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(September 16, 2017) - Anne Stepien continues to ride her recent streak to be the top harness racing handicapper for the week in the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge moving from 6th to 3rd place overall thanks to her 103.67 point tally for the period of September 13-15. In the overall contest, Rusty Nash holds on to the overall lead for the second week straight, albeit with a shrinking lead of 0.80 points. On Wednesday (9/13) six handicappers dead-heated for the night, selecting Blazin Britches ($3.80) in the Nadia Lobell at Hoosier Park. Each handicapper selecting Blazin Britches, including Stepien, earned 21.67 points for the evening. Friday (9/15) was another Kindergarten Night at the Meadowlands where ten of the eleven races were divisions of the Kindergarten Classic. Gordon Waterstone was best with six winners for the evening, besting Ray Cotolo (2nd) and Steve Horoky (3rd) based on net profit. Stepien ran out of the money but still earned 22 points with four winners for the evening. Saturday (9/16) was a big stakes night at Mohawk Racetrack and eight handicappers had two out of four races tabbed so it came to net profit in determining placing points awaarded. Stepien bested the octet by selecting Blue Moon Stride ($14.30). While Terry Wilson had no winners for the evening, he finished second by cashing in all four races with Dream Together ($3.40; second in Elegantimage), Long Tom ($4.20; third in Canadian Trotting Classic), L A Delight ($8.50 and $4.60; second in Milton), and JL Cruze ($7.50 and $3.90; second in Maple Leaf Trot). In the year to date contest, Nash leads with 905.70 points, ahead of Megan Maccario’s 904.90.  Stepien now sits in third with a total of 848.82. .   Standings thru Saturday, September 16, 2017 - Leg #52   Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Last Week   Streak   1st   Rusty Nash   905.70   6   1st   2   2nd   Megan Maccario   904.90   8   2nd       3rd   Anne Stepien   848.82   7   6th       4th   Matt Rose   838.38   8   3rd       5th   Russ Adams   824.04   7   5th       6th   Dennis O’Hara   806.85   8   4th       7th   Gordon Waterstone   777.00   7   8th       8th   Sally Hinckley   732.98   6   7th       9th   Ray Garnett   724.11   4   9th       10th   Steve Horoky   703.33   3   10th       11th   Bryan Owen   659.90   5   11th       12th   Terry Wilson   595.47   5   12th       13th   Jay Hochstetler   569.50   3   12th       14th   Ray Cotolo   553.33   3   14th       15th   Michael Carter   472.53   3   15th       16th   Richard Mattei   381.30   2   16th           Next Up: Grand Circuit activity continues every day this week with racing from the Delaware County Fair, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Hoosier Park, and Mohawk Racetrack.  Following this week, stakes action moves to Dayton Raceway and The Red Mile in addition to continuing at Harrah’s. The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

(East Rutherford, NJ) - Continuing where he left off at Ocean Downs, Hyway Marcus went wire to wire to win Saturday (September 9) night's $5,000 Bill Weaver Memorial Trot, the second leg of the harness racing RUS MidAtlantic Monte Trotting Series at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Trained and piloted by Sasha Moczulski, Hyway Marcus tripped the teletimer in 1:59.4, an 8½ length victory for owner Keith Pippa of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The race was closer than the result indicated as Pine Tab (Helene Gregory) was tracking the leader the entire mile to close within a quarter length of the winner in the stretch before he went off-stride, losing all chance. One True Friend (Hillary Hartnett) finished second while Pine Tab finished third but disqualified and placed sixth for the untimely miscue. Mr Protab (Emma Wahlberg) finished fourth but was elevated to the show spot. Until the miscue, it was a two-horse race as Hyway Marcus and Pine Tab raced as a team to the quarter pole, hitting the first station in :28.2. As they continued down the backstretch, Pine Tab decided to track the eventual victor, sitting a little more than three lengths behind the leader with The Franchise (Michelle Crawford) two lengths further back in third. The half was reached in a brisk :58. Continuing around the final turn, The Franchise broke stride as Pine Tab made up some ground to be within two lengths of the eventual winner who reached the third station in 1:28.2. One True Friend took over the third position vacated by The Franchise. Hyway Marcus continued to race strong despite