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May 26, 2015 - Nine legs into 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, finds Michael Carter holding on to his early lead with 319.7 points but as could be expected finds himself with company at the top. Two other harness racing handicappers find themselves within a hundred points of Carter; Anne Stepien, thirteenth place as of the last report now finds herself vaulted into second place with 283.6 points; Bryan Owen, third in the last report remains in the show spot with 268 points. In addition to these two handicappers, five others are laying in contention in the 200s. Prior to this week, with single race dates, movement has been slight but as stakes action has kicked into high gear, dates have multiple races and this is where the points start adding up fast and it showed this past weekend. On Sunday, three handicappers (Ray Garnett, Josi Verlingieri, and Bob Zanakis) went a perfect three-for-three earning 145.8 points thanks to victories by Great Vintage, Radar Contact, and Father Patrick in the trio of invitational races at Harrah's Philadelphia. Stepien and Brandon Valvo, going two for three earned 64.2 and 51.8 points respectively. On Monday DRF Harness' Derick Giwner and Stepien went four for four in the Graduate series races at Tioga Downs crediting each with 128.4 points as a result of selecting Shake It Cerry, Opulent Yankee, Doo Wop Hanover, and Rockeyed Optimist to win their respective divisions. After the first nine divisions, the standings show: Standings as of Monday, May 25, 2015 - Leg 9     Total Points Points Earned Overall Position Pos Handicapper Prior Week This Week Total Points Last Week 1st Michael Carter 331.70 45.60 377.30 1st 2nd Ann Stepien 91.00 192.60 283.60 8th 3rd Bryan Owen 173.30 94.70 268.00 2nd 4th Josi Verlingieri 87.60 179.80 267.40 9th 5th Gordon Waterstone 162.30 94.20 256.50 3rd 6th Ray Garnett 69.70 182.70 252.40 15th 7th Derick Giwner 111.20 137.90 249.10 5th 8th Bob Zanakis 50.80 175.30 226.10 17th 9th Sally Hinckley 129.80 53.60 183.40 4th 10th Brandon Valvo 100.10 66.20 166.30 6th 11th Mark Dezii 76.00 84.40 160.40 13th 12th Jay Hochstetler 85.20 68.00 153.20 11th 13th Dennis O'Hara 80.30 69.80 150.10 12th 14th Garnet Barnsdale 98.00 38.80 136.80 7th 15th Earl Paulson 86.30 50.00 136.30 10th 16th Rusty Nash 71.10 41.20 112.30 14th 17th Mark McKelvie 52.80 33.20 86.00 16th 18th Mark Deutsch 50.50 34.30 84.80 18th 19th Ray Cotolo 48.20 33.10 81.30 19th This week (May 29 and 30), the Grand Circuit challenge heads north to The Raceway at Western Fair District for the season closing Molson Pace on Friday then heads to Yonkers Raceway for the Art Rooney Pace and Lismore Pace on Saturday for three year olds of both sexes.  The following week finds the contest at June 5 at the Meadows for the Currier & Ives for three year old filly trotters and June 6 at a quartet of tracks; The Meadows for the Currier & Ives (three year old open trotters); The Meadowlands for the Graduate Series (four year old open pacers and trotters); Scioto Downs for the Charlie Hill (four year old open trotter); Mohawk Raceway for the Somebeachsomewhere (three year old open pace). For details on the specific races and other information regarding the contest, visit http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott Harness Racing Coordinator

(May 4, 2015) - With four legs of 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, Buffalo Raceway announcer Michael Carter has taken an early lead with 319.70 points.   Carter managed to surge to the lead due in a large part to his performance on Saturday afternoon where he had three winners, including Lady Suffolk second division winner, Northern Obsession which paid $46.20 to win.   Carter would have gone four for four on Saturday if not for his selection in the Dexter Cup, Divisionist finishing second.  Other performers of note were Bryan Owen and Gordon Waterstone who went three for four, alas without selecting Northern Obsession.   The current standings after four legs are: Standings as of Sunday, May 3 - Leg 4     Total Points Points Earned Overall Position Pos Handicapper Prior Week This Week Total Points Last Week 1st Michael Carter  11.60 308.10 319.70 13th (tie) 2nd Gordon Waterstone 43.50 105.20 148.70 2nd 3rd Bryan Owen 39.70 107.30 147.00 5th 4th Sally Hinckley 48.20 47.70 95.90 1st 5th Derick Giwner 33.90 58.20 92.10 8th 6th Brandon Valvo 40.90 51.00 91.90 4th 7th Earl Paulson 43.20 34.90 78.10 3rd 8th Ann Stepien 11.60 65.70 77.30 13th (tie) 9th Mark Dezii 37.00 34.60 71.60 6th 10th Josi Verlingieri 33.40 31.70 65.10 9th 11th Dennis O'Hara  18.10 45.20 63.30 11th 12th Jay Hochstetler  4.20 58.60 62.80 18th 13th Rusty Nash 35.70 21.20 56.90 7th 14th Garnet Barnsdale 8.00 46.90 54.90 15th (tie) 15th Mark McKelvie 5.90 46.90 52.80 17th 16th Mark Deutsch 11.90 38.60 50.50 12th   17th Ray Garnett 31.80 18.10 49.90 10th 18th Ray Cotolo 8.00 40.20 48.20 15th (tie) 19th Bob Zanakis 0.00 37.20 37.20 19th Three new handicappers join the fray, two replacing handicappers forced to scratch due to circumstances beyond their control, while one handicapper is a new addition. Coming off the also eligible list is Bob Zanakis who is a handicapper familiar to followers of this series and Jay Hochstetler, an intern at the Horsemen and Fair World and an assistant trainer. Added to the roster is Mark Deutsch, a former owner and trainer who now enjoys handicapping harness racing primarily on the WEG circuit. As substitutes, Hochstetler takes over representing Rainhill Sanctuary, while Zanakis assumes representing Helping Hearts Equine Rescue. Mark Deutsch chose New Vocations as his rescue of choice.  Two new sponsors have joined the contest.  HANA welcomes Red Shores Charlottetown as a Silver sponsor while an Anonymous donor has signed on as a double Bronze sponsor.  Thanks to these additions, the contest handicappers are playing for a HANA Harness-record $5,700 in prize money to be distributed to the top three handicapper's selected standardbred rescues and Canadian rescues selected by the Canadian sponsors.  This coming week, there are no events but the Handicapping Challenge returns the following week for events Saturday-Monday (5/16-5/18).  For details on the specific races and other information regarding the contest, visit http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Coordinator Check out our contest site for the 2015 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge. Check out HANA Harness' Blog.  

