by Rusty Nash for HANA Harness
November 10, 2015 – The first week of the Matron from Dover and the American National at Balmoral are in the books for the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge presented by the Bellino Stables, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, Hambletonian Society, Isle of Capri Pompano Park, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs.
The HANA handicappers had two opportunities to catch contest leader Sally Hinckley with plenty of action on both nights. On Thursday evening the results were not kind to those trailing the top tier. The results were all chalk or missed longshot plays. Mark Dezii and Gordon Waterstone had the best chalk boards with three winners each for 83 and 68 points respectively. Bob Zanakis, JoniJose Verlingieri, and Dennis O’Hara completed the nightly pentafecta with scores in the forties. Everyone else was licking their wounds.
Saturday evening at Balmoral Sally Hinckley, Dennis O’Hara and Jay Hochstetler each picked six of seven winning favorites. The tie breaker went to our cast’s “leading lady” Sally Hinckley (237) when her seventh horse, Bright Baby Blues, finished second (237) and Dennis and Jay’s horse, Muscle Baby Doll, finished third. Mark Dezii and yours truly finish fourth and fifth when the prices we took shot a with missed.
Dennis O’Hara had the best two day total of 275 points. He won the photo over Sally Hinckley’s 259.5 and Jay Hochstetler at 259.30. Mark Dezii was a close fourth with 237 and yours truly was a well beaten fifth at 168.
Sally Hinckley not only retains her lead but let it out a notch or two and extended her advantage to almost 400 points. Dennis O’Hara and Mark McKelvie swapped positions with Dennis taking second and Mark slipping to fourth. Anne Stepien retained her third place spot and Gordon Waterstone kept a solid fifth position as Rusty Nash was again not able to apply any pressure.
|Standings as of November 7, 2015 - Leg 58|
|Pos||Handicapper||Total Points |
|Points Earned |
The HANA handicappers will be back in action with three exciting days of competition this coming week. We are back at Dover for the Matron on Thursday. A total of six HANA legs to be raced. That is followed with both Friday and Saturday evening action at The New Meadowlands. There are two eliminations of the TVG Open Mares on Friday and TVG FFA on Saturday.