the late onslaught by Pine Tab, determined not to be denied. With his victory, the six year old altered son of Gut Instinct is 2 for 2 this season with earnings of $4,600. Lifetime, Hyway Marcus has compiled a 7-5-1-0 record with lifetime RUS earnings of $10,825. Despite earning over $182,000 and a 1:53.3 race mark 'in sulky', it is clear racing under saddle is his specialty. With only nine horses competing in the series, all of Saturday night's starters are eligible to compete in the RUS MidAtlantic series finale on October 8 at Rosecroft Raceway. Most of Saturday night's starters are expected to return. Allan Schott RUS MidAtlantic - Bringing racing under saddle to DE, MD, NJ, and VA      

(August 28, 2017) - After three days of competition (8/25-8/27), a familiar name is on top of the harness racing standings for the week and year to date in the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge as Megan Maccario came out in top for the week with 75 points, just 5 points ahead of Ray Cotolo whose 70 points came in one day; having missed the first two days of the week's competition. For the fourth week in a row, Maccario sits on top of the standings with 779.23 points, 54 points ahead of Rusty Nash's 745.20. Despite not winning a race on Friday night, Maccario came out on top thanks to her selection of Dream Together in the second division of the Casual Breeze as the horse paid $8.60 for second place (no show wagering). While several handicappers selected the winner of the first division, On A Sunny Day, the payoff was not enough to beat Maccario's tally. Saturday there was a three-way dead heat for first place for the day's races at Mohawk as Russ Adams, Ray Garnett, and Terry Wilson hit the trifecta selecting all three winners for the night's races; Shadow Moon ($7.90), Percy Bluechip ($2.90), and Pedro Hanover ($5.00) were the winning horses. Sunday at Tioga Downs, nine stakes races were on the contest sate and a trio of handicappers, Sally Hinckley, Rusty Nash, and Bryan Owen each tabbed five winners but it was Ray Cotolo with four winners who managed to come out ahead as he earned a net profit of $40.10. While Cotolo had a quartet of winners, it was two second place finishers Frost Damage Blues ($21.60 for place and show) In the Artiscape and Cufflink Hanover ($18.60 place and show) in the Crawford Farms which made the difference. Standings as of Sunday, August 27, 2017 - Leg #44   Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Last Week   Streak   1st   Megan Maccario   779.23   8   1st   4   2nd   Rusty Nash   745.20   6   2nd       3rd   Matt Rose   701.38   7   3rd       4th   Russ Adams   693.62   7   4th       5th   Ray Garnett   630.11   4   8th       6th   Sally Hinckley   629.73   6   7th       7th   Dennis O’Hara   627.93   6   6th       8th   Anne Stepien   618.65   5   5th       9th   Gordon Waterstone   584.00   5   9th       10th   Bryan Owen   558.23   5   11th       11th   Steve Horoky   557.16   3   10th       12th   Terry Wilson   465.72   5   13th       13th   Jay Hochstetler   455.00   3   12th       14th   Ray Cotolo   420.33   3   16th       15th   Michael Carter   405.53   3   15th       16th   Adam Friedland   370.30   2   15th         Next Up: Thursday night (8/31) Mohawk Racetrack hosts the Champlain Stake for 2yo filly trotters.  On Friday (9/1), Mohawk hosts the Champlain Stakes for 2yo colt and gelding trotters, the Simcoe Stake for 3yo filly trotter.  Saturday (9/2), Mohawk hosts the Simcoe for 3yo colt and gelding trotters, the Canadian Pacing Derby, the Champlain stake for 2yo pacers of both sexes while Yonkers Raceway features the Yonkers Trot, Messenger Pace, Lady Maud, and the Hudson Filly Trot.  The following week has stakes racing from the Meadowlands, Mohawk Racetrack, and Scioto Downs.  The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.    Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org   Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

