Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Back Attacks in HANA Handicapping Challenge

July 19, 2015 – It was a matter of time until someone in the back of the pack made a move in the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge presented by the Bellino Stables, DRF Harness, Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, so perhaps it was apropos such a move by two handicappers would occur on Meadowlands Pace night when eight contest races in addition to the Sheppard at Yonkers Raceway were contested. 

Thanks to four winners, Sally Hinckley leapfrogged from fourteenth to second place with 533.8 points for the week while Mark McKelvie moved from sixteen to fourth place thanks to his 316 points.  Overall leader Bob Zanakis scored 190.6 points this week for a grand total of 1,036.3 but the race has tightened as his lead is down to 48.5 points.

Hinckley and Zanakis both had four winners on the card but Hinckley greatly benefited from longshot Anndrovette whose victory in the Golden Girls FFA for mares earned Hinckley 432 of her 533.80 points.  Hinckley’s other winners were favorites Pinkman, Wiggle It Jiggleit, and JL Cruze.  Zanakis’ big winner of his quartet was Moonlight Dance who earned him 108.8 of his total 190.6 points in the Mistletoe Shalee for three year old filly pacers with his remaining winners being the same trio as Hinckley’s. 

Six handicappers had three winners on the card but while Mark McKelvie had only two winners, he made the best of it thanks to Spirit To Win being victorious in the Delvin Miller Memorial for three year old trotters which earned him 281.2 of his 316 points for the week (his other winner was the result of a scratch which gave him the post time favorite).

Standings as of July 18, 2015 - Leg 20
Total Points Points Earned Overall Position
Pos Handicapper Prior Week This Week Total Points Last Week
1st Bob Zanakis 828.30 208.00 1,036.30 1st
2nd Sally Hinckley 454.00 533.80 987.80 14th
3rd Michael Carter  701.80 40.60 742.40 2nd
4th Mark McKelvie 371.90 316.00 687.90 16h
5th Ray Garnett 657.90 18.20 676.10 3rd
6th Ann Stepien 555.20 74.10 629.30 6th
7th Garnet Barnsdale 566.00 47.50 613.50 5th
8th Gordon Waterstone 567.30 37.20 604.50 4th
9th Derick Giwner 517.70 77.70 595.40 9th
10th Josi Verlingieri 523.60 71.10 594.70 8th
11th Earl Paulson 499.10 60.80 559.90 11th
12th Bryan Owen 508.80 43.40 552.20 10th
12th Brandon Valvo 529.00 23.20 552.20 7th
14th Mark Dezii 457.90 73.70 531.60 13th
15th Jay Hochstetler  476.90 43.80 520.70 12th
16th Rusty Nash 428.10 87.50 515.60 15th
17th Dennis O'Hara  364.60 87.70 452.30 17th
18th Ray Cotolo 294.10 28.00 322.10 18th
19th Mark Deutsch 183.10 10.50 193.60 19th

This week, Saratoga Raceway is Saturday’s contest track with the $260,000 guaranteed Joe Gerrity Memorial while Sunday features the Zweig Memorial Trot and Zweig Filly Trot as well as their corresponding consolation races at Vernon Downs.  Handicapper selections, results and standing are available at