(April 20, 2015) - The sponsors have stepped up and the handicappers selected for 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. With the handicappers chomping on the bit, the contest finally gets underway with The Meadows Maturity on Friday afternoon, April 24, 2015, followed the next evening with racing action at Yonkers Raceway where the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Memorial series finals will be contested. This year the sponsors have allowed the handicapping challenge to secure a record $5,250 in prize funds to be divided between the standardbred rescues of the top three handicappers at the conclusion of the contest. In addition to the presenting sponsors, additional sponsors are Green Acquisition Corporation, Harness Racing Update, Isle of Capri Pompano Park, The Raceway at Western Fair District, and Scioto Downs Racino. HANA thanks all the sponsors for stepping up to support the contest and standardbred rescue. Handicapper selections will be available on the contest website the morning of each day's events. Race fans and horseplayers may find those selections and additional contest information at the contest website http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com . In addition, fans may follow the contest on social media by searching for the hash tag #hanagc2015. Allan Schott

(April 12, 2015) - HANA Harness welcomes the Bellino Stable as a Gold Sponsor and The Raceway at Western Fair District as a Silver sponsor in the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Bellino Stable, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Harness Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. With less than two weeks prior to the commencement of the contest on April 24, it is Last Call for becoming a sponsor. While naming rights for the handicapping contest have been sold out, affordable sponsorship opportunities remain, starting with our Bronze Level ($100), Silver Level ($250) and topping out at $500 for the Gold Level. If you are a racetrack, horsemen association, racing stable, or a vendor who does business in the harness racing industry, sponsorship is a perfect way to get your name out within the industry as supporters of standardbred rescue. The deadline for becoming a sponsor is Friday, April 17. To become a sponsor or for further information, you may contact allan@hanaweb.org. For further information on the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge, visit the contest website here.       Allan Schott HANA Harness Coordinator Check out our contest site for the 2015 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge. Check out HANA Harness' Blog.      

(March 13, 2015) - The field has been set, the races picked, and the rescues selected for the 2015 HANA Harness Racing Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, all sponsors who have renewed their support for standardbred rescue with their sponsorship (additional sponsors are anticipated). As for handicappers, one old friend and two new faces join the returning roster of handicappers. Richard Scott returns to the contest after a one year hiatus. Scott was the winner of the 2013 handicapping contest and looks to attempt to reclaim his title. Scott is a former trainer who worked for the Bessinger, Silverman, and David Elliot stables in his career. Making their debut to the contest this year are Michael Carter, the current track announcer at Buffalo Raceway, and Mark Dezii, a racing fan who is a musician who hails from Philadelphia, PA. The complete roster, last year's placing, and selected rescues for the 2015 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is: Garnet Barnsdale - Harness Racing Writer, WEG Handicapper for DRF Harness; (1st); TROTR; Therapeutic Riding and Off-Track Rehabilitation) Michael Carter - Track Announcer at Buffalo Raceway; (Did Not Compete); Central Virginia Horse Rescue Ray Cotolo - Internet Harness Racing Analyst and Writer; (15th); Sunshine Horse Rescue. Mark Dezii - Race Fan and Musician; (DNC); Horse Lovers United Ray Garnett -Handicapper; (14th); Rockin T Equine Rescue Derick Giwner - Editor, DRF Harness; (8th); New Vocations Sally Hinckley - On-air Handicapping Personality; (12th); Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals Brian McEvoy - Works for Harnesslink, (3rd); Helping Hearts Equine Rescue Mark McKelvie - Communications Coordinator for WEG; (2nd); Horse Rescue United Rusty Nash - Trackmaster Handicapper; (9th); Rainhill Sanctuary. Bryan Owen - Former Owner and Handicapper;(DNC); Standardbred Retirement Foundation Dennis O'Hara - Handicapper, Former Asst Race Secretary; (11th); Standardbred Retirement Foundation Earl Paulson - Handicapper, Yahoo Harness Racing Forum Director; (5th); Racer Placers Richard Scott - Handicapper/Former Trainer, (DNC; 1st in 2013); Rainhill Sanctuary. Anne Stepien - Handicapper, Former Trainer; (13th); Heading for Home Brandon Valvo - Handicapper, Writer for Harness Racing America; (6th); Horse Lovers United Josi Verlingieri - Handicapper; (7th); Heart of Phoenix Gordon Waterstone - Associate Editor, Horseman and Fair World; (10th); Changing Fates Equine Rescue A new scoring system has been implemented for this year's contest with handicappers focusing on the horse who will win the race, bringing a mix of quantity and value to the handicappers' plans this year. For those who wish details on how the scoring will be done, the rules page explains. The competition begins on April 24 with the inaugural Meadows Futurity Trot and concludes on November 29 with the Progress Stake at Dover Downs. Handicappers and fans may follow the contest by visiting the contest website at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. HANA Harness is the Harness Racing division of Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA), a group which since 2008 represents over 3,000 horseplayers in dealings with the racing industry. Since HANA Harness began sponsoring handicapping contests, over $10,000 has been donated to standardbred recues. All horseplayers, regardless of breed are invited to join HANA for free. For further information regarding HANA, please visit the HANA website at http://horseplayersassociation.org/. For further information on joining the current sponsors by becoming a sponsor at the Gold, Silver, or Bronze level, click here.. Allan Schott HANA Harness Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org Check out our contest site for the 2015 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge. Check out HANA Harness' Blog.