(August 21, 2017) - The victories have been far and few for Ray Cotolo this year in the harness racing Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge, but he made up for it big time this past weekend as he earned a net profit of $116.80, over a $100 more than his closest competitor. Megan Maccario remains on top for the third week in a row in the overall chase, 20 points ahead of the pack. The contest week kicked off on Friday evening (8/18) at Vernon Downs and while the first two races of the evening were won by favorites, the Zweig Filly and Open races were upsets and Anne Stepien was the only handicapper able to tab one of the victors, Zweig Filly Stakes winner Evelyn ($16.00) which enabled her to be the only handicapper to show a net profit for the evening of $18.10. Saturday night there was only one race on the contest card, the Sobeys Gold Cup and Saucer at Red Shores-Charlottetown Driving Park and once again only one handicapper came out in the black, Adam Friedland. Friedland managed to select the winner Shadow Place ($22.00) netting $29.80 for the evening. Sunday's races at Tioga Downs and Hippodrome 3R saw Cotolo come to the table firing on all cylinders by managing to sweep all four tilts. Repentence ($4.20) in the Tompkins and Pasithea Face S ($3.40) in the Ms. Versatility were easy selections but reeling in Dealt A Winner ($72.40) in the Roll With Joe and Western Fame ($14.80) in the Prix d'Ete required spot-on handicapping. By sweeping the card, Cotolo netted $122.80 for the day. The overall race remains tight with less than 30 points separating Maccario (704.23) from second place Rusty Nash (684.20) and third place Matt Rose (675.38).    Standings as of Sunday, August 20, 2017 - Leg #41   Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Last Week   Streak   1st   Megan Maccario   704.23   7   1st   3   2nd   Rusty Nash   684.20   6   3rd       3rd   Matt Rose   675.38   7   2nd       4th   Russ Adams   625.62   6   4th       5th   Anne Stepien   602.65   5   9th       6th   Dennis O’Hara   591.43   6   8th       7th   Sally Hinckley   570.23   6   5th       8th   Ray Garnett   567.11   3   7th       9th   Gordon Waterstone   558.00   5   8th       10th   Steve Horoky   525.66   3   10th       11th   Bryan Owen   494.23   5   11th       12th   Jay Hochstetler   414.00   3   12th       13th   Terry Wilson   407.72   4   13th       14th   Michael Carter   387.03   3   14th       15th   Adam Friedland   370.30   2   15th       16th   Ray Cotolo   350.33   2   16th           Next Up: This weekend, Mohawk Racetrack will be hosting the Nassagaweya (two year old pacers) and the Eternal Camnation (two year old filly pacers) on Saturday night while Tioga Downs hosts on Sunday the Crawford Farm Trot (open trotters) and Joie De Vie (filly and mare trotters) as well as the Artiscape for (filly and mare pacers). The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge  

(July 30, 2017) - With the Hambletonian extravaganza next week, HANA Harness Racing handicappers were tuning up with seventeen Grand Circuit races at The Meadows, Plainridge Park, and Meadowlands over a period of two days (7/28-29). When the final races were concluded, Megan Maccario earned weekly honors with a total of 92 points, besting Steve Horoky and Anne Stepien who dead-heated for second with a tally of 87 points. Maccario's effort was good enough to move into second place, on the heels of overall leader Rusty Nash. Michael Carter, Sally Hinckley, Stepien and Horoky led the pack on Friday with the quartet each winning five of six divisions of the Arden Downs at The Meadows (no one tabbed JL Cruz in the Spirit of Massachusetts), but Stepien bested Horoky by $1.20 to grab the win picture. Ray Garnett only had two winners but with his placing dividends, managed to split the quartet to take show honors. Hinckley landed in fourth place while Carter completed the Pentafeca. Despite finishing out of the money on Friday with three winners, Maccario managed to finish strongly on Saturday, taking down five winners including Cult Iron ($38) in the second division of the Mary Lib Miller Arden Downs Pace, allowing her to out-earn Garnett and Horoky who also had five winning selections thanks to her $40.90 net profit. Garnett's $22.90 was good enough for second place for the day while Horoky's $12.70 allowed him to settle for third. Heading into the Hambletonian leg, Rusty Nash maintains his overall lead for the second straight week with a total of 620.95 points.  Maccario is right behind with 617.48 points while Matt Rose dropped to third with 581.13 points.    Standings as of Saturday, July 29, 2017 - Leg #34   Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Last Week   Streak   1st   Rusty Nash   620.95   6   1st   2   2nd   Megan Maccario   617.48   6   3rd       3rd   Matt Rose   581.13   6   2nd       4th   Russ Adams   534.12   5   4th       5th   Ray Garnett   508.86   3   7th       6th   Gordon Waterstone   506.75   5   5th       7th   Sally Hinckley   492.98   5   6th       8th   Steve Horoky   489.41   3   9th       9th   Dennis O’Hara   477.68   5   8th       10th   Anne Stepien   443.15   5   10th       11th   Jay Hochstetler   346.75   3   11th       12th   Terry Wilson   338.47   3   12th       13th   Michael Carter   337.03   3   13th       14th   Bryan Owen   299.23   2   14th       15th   Adam Friedland   279.80   1   15th       16th   Ray Cotolo   225.33   1   16th         Next Up:  Hambletonian Week Is upon us, meaning the handicappers will be challenged with at least ten races, barring splits.  