friend and three new faces join the returning roster of handicappers.  Richard Scott returns to the contest after a one year hiatus.  Scott was the winner of the 2013 handicapping contest and looks to attempt to reclaim his title.   Scott is a former trainer who worked for the Bessinger, Silverman, and David Elliot stables in his career.  Making their debut to the contest this year are Michael Carter, the current track announcer at Buffalo Raceway; Mark Dezii, a racing fan who is a musician who hails from Philadelphia, PA; Bryan Owen. a former owner of horses such as Corleone Kosmo (BC Open Trot Winner 2008)and Luckycharm Hanover as well as an amateur handicapper.

The complete roster, last year’s placing, and selected rescues for the 2015 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is:

Garnet Barnsdale – Harness Racing Writer, WEG Handicapper for DRF Harness; (1st); TROTR; Therapeutic Riding and Off-Track Rehabilitation)

Michael Carter – Track Announcer at Buffalo Raceway; (Did Not Compete); Central Virginia Horse Rescue

Ray Cotolo – Internet Harness Racing Analyst and Writer; (15th); Sunshine Horse Rescue.

Mark Dezii – Race Fan and Musician; (DNC); Horse Lovers United

Ray Garnett –Handicapper; (14th);  Rockin T Equine Rescue

Derick Giwner - Editor, DRF Harness; (8th); New Vocations

Sally Hinckley – On-air Handicapping Personality; (12th); Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals 

Brian McEvoy - Works for Harnesslink, (3rd); Helping Hearts Equine Rescue

Mark McKelvie – Communications Coordinator for WEG; (2nd); Horse Rescue United

Rusty Nash – Trackmaster Handicapper; (9th); Rainhill Sanctuary.

Dennis O’Hara – Handicapper, Former Asst Race Secretary; (11th); Standardbred Retirement Foundation

Bryan Owen – Former Owner, Handicapper ;(DNC); Standardbred Retirement Foundation

Earl Paulson – Handicapper, Yahoo Harness Racing Forum Director; (5th); Racer Placers

Richard Scott – Handicapper/Former Trainer, (DNC; 1st in 2013); Rainhill Sanctuary.

Anne Stepien – Handicapper, Former Trainer; (13th); Heading for Home

Brandon Valvo – Handicapper, Writer for Harness Racing America; (6th); Horse Lovers United

Josi Verlingieri – Handicapper; (7th); Heart of Phoenix

Gordon Waterstone – Associate Editor, Horseman and Fair World; (10th); Changing Fates Equine Rescue

A new scoring system has been implemented for this year’s contest with handicappers focusing on the horse who will win the race, bringing a mix of quantity and value to the handicappers’ plans this year.  For those who wish details on how the scoring will be done, the rules page explains.  The competition begins on April 24 with the inaugural Meadows Futurity Trot and concludes on November 29 with the Progress Stake at Dover Downs.  Handicappers and fans may follow the contest by visiting the contest website at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com

 HANA Harness is the Harness Racing division of Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA), a group which since 2008 represents over 3,000 horseplayers in dealings with the racing industry.  Since HANA Harness began sponsoring handicapping contests, over $10,000 has been donated to standardbred recues.  All horseplayers, regardless of breed are invited to join HANA for free.  For further information regarding HANA, please visit the HANA website at http://horseplayersassociation.org/.  


For further information on joining the current sponsors by becoming a sponsor at the Gold, Silver, or Bronze level, click here

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sponsorship Opportunities Remain for 2015 HANA Harness Handicapping Challenge

The handicappers are already getting ready for the 2015 Edition of HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge, prepared to spend stakes season doing battle for the benefit of the standardbred rescue of their choice.  A new format for scoring this year will be used, making the handicapper's selections more meaningful for fans following the contest.

Already, the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs have renewed their sponsorship for this year's event so the prize fund starts at $2,000.  Other sponsors are expected to re-enlist and hopefully new sponsors will join up this year.

Who would be a good candidate to become a sponsor?  Racetracks, horsemen associations, businesses connected to the standardbred industry, breeders, and individuals are encouraged to consider becoming sponsors.  It doesn't matter if you are American or Canadian, your sponsorship dollars remain in your country.  With three levels of sponsorship, there is a sponsorship level affordable for all.

For information regarding sponsorship, please e-mail allan@hanaweb.org.
    