December 9, 2014 - With the Cleveland Classic not filling, the last leg of HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs has been cancelled resulting in Garnet Barnsdale being named the top handicapper for this year's contest with a net profit of $4,553.40, over $3,000 ahead of second place Mark McKelvie who had a net profit of $1,276. In a last minute move, Harnesslink's Brian McEvoy managed to nail Bob Zanakis for the show position, thanks to his $250 win wager on McWicked on Sunday's Progress stake at Dover Downs. While not finishing in the money, the last leg's big winner was Earl Paulson who had a $250 play on the winning Trifecta which gave him a weekly net profit of $2,850, allowing him to move up from tenth to fifth place, putting him withiin striking distance of the third spot if he was successful in the Cleveland Classic but alas, it was not to be. By nature of Barnsdale's winning of the contest, a donation of $1,500 will be made to his selected standardbred rescue, TROTR (Therapeutic Riding and Off Track Rehabilitation) in addition, donations of $250 will be made by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) and Red Shores-Charlottetown to the Canadian rescues of their choice in honor of Garnet's victory. For his second place finish, a donation of $1,050 will be made to McKelvie's selected rescue, Rainhill Sanctuary. A donation of $450 will be made to Horse Rescue United, Brian McEvoy's selected rescue. Final Standings (53 Legs) Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Garnet Barnsdale ($204.00) $4,553.40   2nd Mark McKelvie ($250.00) $1,276.00 $3,277.40 3rd Brian McEvoy $175.00 $33.50 $4,519.90 4th Bob Zanakis ($250.00) ($53.05) $4,606.45 5th Earl Paulson $2,850.00 ($57.50) $4,610.90 6th Brandon Valvo $175.00 ($620.00) $5,173.40 7th Josi Verlingieri $175.00 ($1,005.40) $5,558.80 8th Derick Giwner ($250.00) ($1,073.23) $5,626.63 9th Rusty Nash $350.00 ($1,733.36) $6,286.76 10th Gordon Waterstone ($250.00) ($2,131.30) $6,684.70 11th Dennis O'Hara ($250.00) ($4,086.65) $8,640.05 12th Sally Hinckley $370.00 ($4,267.40) $8,820.80 13th Anne Stepien ($180.00) ($4,787.93) $9,341.33 14th Ray Garnett ($250.00) ($6,352.80) $10,906.20 15th Ray Cotolo ($250.00) ($10,048.40) $14,601.80 HANA Harness would like to once again thank its Gold Sponsors, the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowland Racing and Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs as well as COSA and Red Shores-Charlottetown for their sponsorship and the handicappers which allowed this contest to help standardbred rescues across North America. For further information on HANA, please visit our website http://www.horseplayersassociation.org/. by Allan Schott, for HANA

November 30, 2014 - How do you best describe Leg 52 of HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs? A Romp. Admittedly, with only four races remaining going in to last night's action, many of the handicappers were looking for that hit to vault them into contention while others were thwarted by the upset in the TVG Trot which was won by Intimidate making their efforts for naught. However when the dust settled, Sally Hinckley remained true to form and was rewarded with the sole winning wager of the evening to show a weekly net profit of $1,625 to get top honors for the week. Hinckley's hit came in the TVG Pace Final where she played a $125 Exacta Box of Sweet Lou and Foiled Again which paid $1,875, cutting her overall loss to $4,637.40. Despite being shut out last night, Garnet Barnsdale continues cruising towards the contest finish line with an overall net profit of $4,757.40, leading his closest competitor by $3,231.40 with just two races remaining. The current standings with two legs remaining in the competition are:   As of November 29, 2014 - Leg 52 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Garnet Barnsdale ($250.00) $4,757.40   2nd Mark McKelvie ($250.00) $1,526.00 $3,231.40 3rd Bob Zanakis ($150.00) $196.95 $4,560.45 4th Brian McEvoy ($250.00) ($141.50) $4,898.90 5th Brandon Valvo ($250.00) ($795.00) $5,552.40 6th Derick Giwner ($248.20) ($823.23) $5,580.63 7th Josi Verlingieri ($250.00) ($1,180.40) $5,937.80 8th Gordon Waterstone ($250.00) ($1,881.30) $6,638.70 9th Rusty Nash ($250.00) ($2,083.36) $6,840.76 10th Earl Paulson ($250.00) ($2,907.50) $7,664.90 11th Dennis O'Hara ($240.00) ($3,836.65) $8,594.05 12th Anne Stepien ($250.00) ($4,607.93) $9,365.33 13th Sally Hinckley $1,625.00 ($4,637.40) $9,394.80 14th Ray Garnett ($240.00) ($6,102.80) $10,860.20 15th Ray Cotolo $0.00 ($9,798.40) $14,555.80 The Handicapping Shoot-Out takes a week off before the final two legs are contested beginning with the Progress Stake at Dover Downs on December 7 before wrapping up on December 12 at Northfield Park for the Cleveland Classic.  For more information, visit HANA Harness’ contest website at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.     by Allan Schott, for HANA  