Among those races are the Peter Haughton Memorial, Fresh Yankee, Jim Doherty Memorial, John Cashman Memorial, Shady Daisy, Cane Pace, Lady Liberty, U S Pacing Championship, Hambletonian Oaks Final and of course, the Hambletonian; all contested at the Meadowlands.  Action starts quickly the following week with a couple of special races contested on Monday, August 7 at Century Downs (Alberta, CA); The Lady Luck (3yoFP) and Ralph Klein Memorial (3yoCGP).  On Friday, August 11, Hoosier Park hosts the Dan Patch with Saturday having  Northfield Park’s Carl Milstein Memorial on the marquee.  The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

July 25, 2017 - RUS MidAtlantic would like to announce the races tentatively scheduled for Woodstock, VA and Frederick, MD will be replaced with harness racing under saddle demonstrations. The demonstrations will take place between the second and third races at the Shenandoah County Fair on September 2 as well as The Great Frederick Fair on September 23. Individuals from RUS MidAtlantic will be available to answer questions for those attending either event, including details on how one can get involved in this exciting sport. Post time at Woodstock is 1 pm while Frederick's post is set for noon. In addition to racing, The Great Frederick Fair will have a standardbred horse show on September 23 from 8:30-11:30 am at the Outdoor Equine Arena. Partial reimbursement for travel/shipping expenses will be available to horsepersons participating in the RUS demonstrations. For further information regarding participating in these demonstrations, contact one of the officers/board members of RUS MidAtlantic. A note to those participating in the RUS MidAtlantic series. Qualifers will be offered at Ocean Downs on August 10 only. Allan Schott allans@rus-midatlantic.org RUS MidAtlantic - Bringing racing under saddle to DE, MD, NJ, and VA

(July 23, 2017) –   Steve Horoky was the top harness racing handicapper for the weekend of July 21-22 in the Hambletonian Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge by earning 67 points, besting Anne Stepien by 5 points with her 62 points.  Rusty Nash finished third for the week with 50 which allowed him to retake the overall lead by the largest margin of the season.  Horoky owes his victory thanks to a trio of winners (Seven Iron, $6; Grand Teton, $6.20; Kissin In The Sand $3.20) and a couple of second place finishes in the Kindergarten Classic series at the Meadowlands Friday evening which gave him first place for the evening with an $18.00 net profit.  Also with three winners were Nash who finished second with a profit of $11.60 while Russ Adams landed in third with his $8.00 profit. Saturday evening, the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace from Saratoga Raceway was the sole race on the card and the victory of Bit Of Legend N ($32.20) was a surprise to all but handicapper Anne Stepien who took down the longshot for first place honors for the night.  A quintet of handicappers dead-heated for second as Boston Red Socks took show honors to salvage the card for them.  Nash’s overall performance the weekend places him in first with 591.95 points, approximately 40 points ahead of Matt Rose’s 552,13 pts.  Megan Maccario remains in third place with 525.48 points while Russ Adams completes the superfecta with 499.12.  Standings as of Saturday, July 22, 2017 - Leg #32 Pos Handicapper Total Points Earned Legs Won Last Week Streak 1st Rusty Nash 591.95 6 2nd 1 2nd Matt Rose 552.13 6 1st   3rd Megan Maccario 525.48 5 3rd   4th Russ Adams 499.12 5 4th   5th Gordon Waterstone 469.75 5 5th   6th Sally Hinckley 452.98 5 6th   7th Ray Garnett 436.86 3 7th   8th Dennis O’Hara 435.68 5 8th   9th Steve Horoky 402.41 2 9th   10th Anne Stepien 356.15 4 12th   11th Jay Hochstetler 322.75 3 10th   12th Terry Wilson 319.47 3 11th   13th Michael Carter 298.03 3 13th   14th Bryan Owen 270.23 2 14th   15th Adam Friedland 262.80 1 15th   16th Ray Cotolo 196.33 1 16th   Next Up:  The Handicapping Challenge heads to Western Pennsylvania with Friday’s slate of Arden Downs races for 2yo trotters.  In addition, the Grand Circuit Challenge visits Plainridge Park for their inaugural Spirit of Massachusetts for Open Trotters.  Saturday afternoon, the series returns to the Meadows for the Adios and Adioo Volo for 3yo trotters plus the Arden Downs for 2yo pacers while the Meadowlands takes center stage in the evening, hosting the Reynolds for 3yo trotters plus the Hambletonian Oaks eliminations.  The following week, the Meadowlands Hambletonian Day card takes center stage. The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

