Monday, August 21, 2017

Cotolo Smokes ‘em in Handicapping Challenge

August 21, 2017) – The victories have been far and few for Ray Cotolo this year in the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge, but he made up for it big time this past weekend as he earned a net profit of $116.80, over a $100 more than his closest competitor.  Megan Maccario remains on top for the third week in a row in the overall chase, 20 points ahead of the pack.

The contest week kicked off on Friday evening (8/18) at Vernon Downs and while the first two races of the evening were won by favorites, the Zweig Filly and Open races were upsets and Anne Stepien was the only handicapper able to tab one of the victors, Zweig Filly Stakes winner Evelyn ($16.00) which enabled her to be the only handicapper to show a net profit for the evening of $18.10.

Saturday night there was only one race on the contest card, the Sobeys Gold Cup and Saucer at Red Shores–Charlottetown Driving Park and once again only one handicapper came out in the black, Adam Friedland.  Friedland managed to select the winner Shadow Place ($22.00) netting $29.80 for the evening.

Sunday’s races at Tioga Downs and Hippodrome 3R saw Cotolo come to the table firing on all cylinders by managing to sweep all four tilts.  Repentence ($4.20) in the Tompkins and Pasithea Face S ($3.40) in the Ms. Versatility were easy selections but reeling in Dealt A Winner ($72.40) in the Roll With Joe and Western Fame ($14.80) in the Prix d’Ete required spot-on handicapping.  By sweeping the card, Cotolo netted $122.80 for the day.

The overall race remains tight with less than 30 points separating Maccario (704.23) from second place Rusty Nash (684.20) and third place Matt Rose (675.38). 

Standings as of Sunday, August 20, 2017 - Leg #41
Pos
Handicapper
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Last Week
Streak
1st
Megan Maccario
704.23
7
1st
3
2nd
Rusty Nash
684.20
6
3rd

3rd
Matt Rose
675.38
7
2nd

4th
Russ Adams
625.62
6
4th

5th
Anne Stepien
602.65
5
9th

6th
Dennis O’Hara
591.43
6
8th

7th
Sally Hinckley
570.23
6
5th

8th
Ray Garnett
567.11
3
7th

9th
Gordon Waterstone
558.00
5
8th

10th
Steve Horoky
525.66
3
10th

11th
Bryan Owen
494.23
5
11th

12th
Jay Hochstetler
414.00
3
12th

13th
Terry Wilson
407.72
4
13th

14th
Michael Carter
387.03
3
14th

15th
Adam Friedland
370.30
2
15th

16th
Ray Cotolo
350.33
2
16th





Next Up: This weekend, Mohawk Racetrack will be hosting the Nassagaweya (two year old pacers) and the Eternal Camnation (two year old filly pacers) on Saturday night while Tioga Downs hosts on Sunday the Crawford Farm Trot (open trotters) and Joie De Vie (filly and mare trotters) as well as the Artiscape for (filly and mare pacers).


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.  

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Rose Takes Photo in Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

(August 13, 2017) – With only two races on the docket this weekend, it figured to be a close finish and indeed it was as three handicappers came together at the wire but Matt Rose was the winner of the photo for weekly honors in the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge.   Rose bested Dennis O’Hara and Bryan Owen who dead-heated for second, 57 to 48.75 points.  With his victory this weekend, Rose moved back into second place, easily within striking distance of the overall leader Megan Maccario.

On Friday (8/11), O’Hara and Owen tabbed Hoosier Park’s Dan Patch Stakes victor Check Six ($13.40) which allowed them to dead-heat for the top spot at the end of the evening’s action by earning 42.50 points.  However, on Saturday (8/12), Rose was the sole handicapper to tab Downbytheseaside ($11.60) in Northfield Park’s Carl Milstein Memoria which gave him 55 points. 

When the points were tallied in the overall contest, Maccario maintained her lead for a second week with a total of 681.48 points. Rose moved up from third into second place with 667.13 points, just 14.35 points off the lead.  Dropping to third was Rusty Nash with 658.95, easily within striking distance of the leader.

Standings as of Saturday, August 12, 2017 - Leg #38
Pos
Handicapper
Total Points Earned
Legs Won
Last Week
Streak
1st
Megan Maccario
681.48
7
1st
2
2nd
Matt Rose
667.13
7
3rd

3rd
Rusty Nash
658.95
6
2nd

4th
Russ Adams
593.12
6
4th

5th
Sally Hinckley
559.98
6
5th

6th
Dennis O’Hara
555.43
6
8th

7th
Ray Garnett
546.11
3
6th

8th
Gordon Waterstone
539.00
5
7th

9th
Anne Stepien
518.40
5
10th

10th
Steve Horoky
505.41
3
9th

11th
Bryan Owen
451.73
5
11th

12th
Jay Hochstetler
395.75
3
12th

13th
Terry Wilson
384.47
4
13th

14th
Michael Carter
376.03
3
14th

15th
Adam Friedland
296.80
1
15th

16th
Ray Cotolo
253.33
1
16th





Next Up: Friday, August 18 at Vernon Downs hosts the finals of the $370,000 (estimated) Zweig Memorial and $150,000 (estimated)Zweig Filly Stake for three year old trotters.  Saturday, August 19 brings the Grand Circuit to Red Shores-Charlottetown Driving Park for the fan-favorite Sobey Gold Cup and Saucer.  On Sunday, August 20, Tioga Downs hosts the estimated $175,000 Roll With Joe for open pacers and the third leg of the Ms. Versatility for distaff trotters as well as Hippodrome 3R hosting the $200,000 Prix d’Ete for 4yo pacers.

The following weekend (August 25-26), Mohawk Racetrack will be hosting the Nassagaweya (two year old pacers) and the Eternal Camnation (two year old filly pacers) on Saturday night while Tioga Downs hosts on Sunday the Crawford Farm Trot (open trotters) and Joie De Vie (filly and mare trotters) as well as the Artiscape for (filly and mare pacers).

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