November 23, 2014 - As with several Breeders Crown champions this past weekend, Garnet Barnsdale opened up a commanding lead in Legs 50 and 51 of HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest thanks to his weekly net profit of $2,446.10. With his tally this week, Barnsdale's overall net profit is $5,007.40, giving him a lead of $3,231.40 over second place Mark McKelvie. With three legs (four races) remaining in this year's contest, it would seemingly take a monster hit by one of his opponents and a collapse on his part for someone to take the lead away from him. While first place appears safe, there is a real battle for second and third place as the finishers in those positions will also have donations made to their rescues of choice. Second place McKelvie has an overall net profit of $1,776, roughly $1,430 ahead of third place Bob Zanakis' $346.95. While not in a cashing position, Brian McEvoy is sitting in fourth place within stalking distance as he is less than $240 behind Zanakis, On Friday night, Derick Giwner came out $883.20 to the plus side thanks to his plays in the Breeders Crown 3yo filly pace as a $72 win ticket earned him a $756 payout. In addition to the win wager, Giwner had a $1 Trifecta partial wheel ticket (total of $42) which paid $505.20. In the same race, Barndsale earned $806.40 thanks to his $1010.40 payoff on a $2 Trifecta key ($168). Saturday evening, was all Barnsdale with a daily profit of $1,659.70, followed by Dennis O'Hara's $605 and Rusty Nash's $440. Barnsdale's profit came primarily thanks to a $1 Trifecta wheel ($72) in the Breeders Crown Open Mare Pace which returned $1,998. O'Hara managed to hit a $132 Trifecta partial wheel ($390) in the 2yo filly trot which paid $975 while in the Open Mare Pace, Nash's $200 Place wager (part of a Win, Place combo; $400) returned a $840 dividend. The current standings with three legs remaining in the competition are: by Allan Schott, for HANA

November 9, 2014 - In perhaps the most competitive week of the competition, Brandon Valvo finished ahead of six other handicappers with positive ROIs in leg 49 of HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest, thanks to his weekly net profit of $1,220 (-$385 overall), $660 ahead of overall leader Garnet Barnsdale. With Barnsdale's weekly profit of $560, he returns to the top of the standings with a net profit of $2,541.as the handicappers head into the bye week before the Breeders' Crown finals. Finishing third this week was Brian McEvoy ($500, $128.50 overall), followed by Gordon Waterstone ($320, -$1,031.30), Dennis O'Hara ($200, -$3,801.65), Earl Paulson ($90, -$2,317.50) and Josi Verlingieri ($85, -$530,40). Valvo owes his success this week thanks to two $200 Win wagers placed in this past Thursday's Matron Stakes at Dover Downs; the first wager in the 2yo colt and gelding pacer tilt returning $480 while his stake in the 3yo filly pacer event paying a generous $1,140 dividend). Barnsdale successfully let it ride in the 2yo colt and gelding pace as his $400 Win investment returned $960. Third place finisher McEvoy's profit was attributable to a $100 Win and $150 Place stake in the 2yo filly pace returning a combined $750. Other significant wagers this week were made by Dennis O'Hara whose $200 straight Trifecta in the 3yo filly pace paid $600; Earl Paulson's two $50 Win wagers in the 2yo colt and gelding trot returning $155 and the 2yo filly pace paying $210; Josi Verlingieri's $150 Win bet in the 2yo colt and gelding pace returning $360; Gordon Waterstone's $300 wager in the freshman colt and gelding pace paying $720. . The current standings after the completion of this past week's action are: As of November 6, 2014 - Leg 49 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Garnet Barnsdale $560.00 $2,541.30   2nd Mark McKelvie ($316.00) $1,790.00 $316.00 3rd Bob Zanakis ($400.00) $867.95 $1,238.05 4th Brian McEvoy $500.00 $128.50 $1,977.50 5th Brandon Valvo $1,220.00 ($385.00) $2,491.00 6th Josi Verlingieri $85.00 ($530.40) $2,636.40 7th Gordon Waterstone $320.00 ($1,031.30) $3,137.30 8th Derick Giwner ($340.00) ($1,058.23) $3,164.23 9th Rusty Nash ($295.00) ($2,073.36) $4,179.36 10th Earl Paulson $90.00 ($2,317.50) $4,423.50 11th Dennis O'Hara $200.00 ($3,801.65) $5,907.65 12th Anne Stepien ($161.00) ($4,267.43) $6,373.43 13th Ray Garnett ($400.00) ($5,066.80) $7,172.80 14th Sally Hinckley ($340.00) ($5,462.40) $7,568.40 15th Ray Cotolo ($400.00) ($8,998.40) $11,104.40 The Handicapping Shoot-Out takes a week off in preparation for Breeders' Crown Finals weekend.  For Breeders' Crown weekend, each handicapper will be able to wager up to $400 on each night.  After the Breeders' Crown, the contest has three more legs; the Meadowlands for the TVG Finals, Dover Downs' Progress Stake, before wrapping up with the Cleveland Classic at Northfield Park.  Handicapper selections, results and standings are available at HANA Harness' contest website athttp://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.                                                                                                                                                    by Allan Schott, for HANA