July 17, 2017 - RUS MidAtlantic, a business advocacy group promoting racing under saddle in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia is proud to announce its schedule for the 2017 edition of the RUS MidAtlantic Trotting Series. This year, there will be a total of five races for horses of varying ability with two of the races being conducted at fairs while the other three taking place at pari-mutuel tracks. The fair series consist of two races, September 2 at the Shenandoah County Fair in Woodstock, Virginia and September 23 at The Great Frederick Fair in Frederick, Maryland with both races going for an estimated purse of $1,000. While the Woodstock race will be charted, the race at Frederick will not be charted. Horses must qualify within 90 days of their first start in the series with qualifying standards for the fair series being a clean charted line in 2:16 (half mile), 2:14 (five-eighths), 2:12 (7/8 mile or larger) with allowances for weather and track conditions given. These races are a great opportunity to 'learn and earn' and allow participants and fans to partake of RUS in a relaxed fair setting. The raceway series (previously conducted under the RUS America banner) is scheduled with preliminary legs contested at Ocean Downs (August 20); Meadowlands (September 9) and the final at Rosecroft Raceway (October 8). Estimated purses for the eliminations will be $5,000 with the final going for $7,500. Preference for the final will be for the highest point earners in the preliminary legs. Horses must have a clean charted line within 90 days of their first start in the series with qualifying standards of 2:10 (half mile), 2:08 (five-eighths), 2:06 (7/8 mile or larger) with allowances for weather and track conditions. For those needing to qualify, qualifying races are tentatively scheduled for Ocean Downs on August 3 and August 10. Of course, qualifiers will be accepted from other tracks which chart their races. Races are open to all horses and riders which meet the conditions and USTA rules will apply. Year-end awards will be given to the top five riders in each series. Entries for all races and qualifiers will be handled by the respective tracks according to the time posted on their condition sheets. In the interim, questions should be directed to allans@rus-midatlantic.org. Conditions for both series are posted on the RUS MidAtlantic website (https://www.rus-midatlantic.org) under the RUS Events tab. Sponsorship opportunities for both series remain available. For further information, you may contact RUS MidAtlantic at sponsor@rus-midatlantic.org. Allan Schott  

(July 16, 2017) - Meadowlands Pace Weekend brought fourteen tilts for consideration by the Hambletonian Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge harness racing handicappers and when the dust settled, Matt Rose took top honors for the week earning 92 points which allowed him to retake the overall lead with a grand total of 543.13 points, 1.18 points ahead of second place Rusty Nash (541.95 pts.). On Friday night's (July 14) Meadowlands card, Rose swept the evening's slate of four races, earning a net profit of $10.10 in the fave fest. Anne Stepien, with only two winners, came in second with a net profit of $7.20 besting a quadruplet of handicappers with three winners each. Meadowlands Pace night (July 15) was another night favoring favorites which brought us Steve Horoky and Rusty Nash who each had a 70% strike rate with seven winners but it was Terry Wilson with five winners who took the leg with a net profit of $40.10 by selecting the lone longshot of the evening Mach It So ($34.60) to win the William Haughton Memorial. Finishing second for the night, also tabbing the longshot was Megan Maccario with $38.20 net. Standings as of Saturday, July 15, 2017 - Leg #30   Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Last Week   Streak   1st   Matt Rose   543.13   6   2nd   1   2nd   Rusty Nash   541.95   6   1st       3rd   Megan Maccario   510.48   5   3rd       4th   Russ Adams   470.12   5   4th       5th   Gordon Waterstone   452.75   5   5th       6th   Sally Hinckley   430.98   5   6th       7th   Ray Garnett   419.86   3   7th       8th   Dennis O’Hara   418.68   5   8th       9th   Steve Horoky   335.41   2   10th       10th   Jay Hochstetler   318.75   3   9th       11th   Terry Wilson   297.47   3   15th       12th   Anne Stepien   294.15   3   13th       13th   Michael Carter   294.03   3   11th       14th   Bryan Owen   266.23   2   12th       15th   Adam Friedland   253.80   1   14th       16th   Ray Cotolo   192.33   1   16th         Next Up:  Juveniles of both gaits and sexes take to the Meadowlands for another leg of the Kindergarten Classic on Friday, July 21.  