2017 Contest Rules

1.    Handicappers may use whatever handicapping method they wish and may change during the contest.  However, they are expected to their own selections whether derived by computer program or pen.  If determined selections were purchased or provided elsewhere, the handicapper may be disqualified.

Note:  If handicapper has an interest in a horse, they must select the horse they have interest in.

2.    There is no entry fee to participate, only a commitment to compete throughout the contest period.   The winner is entitled to bragging rights and to have a donation made to the standardbred rescue of their choice by the contest sponsors from a list of designated rescues.  Donations will also be made to the rescues of those who finish second and third and there will be a consolation prize for the handicapper who has the highest net profit. 

A rescue may be required to provide proof of their tax exempt status prior to payment being made by a sponsor.

3.    The rescues will be selected prior to the contest beginning and may not change.  Each handicapper will select a different rescue with the selection being made in the reverse order of the handicapper’s finish last year (last chooses first).  New handicappers will select their rescue after those who participated last year made their selections.  In the event there are more competitors than approved rescues, a second person may select the same rescue as someone else once all rescues have at least one supporter.  The order of new handicappers selecting will be by the first come, first served method.

4.    Prize fund.  The prize fund will come from donations by sponsors.  There are three levels of sponsorship.   Gold level sponsors have committed to divide their donations between the rescues selected by the top three winners with 45% going to the first place finisher's rescue; 30% to the second place finisher's rescue and 15% to the third place finisher's rescue as well as a 10% consolation prize to the handicapper who has the highest net profit (this may be in addition to any other prize won).  Silver and Bronze sponsors have the option to make their donation to the winning handicapper's selected rescue or may decide to make a donation to a local standardbred rescue of their choice in honor of the winning handicapper.   In special circumstances, sponsors may make application to designate their entire donation to a specific standardbred rescue in honor of the contest winner.   

5.    Should there be any Canadian sponsor(s), their donation will be distributed in the same manner as American sponsors, with payments made to Canadian rescues chosen by the winning handicappers or a local standardbred rescue of their choice in the name of winning handicapper.

6.    All payments of prize funds will be made directly by the sponsors.  Under no circumstances will any prize monies be paid out to winning handicappers.  HANA Harness cannot take responsibility for sponsors failing to make payment.

7.    It will be the responsibility of the handicapper to obtain handicapping materials such as programs at their own expense. 

8.    The majority of races being used in this contest are Grand Circuit events supplemented with key Canadian stakes races from provinces outside of Ontario.  In the event of same day eliminations, such as the Little Brown Jug or Hambletonian, elimination races will be handicapped, not the finals.  If there is a multi-heat race contested without eliminations on the same day, selections in the first heat will be used in subsequent heats (adjusted for head number changes).  Grand Circuit races being conducted at venues without  parimutuel wagering are excluded. 

Canadian stake races outside of Ontario will be selected at the discretion of HANA Harness. 

9. With the exception of Hambletonian Day (including consolation races) and the Breeders Crown eliminations, there will be a limit of 10 contest races on any given day.  If more than 10 qualifying races are available, the races with the highest purses will be selected with preference for Grand Circuit events over non-Grand Circuit races.  If there is more than one race available with the same purse for the 10th race, selection of the final race will be made by taking earlier races on the card ahead of later races.

10. In the event divisions of a race carried over to another day due to the number of divisions required, only those divisions contested on the stated contest date are eligible for contest wagering. 

11. Divisions contested on the other days are disregarded unless a race is carried over to the following day due to weather or unforeseen circumstances which do not allow the race to be contested on the stated date.  In this situation, handicappers’ selections will be carried over ‘as is’ as if contested on the original day for scoring purposes.

12. Any stakes race cancelled or declared a non-wagering event will be disregarded for purposes of this contest.  If practical, a race rescheduled to another day will be included in the competition.

13.  Any horse barred from wagering will be disregarded for wagering purposes.

14.   Selections are guaranteed to be accepted if submitted by 5:00pm ET the day before race day.  However, as long as selections are submitted prior to the selections being posted on the web they will be accepted.  In the event of special circumstances, arrangements may be made ahead of time to delay the release of the selections but at no time will selections be submitted on the day of the contest (no later than 12:01am Eastern time the day of the race).  Selections provided after the group’s selections are posted will be disregarded unless the handicapper can provide their original selections along with evidence showing the selections were made prior to posting; otherwise they will be considered null and void, resulting in the handicapper sitting out the particular day.

