Day At The Track

Mark McKelvie: The Pen v The Chip champion

06:52 AM 28 Oct 2012 NZDT
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After sixty-three race cards consisting of eight hundred and eight races handicapped, Pen Handicapper Mark McKelvie was crowned champion of HANA Harness' The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs on Saturday night (October 27) at Woodbine Racetrack on Breeders Crown Night.

Not that it was an easy victory. McKelvie, who was cruising on the lead for most of the contest, was under pressure from Chip Handicapper Earl the Pearl in the final leg as Earl had surged from sixth place to start the evening in second place, just $37.90 behind McKelvie.

When Earl scored in the seventh race with Rockin Amadeus who paid $37.00 to win, it seemed like an upset was in the making but it was not to be as Mark finished in front, a mere 0.012 ahead in the ROI with a difference of $19.90 separating the top two. Pen Handicapper Bobby Z finished third for the competition.

In tonight's final leg, Pandy finished on top with a Win ROI of 2.554, grossing $61.30 with five winners selected on the twelve race program. Finishing second was Trackmaster's Chatsworth Consortium with a ROI of 1.688 ($40.50) while Earl the Pearl took the show spot with a 1.542 rating ($37.00). While falling short, Earl managed to cash in big Saturday evening as besides having Rockin Amadeus to win,

Earl also had the $304.60 exacta and $586.20 trifecta nailed cold in the seventh race.

The final standings (sixty-three legs) for the competition are as follows (Position, Name, $ Won, ROI, ROI, Back, Legs, Prev, Pos):

1st Mark McKelvie (P) $1,453.50 0.899 63 1st

nd Earl the Pearl (C) $1,433.60 0.887 0.012 63 2nd

rd Bobby Z (P) $1,322.90 0.862 0.037 60 3rd

th Pandy (C) $1,353.80 0.838 0.061 63 5th

th Mr, Trifecta (P) $1,345.50 0.833 0.066 63 4th

th Chatsworth Consortium (C) $1,301.00 0.805 0.094 63 6th

th Scott Alberg (P) $1,273.10 0.788 0.111 63 7th

th Ray's Robot (C) $1,239.40 0.767 0.132 63 8th

As a result of Mark's accomplishment, Horse Rescue United (HRU), McKelvie's designated standardbred rescue, will be the recipient of donations of totaling $2,100 from the four sponsors and the Horseplayers Association of North America.

In addition, other donations in Mark's name will be made to HRU and local rescues by the associate sponsors. In Canada, donations will be made to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society or local rescues of the track's choice. A total of $4,250 in donations has been pledged to various standardbred rescues as a result of the handicapping challenge.

With respect to the Exacta Key side competition, Earl the Pearl won the evening with an Exacta ROI of 6.622, grossing $304.60 for the evening.

Pandy took the place spot with a ROI of 1.450 ($69.60) with Bobby Z taking the final placing with a rating of 1.146 ($55.00). McKelvie was the overall winner for exactas as well, this time with a much more comfortable lead, finishing with an impressive 0.989 ROI. The final exacta standings are (Position, Name, $ Won, ROI):

1st Mark McKelvie (P) $3,129.00 0.989

nd Bobby Z (P) $2,583.80 0.865

rd Earl the Pearl (C) $2,658.60 0.843

th Ray's Robot (C) $2,514.20 0.802

th Pandy (C) $2,520.70 0.798

th Chatsworth Consortium (C) $2,437.40 0.783

th Scott Alberg (P) $2,280.60 0.730

th Mr. Trifecta (P) $2,186.80 0.693

On Friday night, the final leg of The Pen vs. The Chip Challenge at Vernon Downs was contested and as a result, Earl the Pearl was the handicapper who finished the best overall at Vernon Downs. As a result of Earl's accomplishments, Vernon Downs is making a donation to the Standardbred Rescue Foundation in Earl's name.

HANA Harness would like to once again thank our four major sponsors, the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and our associate sponsors, Grand River Raceway, Harrington Raceway, Horseplayers Association of North America, The Gold Cup and Saucer (Red Shores Charlottetown Driving Park), Illinois Harness Horsemen's Association, Indiana Downs, Little Brown Jug (Delaware County Fair), and Woodbine Entertainment Group for their generosity in agreeing to make donations to the standardbred rescue cause.

For the further information about The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge, including additional final statistics, please visit

by Allan SCHOTT ( HANA Harness Coordinator

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