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Garnet Barnsdale Wins HANA Harness’ 2014 Grand Circuit Shoot-Out

December 9, 2014 – With the Cleveland Classic not filling, the last leg of 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 has been cancelled resulting in Garnet Barnsdale being named the top handicapper for this year’s contest with a net profit of $4,553.40, over $3,000 ahead of second place Mark McKelvie who had a net profit of $1,276.  In a last minute move, Brian McEvoy managed to nail Bob Zanakis for the show position, thanks to his $250 win wager on McWicked on Sunday’s Progress stake at Dover Downs.

While not finishing in the money, the last leg’s big winner was Earl Paulson who had a $250 play on the winning Trifecta which gave him a weekly net profit of $2,850, allowing him to move up from tenth to fifth place, putting him withiin striking distance of the third spot if he was successful in the Cleveland Classic but alas, it was not to be.

By nature of Barnsdale’s winning of the contest, a donation of $1,500 will be made to his selected standardbred rescue, TROTR (Therapeutic Riding and Off Track Rehabilitation) in addition, donations of $250 will be made by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) and Red Shores-Charlottetown to the Canadian rescues of their choice in honor of Garnet’s victory.  For his second place finish, a donation of $1,050 will be made to McKelvie’s selected rescue, Rainhill Sanctuary.  A donation of $450 will be made to Horse Rescue United, Brian McEvoy’s selected rescue.

Final Standings (53 Legs)
Pos
Handicapper
Week Gain
Net Profit
Behind
1st
Garnet Barnsdale
($204.00)
$4,553.40

2nd
Mark McKelvie
($250.00)
$1,276.00
$3,277.40
3rd
Brian McEvoy
$175.00
$33.50
$4,519.90
4th
Bob Zanakis
($250.00)
($53.05)
$4,606.45
5th
Earl Paulson
$2,850.00
($57.50)
$4,610.90
6th
Brandon Valvo
$175.00
($620.00)
$5,173.40
7th
Josi Verlingieri
$175.00
($1,005.40)
$5,558.80
8th
Derick Giwner
($250.00)
($1,073.23)
$5,626.63
9th
Rusty Nash
$350.00
($1,733.36)
$6,286.76
10th
Gordon Waterstone
($250.00)
($2,131.30)
$6,684.70
11th
Dennis O'Hara
($250.00)
($4,086.65)
$8,640.05
12th
Sally Hinckley
$370.00
($4,267.40)
$8,820.80
13th
Anne Stepien
($180.00)
($4,787.93)
$9,341.33
14th
Ray Garnett
($250.00)
($6,352.80)
$10,906.20
15th
Ray Cotolo
($250.00)
($10,048.40)
$14,601.80

           

HANA Harness would like to once again thank its Gold Sponsors, the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowland Racing and Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs as well as COSA and Red Shores-Charlottetown for their sponsorship and the handicappers which allowed this contest to help standardbred rescues across North America.


For further information on HANA, please visit our website http://www.horseplayersassociation.org/.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hinckley Runs Away with Weekly Honors in Handicapping Shoot-Out

November 30, 2014 – How do you best describe Leg 52 of 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?  A Romp.  Admittedly, with only four races remaining going in to last night’s action, many of the handicappers were looking for that hit to vault them into contention while others were thwarted by the upset in the TVG Trot which was won by Intimidate making their efforts for naught.   However when the dust settled, Sally Hinckley remained true to form and was rewarded with the sole winning wager of the evening to show a weekly net profit of $1,625 to get top honors for the week.

Hinckley’s hit came in the TVG Pace Final where she played a $125 Exacta Box of Sweet Lou and Foiled Again which paid $1,875, cutting her overall loss to $4,637.40.

Despite being shut out last night, Garnet Barnsdale continues cruising towards the contest finish line with an overall net profit of $4,757.40, leading his closest competitor by $3,231.40 with just two races remaining.   

The current standings with two legs remaining in the competition are:  
As of November 29, 2014 - Leg 52
Pos
Handicapper
Week Gain
Net Profit
Behind
1st
Garnet Barnsdale
($250.00)
$4,757.40