15. Selections must be made with wagering numbers.  Handicappers are encouraged to wait until after driver changes and early scratches are made before submitting their selections.  A handicapper may submit their selections earlier, but they bear the responsibility in the event the wagering number is different from their post position (coupled entries) or due to an early scratch.  With the exception of an 'AE' (see rule 18), selecting a non-existent wagering number will be considered a lost selection (effective 10/27/17).  

Once selections are submitted, no changes may be made except to correct a keying error by the contest administrator.       

16. USTA posted prices will be used for calculating fictional pay-offs.  For Canadian events, Standardbred Canada's posted prices will be used. 

17.   Daily contest scoring - On each contest day, the handicapper will make fictional $2 win, place, and show wagers on one horse in each of the specified races for the day  If a race does not offer place or show wagering, the particular wager will be ignored.  A net profit for the day will be calculated.    

The handicapper who has the highest daily net profit (or lowest daily net loss) will be awarded 50 points; second highest 25 points; third highest 12 points; fourth highest 8 points; fifth highest 5 points.  Any other handicapper who submitted selections will be awarded 2 points.  In the event there is a tie in net profit for the day, a dead heat will be declared and the points divided appropriately.  If a dead heat for one of the positions will result in less than 2 points being awarded, the points will be rounded up to 2 points.

     To be awarded points for coming in first through fifth on a particular contest day, at least one wager (WPS) must have been hit.  If less than five handicappers collect on a wager, the points for that position will be forfeited and the affected handicapper(s) will be awarded two points.

     Bonus Points: In addition to the points awarded as described above, 5 bonus points will be awarded for each winning horse a handicapper successfully selected to win.  The 5 points will be awarded for each winning selection even if the race had a dead heat. 

In the event of a scratch, the selection will be substituted with the post time favorite.  If a handicapper doesn’t make a selection in a race, it will be considered a 'no play'.

A handicapper who does not submit selections will earn no points for the particular leg.  No default selections will be accepted.    

18. In the case of an also eligible being listed in the official program, a handicapper who selects an also eligible may select an alternate in the event the also eligible does not draw in.  The official program is the program made available to the racing public.  A handicapper who selects an also eligible which does not make the final program forfeits the use of an alternate selection even if one is provided; the race will be considered a 'no play' for that handicapper.      

16. The contest winner will be the individual with the highest total of points at the end of the contest.  In the event of a tie, the contest winner will be the handicapper who earned the highest cumulative net profit.  If there is still a tie, the handicapper with the highest net profit for the final leg will be a winner.  If there is still a tie, the highest net profit from the previous leg will be the tie breaker and so on until an tie is broken.  If there is a tie for second or third, dead heats will be decided by the same procedure.

In the event there is a dead heat for the consolation prize for the highest cumulative net profit, the winner will be the handicapper with the highest net profit in the last leg.  If there is still a dead heat, the highest net profit from the previous leg will be the tie-breaker and so on until a winner is decided. 

17. Statistics - Statistics will be kept for each handicapper and will consist of # of submitted selections; number of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd finishes;  points earned for week;  total points; week net earnings; contest to date net earnings.

18.  A contest week runs from Monday thru Sunday.  Any errors in the recording of wagers or calculations of individual payoffs must be reported no later than 11:59pm on the Monday following the contest week.  For example, any errors for the week of Monday, June 13 through Sunday, June 19 must be reported by 11:59PM on Monday, June 20.    If the last stakes race of the contest falls on a day other than Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, the deadline for reporting errors will be 48 hours after the last race in the contest.  Results posted prior to the deadline are deemed preliminary and will be marked accordingly.  Once the results are marked official after the deadline, the results for the preceding week will be deemed final and may not be changed.

19.  If a handicapper has been determined to have excess absences, HANA Harness reserves the right to replace a handicapper either with a new handicapper or if one is not available, by having a 'virtual' handicapper make selections of the morning line favorite in each race.  Excess absences will be determined on a case by case situation, depending on the reason for the absences.

20. Any situations not covered by the above rules or disputes will be ruled on by HANA Harness.  Their decision shall be final.  By participating in this contest, contestants agree the decisions made by HANA Harness are final and may not be appealed to outside bodies.