October 26, 2014 - After a duo of contest nights, handicapper Earl Paulson came out as top dog out of four handicappers who showed a profit this week in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest  thanks to his weekly net profit of $850.50, whittling away at his overall net loss which now stands at a negative $2,407.50. With regards to the overall lead, Mark McKelvie jumped back into the lead from third place with his weekly profit of $526.50 (overall $2,106), a mere $124.70 lead over Garnet Barnsdale whose weekly profit of $246 ($1,981.30) was not enough to keep him from being relegated to second. With his loss of $366.90 ($1,267.95), Bob Zanakis fell to third place but remains in the hunt being only $838.05 out of first place. Last, but not least with a positive ROI for the week was Dennis O'Hara who ended up with a profit of $275 (-$4,001.65) Interesting about this week is while there were four handicappers who had a positive ROI, only Dennis O'Hara was able to show a profit in leg 48 at Vernon Downs where his $675 profit was achieved thanks to a $125 two-horse Exacta box in the Kindergarten Classic for 2yo colts which returned $925. On Friday night (leg 47) at Hoosier Park, Paulson had a $913.50 profit thanks to a four-horse $3 Superfecta box ($72) in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby which paid a dividend of $1,297.50. McKelvie show a profit of $569 thanks to a $20 Win ticket played on The Carl Erskine which returned $122 and a $10 Trifecta combination ticket ($150) in the Monument Circle Final which paid $837. Barnsdale's $496 profit resulted from a $80 exacta in the Carl Erskine which paid $896. The current standings after the completion of this past weekend's activity are: As of November 1, 2014 - Leg 48 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Mark McKelvie $526.50 $2,106.00   2nd Garnet Barnsdale $246.00 $1,981.30 $124.70 3rd Bob Zanakis ($366.90) $1,267.95 $838.05 4th Brian McEvoy $0.00 ($371.50) $2,477.50 5th Josi Verlingieri ($189.25) ($615.40) $2,721.40 6th Derick Giwner ($580.00) ($718.23) $2,824.23 7th Gordon Waterstone ($86.00) ($1,351.30) $3,457.30 8th Brandon Valvo ($650.00) ($1,605.00) $3,711.00 9th Rusty Nash ($358.00) ($1,778.36) $3,884.36 10th Earl Paulson $850.50 ($2,407.50) $4,513.50 11th Dennis O'Hara $275.00 ($4,001.65) $6,107.65 12th Anne Stepien $0.00 ($4,106.43) $6,212.43 13th Ray Garnett ($425.50) ($4,666.80) $6,772.80 14th Sally Hinckley ($650.00) ($5,122.40) $7,228.40 15th Ray Cotolo ($250.00) ($8,598.40) $10,704.40 The Handicapping Shoot-Out has a rare mid-week date this week with Thursday’s card at Dover Downs where the Matron Stakes for 2 and 3yos of both sexes and gaits will be contested.  After this week’s action, the handicapping challenge takes a week off in anticipation of Breeders Crown weekend.  Handicapper selections, results and standings are available at HANA Harness’ contest website at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.     by Allan Schott, for HANA

October 26, 2014 – In any handicapping contest, it takes only one successful wager to get back into the hunt, and it is has never been truer as Garnet Barnsdale leapfrogged from 6th place to the top of the standings in HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest. As a result of a $2,400 net profit thanks to his $200 trifecta play in the Lady Maud at Yonkers Raceway Saturday night, Barnsdale leads the pack with an overall net profit of $1,735.30, $100.45 ahead of second place Bob Zanakis.  Right behind the top two is Mark McKelvie who dropped from first to third, only $155.80 from the top position.  Not to be left out, Derick Giwner jumped from 9th place to 4th thanks to his $5 trifecta play (total of $35) in Dayton Raceway’s Trotting Derby on Friday which paid a $2,539.00 dividend resulting in a weekly net profit of $1,889 (overall net profit of -$138.23).  While Giwner is still $1,800+ behind the leader, he is well within striking range of the lead.  The current standings after the completion of this past weekend’s activity are:   As of October 25, 2014 - Leg 46 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Garnet Barnsdale $2,400.00 $1,735.30   2nd Bob Zanakis $95.50 $1,634.85 $100.45 3rd Mark McKelvie ($342.50) $1,579.50 $155.80 4th Derick Giwner $1,889.00 ($138.23) $1,873.53 5th Josi Verlingieri ($650.00) ($426.15) $2,161.45 6th Brian McEvoy ($200.00) ($571.50) $2,306.80 7th Brandon Valvo ($500.00) ($955.00) $2,690.30 8th Gordon Waterstone ($194.00) ($1,265.30) $3,000.60 9th Rusty Nash ($342.50) ($1,420.36) $3,155.66 10th Earl Paulson ($90.00) ($3,258.00) $4,993.30 11th Anne Stepien ($154.00) ($4,106.43) $5,841.73 12th Ray Garnett ($640.00) ($4,241.30) $5,976.60 13th Dennis O'Hara ($240.00) ($4,276.65) $6,011.95 14th Sally Hinckley ($270.00) ($4,472.40) $6,207.70 15th Ray Cotolo ($500.00) ($8,348.40) $10,083.70 As the Handicapping Shoot-Out heads into the homestretch, this week’s races brings the contestants to Hoosier Park Friday Evening for the final time this year with the $250,000(Est.) Monument Circle for 3yo colt pacers, the $225,000(Est.) Carl Erskine for 3yo trotters, $210,000(Est.) Hoosier Park Pacing Derby for 3yos and up, as well as the $175,000(Est.) Nadia Lobell and $200,000(Est.) Moni Maker for 3yo filly pacers and trotters, respectively on tap.  On Saturday evening, the action returns to Vernon Downs for the $240,400 Kindergarten Classic final for 2yo colt trotters, $250,500 Kindergarten Classic final for 2yo filly trotters in addition to the $175,000(Est.) Artiscape for filly and mare pacers and the $175,000(Est.) Muscle Hill for filly and mare trotters.  The Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.                                                      by Allan Schott, for HANA    