Saturday evening features the Joe Gerrity Memorial at Saratoga Harness.  The following weekend features the Arden Downs and the inaugural Spirit of Massachusetts at The Meadows and Plainridge Park on Friday while Saturday brings us the Adios Day card at The Meadows as the Meadowlands hosts the Hambletonian Oaks eliminations in addition to the Reynolds for three-year-old trotters. The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org   Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

(July 11, 2017) - After three days of competition (July 7-9), Sally Hinckley was the top handicapper earning 129.84 points for the week in the Hambletonian Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge but when the action was completed, it was Rusty Nash who opened a lead of 20 points, the biggest lead in this year's contest. Hinckley managed to be the week's winner, winning the Friday night stanza at the Meadowlands in a squeaker as she was one of five handicappers with two winners tagged but she was the victor by earning $7 more than second place Russ Adams. On Saturday evening, Hinckley finished in third with one winner and $2.60 behind leg victor Gordon Waterstone. Sundays' special leg at Summerside Raceway found Hinckley one of six handicappers who dead-heated for the win, selecting both heavy favorites in the Governor's Plate eliminations. In the overall contest, Rusty Nash earned 71.84 points, giving him the lead with 471.95 points, 20.82 points ahead of Matt Rose whose 451.13 points allowed him to move from third to second. Megan Maccario slips from second to third with 440.48 points. This week's winner Hinckley moved up from eighth to sixth with this week's performance. Standings as of Sunday, July 9, 2017 - Leg #28   Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Last Leg   Streak   1st   Rusty Nash   471.95   6   2nd   1   2nd   Matt Rose   451.13   5   1st       3rd   Megan Maccario   440.48   5   3rd       4th   Russ Adams   426.12   5   4th       5th   Gordon Waterstone   413.75   5   5th       6th   Sally Hinckley   391.98   5   7th       7th   Ray Garnett   390.86   3   6th       8th   Dennis O’Hara   379.68   5   8th       9th   Jay Hochstetler   311.75   3   9th       10th   Steve Horoky   265.41   2   10th       11th   Michael Carter   265.03   3   11th       12th   Bryan Owen   237.23   2   12th       13th   Anne Stepien   232.15   3   15th       14th   Adam Friedland   219.80   1   14th       15th   Terry Wilson   215.47   2   13th       16th   Ray Cotolo   170.33   1   16th         Next Up: This week, two year old pacers of both sexes do battle in the Kindergarten series at the Meadowlands Friday evening. Saturday has the Meadowlands Pace highlighting the racing action which will include the Delvin Miller Memorial, Stanley Dancer Memorial. Mistletoe Shalee, Hambletonian Maturity, and Golden Girls; the Lawrence B Sheppard final at Yonkers Raceway. The following week, Friday night features another leg of the Kindergarten Series for two year old pacers and trotters at the Meadowlands while Saturday night older pacers will compete in the final of the Joe Gerrity Memorial at Saratoga Harness. The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment. The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America. Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. by Allan Schott, for HANA  

(July 2, 2017) - On Saturday evening (July 1), Ray Garnett and Megan Maccario both tabbed four winners in the Sun Stakes (Pocono Downs) and Cleveland Trotting Classic (Northfield Park) leg of the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge but when the dust settled, Megan Maccario was declared the night's winner thanks to her taking down Lyons Snyder ($63.40) in the Ben Franklin Consolation at Pocono Downs. As a result, Maccario (424.5 points) moved from 4th to 2nd place, just 1.8 points out of first where Rusty Nash (426.3 pts.) took over as the overall leader. Matt Rose (420.1 pts.) dropped from 1st to 3rd place, a mere 6.2 points out of the lead, far from out of contention. While denied the win, Ray Garnett is now on top in the race for overall net profit handicapper with a total of $56.50 while Maccario lands in 2nd with a net profit of $4.80.  