2nd
Mark McKelvie
($250.00)
$1,526.00
$3,231.40
3rd
Bob Zanakis
($150.00)
$196.95
$4,560.45
4th
Brian McEvoy
($250.00)
($141.50)
$4,898.90
5th
Brandon Valvo
($250.00)
($795.00)
$5,552.40
6th
Derick Giwner
($248.20)
($823.23)
$5,580.63
7th
Josi Verlingieri
($250.00)
($1,180.40)
$5,937.80
8th
Gordon Waterstone
($250.00)
($1,881.30)
$6,638.70
9th
Rusty Nash
($250.00)
($2,083.36)
$6,840.76
10th
Earl Paulson
($250.00)
($2,907.50)
$7,664.90
11th
Dennis O'Hara
($240.00)
($3,836.65)
$8,594.05
12th
Anne Stepien
($250.00)
($4,607.93)
$9,365.33
13th
Sally Hinckley
$1,625.00
($4,637.40)
$9,394.80
14th
Ray Garnett
($240.00)
($6,102.80)
$10,860.20
15th
Ray Cotolo
$0.00
($9,798.40)
$14,555.80


The Handicapping Shoot-Out takes a week off before the final two legs are contested beginning with the Progress Stake at Dover Downs on December 7 before wrapping up on December 12 at Northfield Park for the Cleveland Classic.  For more information, visit HANA Harness’ contest website at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.                         

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Barnsdale Wins Week; Opens up Commanding Lead in Handicapping Shoot-Out

November 23, 2014 – As with several Breeders Crown champions this past weekend, Garnet Barnsdale opened up a commanding lead in Legs 50 and 51 of 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 thanks to his weekly net profit of $2,446.10.  Thanks to his tally this week, Barnsdale’s overall net profit is $5,007.40, giving him a lead of $3,231.40 over second place Mark McKelvie.  With three legs (four races) remaining in this year’s contest, it would seemingly take a monster hit by one of his opponents and a collapse on his part for someone to take the lead away from him.

While first place appears safe, there is a real battle for second and third place as the finishers in those positions will also have donations made to their rescues of choice.  Second place McKelvie has an overall net profit of $1,776, roughly $1,430 ahead of third place Bob Zanakis’ $346.95.  While not in a cashing position, Brian McEvoy is sitting in fourth place within stalking distance as he is less than $240 behind Zanakis,   

On Friday night, Derick Giwner came out $883.20 to the plus side thanks to his plays in the Breeders Crown 3yo filly pace as a $72 win ticket earned him a $756 payout.  In addition to the win wager, Giwner had a $1 Trifecta partial wheel ticket (total of $42) which paid $505.20.  In the same race, Barndsale earned $806.40 thanks to his $1010.40 payoff on a $2 Trifecta key ($168). 

Saturday evening, was all Barnsdale with a daily profit of $1,659.70, followed by Dennis O’Hara’s $605 and Rusty Nash’s $440.  Barnsdale’s profit came primarily thanks to a $1 Trifecta wheel ($72) in the Breeders Crown Open Mare Pace which returned $1,998.  O’Hara managed to hit a $132 Trifecta partial wheel ($390) in the 2yo filly trot which paid $975 while in the Open Mare Pace, Nash’s $200 Place wager (part of a Win, Place combo; $400) returned a $840 dividend.

The current standings with three legs remaining in the competition are:  
As of November 22, 2014 - Leg 51
Pos
Handicapper
Week Gain
Net Profit
Behind
1st
Garnet Barnsdale
$2,466.10
$5,007.40

2nd
Mark McKelvie
($14.00)
$1,776.00
$3,231.40
3rd
Bob Zanakis
($521.00)
$346.95
$4,660.45
4th
Brian McEvoy
($20.00)
$108.50
$4,898.90
5th
Brandon Valvo
($160.00)
($545.00)
$5,552.40
6th
Derick Giwner
$483.20
($575.03)
$5,582.43
7th
Josi Verlingieri
($400.00)
($930.40)
$5,937.80
8th
Gordon Waterstone
($600.00)
($1,631.30)
$6,638.70
9th
Rusty Nash
$240.00
($1,833.36)
$6,840.76
10th
Earl Paulson
($340.00)
($2,657.50)
$7,664.90
11th
Dennis O'Hara
$205.00
($3,596.65)
$8,604.05
12th
Anne Stepien
($90.50)
($4,357.93)
$9,365.33
13th
Ray Garnett
($796.00)
($5,862.80)
$10,870.20
14th
Sally Hinckley
($800.00)
($6,262.40)
$11,269.80
15th
Ray Cotolo
($800.00)
($9,798.40)
$14,805.80



The Handicapping Shoot-Out makes its final stop at the Meadowlands for the finals of the TVG series on Saturday evening (November 29).  The contest wraps up with stops at Dover Downs (December 7) for the Progress Pace and concludes at Northfield Park (December 12) for the Cleveland Classic.  For more information, visit HANA Harness’ contest website at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.