October 18, 2014 - Dennis O'Hara was able to battle his way through a tough evening at Maywood Park to come out ahead for the week with a net profit of $382 in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. How tough a week was it? The only other handicapper to come out ahead was Brian McEvoy who eked out a $7.50 net profit. O'Hara can attribute his victory this week on his 'all in' bet on The Galt Stake by investing $240 on $20 Superfecta combinations which returned a $622 dividend. Clearly, it was a week the vast majority of handicappers are happy to put behind them as they turn the page and look forward to the racing action at Dayton Raceway, Yonkers Raceway, and Woodbine Racetrack this weekend. Despite coming out on the negative side this week, Mark McKelvie remains the overall leader with a net profit of $1,922, leading second-place Bob Zanakis ($1,539.35) by $382.65. In the third position is Josi Verlingieri ($223.85).   As of October 17, 2014 - Leg 44 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Mark McKelvie ($150.00) $1,922.00   2nd Bob Zanakis ($184.50) $1,539.35 $382.65 3rd Josi Verlingieri ($50.00) $223.85 $1,698.15 4th Brian McEvoy $7.50 ($371.50) $2,293.50 5th Brandon Valvo ($250.00) ($455.00) $2,377.00 6th Garnet Barnsdale ($250.00) ($664.70) $2,586.70 7th Gordon Waterstone ($250.00) ($1,071.30) $2,993.30 8th Rusty Nash ($250.00) ($1,077.86) $2,999.86 9th Derick Giwner ($65.00) ($2,027.23) $3,949.23 10th Earl Paulson ($250.00) ($3,168.00) $5,090.00 11th Ray Garnett ($96.00) ($3,601.30) $5,523.30 12th Anne Stepien ($242.80) ($3,952.43) $5,874.43 13th Dennis O'Hara $382.00 ($4,036.65) $5,958.65 14th Sally Hinckley ($250.00) ($4,202.40) $6,124.40 15th Ray Cotolo ($250.00) ($7,848.40) $9,770.40 This week the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out is in action both Friday with Dayton Raceway’s Pacing and Trotting Derbies and Saturday evening with the Final Four stakes at Woodbine and the Yonkers Trot and Messenger Stakes leading the Grand Circuit action at the Old Hilltop along with the International Prep which features the return match-up of Commander Crowe and Sebastian K on North American soil. The Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.                                                                                                                                                                     by Allan Schott, for HAHA 

October 12, 2014 – This past week, HANA Harness’ Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest began a two week stay in Chi-Town with the American Nationals at Balmoral Park.  Handicappers had their choice of eleven races to play and by the time the dust settled on the evening’s races, Mark McKelvie romped to victory for the week with a net profit of $1,412 more than $1,200 over his nearest competitor and took the overall lead ($2,072) from Bob Zanakis ($1,7233.85) by a total of $348.15.  In addition to McKelvie, those handicappers with a profit for the week were Rusty Nash ($187.50), Sally Hinckley ($132.50), Derick Giwner ($86), and Brian McEvoy ($12.50). McKelvie’s breakout race was the American National for 3yo pacing fillies thank to his $20 Win and Place wager on Precious Beauty which paid a handsome $400 return for the $40 wager.  In addition to the wager on the race winner, McKelvie had a $20 3-horse Exacta box ($120 total) which returned a generous $1,412. Hinckley went positive for the week thank to her $30 3-horse Trifecta key ($180) in the American National for 3yo trotting colts and geldings which paid a $318 dividend.  Nash had 3 winners out of the 4 races, with his best returns coming in the American National for 3yo filly trotters ($150 Win on Shake it Cerry returning $270) and for 4yo and up trotters ($50 Win on Creatine paying $160).  Giwner’s big hits came in the consolation for 3yo colt and gelding pace where a $100 Exacta paid $300 and in the American National for 3yo trotting fillies where his $60 Exacta play returned $186. The current standings after the completion of the weekend’s activity are:     As of October 11, 2014 - Leg 43 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Mark McKelvie $1,412.00 $2,072.00   2nd Bob Zanakis ($115.80) $1,723.85 $348.15 3rd Josi Verlingieri ($271.00) $273.85 $1,798.15 4th Brandon Valvo ($250.00) ($205.00) $2,277.00 5th Brian McEvoy $12.50 ($379.00) $2,451.00 6th Garnet Barnsdale ($400.00) ($414.70) $2,486.70 7th Gordon Waterstone $0.00 ($821.30) $2,893.30 8th Rusty Nash $187.50 ($827.86) $2,899.86 9th Derick Giwner $86.00 ($1,962.23) $4,034.23 10th Earl Paulson ($400.00) ($2,918.00) $4,990.00 11th Ray Garnett ($382.20) ($3,505.30) $5,577.30 12th Anne Stepien ($160.40) ($3,709.63) $5,781.63 13th Sally Hinckley $132.50 ($3,952.40) $6,024.40 14th Dennis O'Hara ($214.75) ($4,418.65) $6,490.65 15th Ray Cotolo $0.00 ($7,598.40) $9,670.40 This week the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out remains in Illinois for stakes action at Maywood Park featuring the $190,000 Windy City Pace for 3 year old colts and geldings, $70,000 Cinderella Stake (3 year old pacing fillies), $92,000 Galt Stakes for 3year old colt and gelding trotters, and the $50,000 Abe Lincoln for 2 year old colt and gelding pacers.   The Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.           by Allan Schott, for HANA