In third place, overall leader Rusty Nash sits with a $0.20 deficit. Standings as of Saturday, July 1, 2017 - Leg #25   Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Last Leg   Streak   1st   Rusty Nash   426.3   5   2nd   1   2nd   Megan Maccario   424.5   5   4th       3rd   Matt Rose   420.1   5   1st       4th   Russ Adams   377.1   5   3rd       5th   Ray Garnett   374.9   3   6th       6th   Dennis O’Hara   344.0   4   5th       7th   Gordon Waterstone   325.1   3   7th       8th   Sally Hinckley   288.3   3   8th       9th   Jay Hochstetler   284.8   3   9th       10th   Steve Horoky   243.4   2   10th       11th   Michael Carter   229.4   2   12th       12th   Bryan Owen   226.2   2   11th       13th   Adam Friedland   203.8   1   14th       14th   Terry Wilson   201.5   2   13th       15th   Anne Stepien   168.5   2   15th       16th   Ray Cotolo   159.3   1   16th       Next Up:  Friday night has juvenile trotters on display as the Meadowlands hosts the first legs of the Kindergarten for both sexes while on Saturday, the Meadowlands hosts the Graduate finals for four-year-old pacers and trotters.  Sunday is our third special non-Grand Circuit event to highlight racing off the beaten path in Canada as Summerside Raceway hosts the Governors Plate Invitational. The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

  (June 18, 2017) - While Dennis O'Hara gets to claim a moral victory by selecting four of the six harness racing stake winners on Saturday's (June 17) Pepsi North America Cup card at Mohawk Racetrack, it was only good enough for second place as Ray Garnett managed to take top honors in this leg of the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge by selecting Bettors Up ($24.40) in the Fan Hanover. In the overall contest, Matt Rose (415.1 points) maintains his lead over Rusty Nash (414.3 pts.) by a mere 0.8 points. In addition to Bettors Up, Garnett's performance was aided with his selection of Macs Jackpot who finished second in the North America Cup consolation as it returned a combined $17.90 for place and show. His other winners Saturday were Hannelore Hanover ($2.40) in the Armbro Flight and Lady Shadow ($3,60) in the Roses Are Red. With his win, Garnett moves up from eighth to sixth place. In the overall net profit competition, Rusty Nash leads Ray Garnett by $12.90.  Matt Rose trails in third, back an additional $17.50..  Standings as of Saturday,  June 17, 2017 - Leg #24   Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Last Leg   Streak   1st   Matt Rose   415.1   5   1st   3   2nd   Rusty Nash   414.3   5   2nd       3rd   Russ Adams   365.1   5   3rd       4th   Megan Maccario   354.5   4   4th       5th   Dennis O’Hara   332.0   4   5th       6th   Ray Garnett   329.9   3   8th       7th   Gordon Waterstone   313.1   3   6th       8th   Sally Hinckley   281.3   3   7th       9th   Jay Hochstetler   277.8   3   9th       10th   Steve Horoky   230.4   2   10th       11th   Bryan Owen   219.2   2   11th       12th   Michael Carter   209.4   2   12th       13th   Terry Wilson   194.5   2   14th       14th   Adam Friedland   176.8   1   13th       15th   Anne Stepien   161.5   2   16th       16th   Ray Cotolo   157.3   1   16th         Next Up:  A week off for the handicappers before the challenge resumes on July 1 with Sun Stakes Saturday at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and the Cleveland Trot Classic at Northfield Park. The following weekend features the contest’s first appearance of two year olds in the Kindergarten Series (Friday) plus the Graduate Series (Saturday) at the Meadowlands, and concludes with the non-Grand Circuit Governors Cup at Summerside Raceway. The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

(May 28, 2017) - Rusty Nash has taken the lead in the harness racing Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge this past week with a point total of 376.3, 12.7 points ahead of Matt Rose's 363.6. Russ Adams, who was in the lead as of the last report, has dropped back to 3rd place, not far off the pace with 337.1 points. The big mover this week is Megan Maccario who has moved up three slots from 7th to 4th place. With most of the recent legs consisting of few races won by favorites, it has been hard for any handicapper to put together a string of victories with the winner’s share of 50 points.  Often, lion’s share of points had to be split between multiple handicappers tying for the day which has precluded any big moves.  