Sunday, October 15, 2017

Stepien Wins Week, Nash Returns to Top in Handicapping Contest


(October 15, 2017) –  With the Red Mile meet in the books, the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge moved on to Hoosier Park for the start of a three-week residency which culminates with the 2017 Breeders Crown.  Week one had two nights (10/12 &10/14) of Circle City and Madison County stakes contested and once the races concluded, Anne Stepien was the winner while Rusty Nash returned to the perch as the overall leader for the contest with roughly six weeks remaining on the schedule.  

Stepien was the top handicapper for the week with 72 points vs. the 57 points for Dennis O’Hara in what could be called a tale of two nights.  Thursday night, O’Hara was victorious without having a single winner thanks to his selection of Danceinthepines in the Circle City for 3yo trotting fillies; the longshot paying $14.80 and $6.40 for coming in second.  The longshot provided him the winning margin despite four handicappers each having two winning picks.  Saturday evening was a new day with Stepien tabbing four winners for the night, including the Courageous Lady Stake added on from Northfield Park, where her selection of Rosemary Rose ($20.60) made her one of two handicappers to have a positive ROI for the day.

In what seems to be a pattern late in the contest, Nash and Maccario once again swapped spots with Nash coming out on top with a margin of 4.3 points.  While the two handicappers have been locked in battle for the top spot, Stepien and Gordon Waterstone are lurking behind the duo, less than 22 points behind the leader and are clearly contenders to watch.
  
Standings thru Saturday, October 14, 2017 - Leg #69

Pos
Handicapper
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Points Back
Last Week
Streak
1st
Rusty Nash
1,245.20
6

2nd
1
2nd
Megan Maccario
1,240.90
9
4.30
1st

3rd
Anne Stepien
1,230.82
9
14.38
4th

4th
Gordon Waterstone
1,223.50
10
21.70
3rd

5th
Dennis O’Hara
1,154.85
10
90.35
6th

6th
Matt Rose
1,148.88
10
96.32
5th

7th
Sally Hinckley
1,121.98
8
123.22
8th

8th
Russ Adams
1,099.54
8
145.66
7th

9th
Steve Horoky
1,066.83
4
178.37
9th

10th
Ray Garnett
1,025.11
6
220.09
10th

11th
Bryan Owen
920.90
7
324.30
11th

12th
Jay Hochstetler
841.50
4
403.70
12th

13th
Ray Cotolo
762.33
4
482.87
13th

14th
Michael Carter
750.03
3
495.17
15tg

15th
Terry Wilson
747.47
5
497.73
14th

16th
Rich Mattei
569.30
2
675.90
16th


Next Up: Week two at Hoosier Park has a weekend of Breeders Crown eliminations with the distaff tilts being contested on Friday (10/20) and open elms contested Saturday (10/21).

The third and concluding week of the Hoosier Park residency begins with the final preliminary leg of the Kindergarten Classic being raced at Vernon Downs while the weekend features the Breeders Crown finals and Pegasus stakes.


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.  

Monday, October 9, 2017

Maccario Claims Week, Top of Standings in Handicapping Contest

(October 9, 2017) –  In a very tight race for weekly top honors, Megan Maccario nosed out Gordon Waterstone (119 vs. 116 points) in the second week of the Red Mile Grand Circuit meet (October 5-8) which were this week’s contest days of the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge. With her victory, Maccario reclaims the top spot in the overall handicapping contest, unseating Rusty Nash who now trails by a scant 5.70 points.

Five handicappers earned triple digit points for the week besides the aforementioned Maccario and Waterstone; Steve Horoky, 107 points; Ray Garnett, 106 points; Michael Carter, 103.5 points

On Thursday, Bryan Owen drew first blood claiming the day’s title in great part to selecting Night Rhythm ($26.80) and Quality Kemp ($26.60) in two splits of the International Stallion Stakes for 2yo colt and gelding trotters, netting a net profit of $76.80 and 60 points for the day.  This was followed with Garnett taking the baton Friday with a net total of $23.80 and 70 points.

On Saturday, although netting only $10.20, Waterstone had five winners for the day to earn a total of 75 points.  On Closing Day, with six of nine races selected to earn a net profit of $44.30, Maccario earned 80 points to grab the lead for the day and week.

Improving their positions this week was Maccario who moved from third to the top position while Waterstone continues his climb, moving this past week from fifth to third place.  With five handicappers within 100 points of the top slot, volatility may be expected as the contest heads into the stretch run with twelve more days to be contested.

.   
Standings thru Sunday, October 8, 2017 - Leg #67

Pos
Handicapper
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Points Back
Last Week
Streak
1st
Megan Maccario
1,213.90
9

3rd
1
2nd
Rusty Nash
1,208.20
6
5.70
1st

3rd
Gordon Waterstone
1,186.50
10
27.40
5th

4th
Anne Stepien
1,158.82
8
55.08
2nd

5th
Matt Rose
1,121.88
10
92.02
4th

6th
Dennis O’Hara
1,097.85
9
116.05
6th

7th
Russ Adams
1,080.54
8
133.36
7th

8th
Sally Hinckley
1,079.98
8
133.92
8th

9th
Steve Horoky
1,052.83
4
161.07
9th

10th
Ray Garnett
1,011.11
6
202.79
10th

11th
Bryan Owen
883.90
7
330.00
11th

12th
Jay Hochstetler
822.50
4
391.40
12th

13th
Ray Cotolo
748.33
4
465.57
13th

14th
Terry Wilson
728.47
5
485.43
14th

15th
Michael Carter
716.03
3
497.87
15th

16th
Rich Mattei
544.30
2
669.60
16th



Next Up: After a busy two weeks, the contest slows down a bit with two days of racing.  Thursday (October 12) featuring The Circle City for three year old filly trotters and pacers.as well as the Madison County for two year old filly pacers and trotters at Hoosier Park.  Saturday (October 14), Hoosier Park stake racing continues with the Madison County stakes for two year old colt and geldings of both gaits, and The Circle City featuring three year old colt and geldings of both gaits will be contested in addition to the Courageous Lady at Northfield Park and the $1 million Yonkers International.

The following week, the Breeders Crown eliminations will be contested over two nights at Hoosier Park.


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.