The second week of the Grand Circuit at The Red Mile was a frustrating one for the handicappers, yet by the time the last race for the year at the Red Mile concluded, Derick Giwner was the last man standing as he clawed out weekly honors in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest  with a net profit of $258. How tough a week was it? The only other player with a positive return on investment was Brian McEvoy who managed a net profit of $67.50. Overall leader Bob Zanakis, who despite his net loss of $246.50 for the week, managed with his contest to date net profit of $1,839.65 to lengthen his lead to $1,179.65 over second place Mark McKelvie with Josi Verlingieri and Brandon Valvo right behind in third and fourth place respectively. On Thursday (October 2), it became clear this was not going to be a breakout week as the day ended with Anne Stepien ($90 net profit), Rusty Nash ($83), and Brian McEvoy ($30) showing modest profits with the majority of handicappers losing most, if not all of their daily bankrolls. Stepien came out ahead on the first day thanks to her $20 WPS ticket ($60 total) on first division winner, Flirty Filly, in the International Stallion Stakes (ISS) for 2yo filly trotters which returned $266 while Nash made his net profit with a $20 win/place ticket ($40) on Flirty Filly returning $222.00. On Friday, Verilingieri and Giwner showed signs of coming to life with respective daily net profits of $215 and $164. In the third division of the ISS for 2yo trotting colts, Verilingieri's $85 win ticket on race winner Pinkman paid $425 while Giwner coupled the race winner with Billy Flynn to form a winning $40 exacta ticket which returned $384. Saturday belonged to Earl Paulson ($150) and Bob Zanakis ($125). Paulson's profit was made on a single wager on the second division of The Tattersalls when his $250 win play on Jk Endofanera returned $400. Zanakis earned a $125 profit on the second division of the ISS for 2yo colt pacers by playing a $250 win ticket on Lost For Words. Sunday's finale was a case of recovery for handicappers Ray Garnett ($628) and Gordon Waerstone ($295) and sealing victory by Giwner ($391). Garnett's profit came on a single wager, a $20 Exacta box of four horses in the Allerage Farms Open which turned a $240 investment into a $868 return thanks to State Treasurer finishing ahead of Foiled Again. Giwner's daily profit came from a $5 Trifecta Key ($100 total) on the first division of the Allerage F&M Open returning $641. Waterstone's was heard from in the second division of the Allerage F&M stake when his $150 win, $100 place wagers on Yagonnakissmeornot returning $545. The current standings after the completion of the weekend's activity are:   As of October 5, 2014 - Leg 42 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis ($246.50) $1,839.65   2nd Mark McKelvie ($690.00) $660.00 $1,179.65 3rd Josi Verlingieri ($388.20) $544.85 $1,294.80 4th Brandon Valvo ($700.00) $45.00 $1,794.65 5th Garnet Barnsdale ($726.00) ($14.70) $1,854.35 6th Brian McEvoy $67.50 ($391.50) $2,231.15 7th Gordon Waterstone ($198.00) ($821.30) $2,660.95 8th Rusty Nash ($580.60) ($1,015.36) $2,855.01 9th Derick Giwner $258.00 ($2,048.23) $3,887.88 10th Earl Paulson ($600.00) ($2,518.00) $4,357.65 11th Ray Garnett ($92.00) ($3,123.10) $4,962.75 12th Anne Stepien ($359.52) ($3,549.23) $5,388.88 13th Sally Hinckley ($1,000.00) ($4,084.90) $5,924.55 14th Dennis O'Hara ($854.00) ($4,203.90) $6,043.55 15th Ray Cotolo ($1,000.00) ($7,598.40) $9,438.05                                                                                  This week the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out heads to Illinois for American-National Saturday.   As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.     by Allan Schott, for HANA                                                     

September 29, 2014 - The first stanza of the Grand Circuit at The Red Mile is in the books and for the week, it was the Garnet Barnsdale Show in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest.  Barnsdale was hot this week, earning a weekly net profit of $3,254 to bring his overall net profit to $711.30, leapfrogging from 11th place to 5th place in the thick of things as he is now only $1,356.85 behind overall leader Bob Zanakis whose overall net profit is $2,086.15, just $718.15 ahead of 2nd place Mark McKelvie. Josi Verlingieri sits in 3rd place with Brandon Valvo and the aforementioned Barnsdale within $250 of her. Day 1 of The Red Mile meet was a tough challenge for all the handicappers with Verlingieri being the only handicapper to score a significant profit of $155 thanks to a $150 win ticket on the winner of the 4th division of the Bluegrass stakes for 2yo filly trotters as Bee The Queen returned a $405 dividend. Day 2 and 3 of the meet was all Barnsdale. On the 2nd day of the meet, Barnsdale earned a net profit of $1,405 thanks to his wagers in the 1st division of the Bluegrass stakes for 2yo filly pacers. A $200 exacta of Better Be Steppin and Hillary's Style returned him $720 while a $50 trifecta including Rock Her World for third return $935. Dennis O'Hara had a daily profit of $175 while Gordon Waterstone earned $100. On the 3rd day of the meet, Barnsdale increased his net profit by $2,349 in the 3rd division of the Bluegrass Stakes for 2yo colt pacers. A $40 superfecta partial wheel ($240 total ticket) of Art Speak-Sicily-Traceur Hanover-Blood Brother returned a dividend of $2,252 while a straight $10 trifecta paid $347. Also rans on day 3 were Verlingieri with a $250 net profit and Rusty Nash with a $178.50 net thanks to winning exactas in the 1st division of the Bluegrass for 3yo colt pacers and the FFA pacers at Scioto Downs in the Jim Ewart Memorial Invitational Pace. Derick Giwner earned $112 for the day. The final day of the 1st stanza of The Red Mile meet was a tough day for all and the only winner of note was Rusty Nash whose $119 net profit was fueled by a $15 trifecta key ($90) in the 1st division of the Bluegrass for 3yo colt trotters which paid $369. The current standings after the completion of the weekend's activity are:   As of September 28, 2014 - Leg 38 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis ($863.20) $2,086.15   2nd Mark McKelvie ($560.00) $1,350.00 $718.15 3rd Josi Verlingieri ($95.00) $933.05 $1,135.10 4th Brandon Valvo ($970.00) $745.00 $1,323.15 5th Garnet Barnsdale $3,254.00 $711.30 $1,356.85 6th Rusty Nash $8.00 ($434.76) $2,502.91 7th Brian McEvoy $100.00 ($459.00) $2,527.15 8th Gordon Waterstone $77.00 ($623.30) $2,691.45 9th Earl Paulson ($727.50) ($1,918.00) $3,986.15 10th Derick Giwner ($282.00) ($2,306.23) $4,374.38 11th Ray Garnett ($448.00) ($3,031.10) $5,099.25 12th Sally Hinckley ($643.00) ($3,084.90) $5,153.05 13th Ann Stepien ($590.80) ($3,189.71) $5,257.86 14th Dennis O'Hara ($555.00) ($3,349.90) $5,418.05 15th Ray Cotolo ($750.00) ($6,598.40) $8,666.55                                                                                  This week, the second stanza of the Red Mile meet is the focus of the handicapping challenge with Thursday racing featuring the International Stallion Stakes (ISS) for 2yo filly trotters.  Friday’ contests include the ISS for 2yo colt trotters and filly pacers.  Saturday’s tilts include the ISS for 2yo colt pacers and the Garnsey Memorial for 3yo filly pacers in addition to the Tatersalls for 3yo open pacers.  Closing day in Lexington features a quartet of races, the first heat of the Kentucky Futurity and Kentucky Filly Futurity plus older horses in the Allerage for 3yo open trotters and pacers as well as their corresponding filly and mare stakes.   As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.       by Allan Schott, for HANA   

