McKelvie leads pack in The Pen vs. The Chip

02:41 PM 28 Aug 2012 NZST
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Earl the Pearl extended his winning streak to three legs of HANA Harness Racing' Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, before going down to defeat in the nightcap on Sunday at Rideau Carleton Raceway.

But at the end of these three legs a familiar name was on top of the overall standings as Mark McKelvie starts the second half of the competition in a usual spot, first place with a contest-to-date ROI of 1.014. Presently, the battle is for second place as Pandy holds a mere 0.001 lead over Trackmaster’s Chatsworth Consortium.

Bobby Z was a scratch this past weekend but returns to the handicapping wars this week.

On Saturday night’s card at Mohawk Racetrack (Leg 32), Earl the Pearl led the handicappers with a Win ROI of 1.600 with gross earnings of $41.60, followed by Mark McKelvie (1.500, $39.00); Scott Alberg rounded out the trio in third place. In the unofficial side contest, Earl finished ahead of Trackmaster’s Chatsworth Consortium in the Exacta key contest with McKelvie finishing third.

Sunday was a double header for the contest with a special matinee contested at Vernon Downs (Leg 33) and a nightcap at Rideau Carleton Raceway (Leg 34).

In the afternoon, Earl the Pearl (1.154, $30.00) completed the double by nosing out Pandy (1.142, $29.70) with a $0.30 lead to nail down top honors with McKelvie (0.912, $23.70) finishing in the show spot. With respect to exactas, Mark McKelvie had only one exacta that afternoon but made it count as the $110.00 mutuel pay-off gave him first place with an exacta ROI of 2.292. Scott Alberg (1,185, $56.90) also ended up on the plus side finishing second with Earl finishing third.

In the day’s nightcap, Ray’s Robot was victorious with a 1.250 ROI, earning $37.50. Earl (0.843, $25.30) completed the weekend with a second place showing while Mr. Trifecta (0.747, $22.40) landed the show spot. With the exactas, Ray’s Robot who was shut out most of the day, hit three of the last four exactas on the card to finish first with a ROI of 2.404 ($134.60), easily distancing Mr. Trifecta (0.918, $55.10) who finished second, ahead of third pace finisher Scott Alberg (0.798, $47.90).

The standings with thirty-four of sixty-one legs completed are as follows:

Position Name                        $ Won            ROI

1st Mark McKelvie (P)             $952.90          1.014

2nd Pandy (C)                      $803.50           0.855

3rd Chatsworth Consortium (C) $802.50         0.854

4th Bobby Z (P)                      $693.10         0.808

5th Mr Trifecta (P)                  $756.30          0.805

6th Scott Alberg (P)                $748.20          0.796

7th Earl the Pearl (C)               $746.10            0.794

8th Ray's Robot (C)               $722.80            0.769

The contest picks up steam as the handicappers will be busy over the next seven days.

On Thursday, August 30 and Friday, August 31, the handicapping challenge will be at Mohawk Racetrack for the Champlain Stakes.

On September 1, the contest remains at Mohawk Racetrack for the finals of the $787,000 Canadian Pacing Derby, $1,000,000 Metro, $610,000 Shes A Great Lady, and Simcoe for 3yo trotters.

On Monday evening (9/3), another doubleheader is on tap with Mohawk Racetrack featuring the Simcoe for 3yo pacing fillies and Tioga Downs featuring the first jewel of pacing’s Triple Crown, the $322,716 Cane Pace and the companion filly event, the $110,000 estimated Shady Daisy.

For on-track racing fans, Tioga Downs will be having the Million Dollar Ball Drop on Cane Pace night where five hundred fans will have a chance to win a million dollars.

For handicapping selections, statistics, and additional information regarding The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge, you may visit http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.

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