September 22, 2014 - With Ray Cotolo's $1,250 profit on Little Brown Jug Day, it looked very much like he would cruise home to victory this week in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. However, by the end the week's handicapping action In Quebec, Cotolo was indeed the weekly winner, but his lead had shrunk from $588 to only $105.20 over Dennis O'Hara as these two handicappers were the only ones to finish the week in the black. While the finish for weekly honors was tight, Bob Zanakis retains a comfortable lead of $1,039.35 to maintain the overall lead ($2,949.35) over second place Mark McKelvie ($1,910.00) through 34 legs of the contest. Brandon Valvo ($1,715.00) trails closely behind in third which rounds out the top three positions where donations are to be made to standardbred horse rescues on the victors' behalf. Jugette Day (Wednesday, September 17) at the Delaware County Fair had Dennis O'Hara lead the handicappers with his daily net profit of $589.80 thanks to his $6 base Superfecta ($240 total) on the Buckette coming in, paying $829.90 which was his sole wager for the day. Second best on Thursday was Josi Verlingieri, whose $410 profit was attributable to a $100 Win ticket on the American-National for 2yo colt trotters at Balmoral Park which paid a $660 dividend. Jug Day (Thursday, September 18) saw Cotolo collect the previously mentioned $1,250 return which was earned on a do-or-die $250 win ticket on the 2nd division of the Jug paying a generous $1,500. Sally Hinckley was the only other player with a positive return Thursday ($632) thanks to her $4 trifecta box ($24 total) in the Old Oaken Bucket which returned $882. With a day off, the contest resumed Saturday night with a septet of races at Hoosier Park plus the Milton Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack. Needless to say, the defeat of Sebastian K took most of the handicappers down but at the end of day, a lone handicapper had a positive return. Dennis O'Hara led the group with a net profit of $135 for Friday thanks to his $300 investment in $25 Superfectas in the 2nd division of the Kentuckiana Stallion Management stake for 2yo pacing fillies which paid $507.50. To conclude the weekend's activity, the team of handicappers did battle with the return of the Prix d'Ete at Hippodrome 3r. By the time the curtain came down on Sunday's action, only two handicappers had a positive return, led by Derick Giwner who had a positive return of $225 thanks to his $150 win wager on Sunfire Blue Chip who returned $375. The other handicapper with a positive return was Verlingieri, whose $125 profit was attributable to her own $150 win ticket. The current standings after the completion of the weekend’s activity are:   As of September 21, 2014 - Leg 34 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis ($789.50) $2,949.35   2nd Mark McKelvie ($462.00) $1,910.00 $1,039.35 3rd Brandon Valvo ($860.00) $1,715.00 $1,234.35 4th Josi Verlingieri ($111.00) $1,028.05 $1,921.30 5th Rusty Nash ($640.00) ($442.76) $3,392.11 6th Brian McEvoy ($337.50) ($559.00) $3,508.35 7th Gordon Waterstone ($361.00) ($700.30) $3,649.65 8th Earl Paulson ($1,095.00) ($1,190.50) $4,139.85 9th Derick Giwner ($675.00) ($2,024.23) $4,973.58 10th Sally Hinckley ($200.00) ($2,441.90) $5,391.25 11th Garnet Barnsdale ($1,148.00) ($2,542.70) $5,492.05 12th Ray Garnett ($956.00) ($2,583.10) $5,532.45 13th Ann Stepien ($466.20) ($2,598.91) $5,548.26 14th Dennis O'Hara $244.80 ($2,794.90) $5,744.25 15th Ray Cotolo $350.00 ($5,848.40) $8,797.75                                                                                    This week, the racing action is concentrated at The Red Mile with various divisions of the Bluegrass being contested Thursday thru Sunday.  The only deviation from an all-Lexington weekend comes Saturday with the $200,000 Jim Ert Memorial Invitational at Scioto Downs for pacers four year old and up..  As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.       Allan Schott HANA Harness Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org      

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