However, with the passing of Memorial Day weekend, the Grand Circuit kicks into high gear so there will be plenty of multi-race legs ahead for handicappers to take advantage of.  Standings as of Sunday, May 28, 2017 - Leg #20   Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Overall Net Profit   1st   Rusty Nash   376.3   5   52.80   2nd   Matt Rose   363.6   4   7.00   3rd   Russ Adams   337.1   5   (15.50)   4th   Megan Maccario   260.5   3   (70.90)   5th   Gordon Waterstone   239.8   3   (64.50)   6th   Dennis O’Hara   220.5   3   (66.50)   7th   Sally Hinckley   219.0   3   (86.50)   8th   Ray Garnett   210.9   2   (34.60)   9th   Steve Horoky   202.4   2   (77.60)   10th   Jay Hochstetler   201.8   2   (44.10)   11th   Bryan Owen   201.2   2   (67.20)   12th   Michael Carter   172.4   2   (99.30)   13th   Terry Wilson   165.5   2   (104.10)   14th   Adam Friedland   157.8   1   (44.30)   15th   Ray Cotolo   140.0   1   (43.80)   16th   Anne Stepien   138.5   2   (118.60)     Next Up:  This Saturday (June 3), the Grand Circuit Handicapping challenge visits Northfield Park for the Battle of Lake Erie while Mohawk Racetrack hosts divisions of the Somebeachsomewhere as well as legs of the Graduate Series for 4yo trotters and pacers.  The following week has the Charlie Hill Trot on Saturday evening while Tioga Downs hosts pacers and trotters in the Graduate on Sunday. The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

(May 9, 2017) - With three legs and eight races contested in the harness racing Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge this past week, the possibility of the standings being shuffled existed and it turned out to be the case. Once the dust settled Russ Adams moved up two places to claim the lead with a total of 328.12 points versus Rusty Nash's 315. Last week's leader Matt Rose fell back to third with a total of 267.63 points. The key to this past week was Saturday's (May 6) races at Freehold Raceway and the Meadowlands. Favorites ruled the day and Adams and Terry Wilson jumped on the bandwagon, both tabbing five out of six winners. While each had five winners, Adams' selections paid $1.50 more than Wilson's which allowed him to claim the lead. With the overwhelming majority of handicappers selecting Hannelore Hanover in the Miami Valley Distaff Trot on Sunday (May 7), none of the handicappers selected the winner Charmed Life. The best the handicappers could do is pick up the crumbs with Hannelore's second-place finish which meant having to settle for a net loss of $1.70 Monday (May 8) afternoon was the opposite of Sunday's outcome as Lady Shadow ($3.40) didn't disappoint in the Chip Noble Memorial Pace. While seven handicappers had the winner it was Rusty Nash, the lone handicapper who selected second place Divas Image whose ($16.40, $7.80) dividends easily topped the favorite's payoffs allowing him to finish in front for the day. Standings as of Monday, May 8, 2017 - Leg #15 Pos Handicapper Total Points Earned Legs Won Overall Net Profit 1st Russ Adams 328.12 4 4.00 2nd Rusty Nash 315.00 4 60.00 3rd Matt Rose 267.63 3 7.80 4th Gordon Waterstone 204.36 2 (54.60) 5th Bryan Owen 181.23 2 (39.90) 6th Ray Garnett 172.36 2 (25.70) 7th Megan Maccario 171.98 2 (68.00) 8th Steve Horoky 167.52 1 (61.90) 9th Michael Carter 166.36 2 (69.90) 10th Dennis O’Hara 156.12 2 (70.20) 11th Jay Hochstetler 145.36 1 (34.80) 12th Terry Wilson 136.36 1 (85.50) 13th Adam Friedland 119.91 0 (35.20) 14th Anne Stepien 108.09 1 (96.90) 15th Sally Hinckley 106.59 1 (96.60) 16th Ray Cotolo 86.00 0 (31.90)   Next Up:  Monday was the lone race for the week so with no contest races this weekend, the focus is on May 20 when the Graduate series kicks off at the Meadowlands.  The following week features the Ms. Versatility (Mohawk, May 22); Molson Pace (Western Fair District, May 26); Lismore and Art Rooney (Yonkers, May 27); Betsy Ross and Maxie Lee Memorial (Harrah’s Philadelphia, May 28). The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org   Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

(April 2, 2017) - While in the early stages, the race is tightening in the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge as Rusty Nash and Bryan Owen each won a leg of the harness racing challenge at Yonkers Raceway this week, reducing front runner Matt Rose's lead (165.5 points) to 12.5 points. With his win on Friday (3/31) night, Owen (108 pts) leapfrogged from 12th place to 4th while Nash's (153 pts) Saturday (4/1) night victory allowed him to move up one place to 2nd. Ray Garnett (111 pts) dropped into the show spot, 3 points ahead of Owen. Owen managed to beat three other handicappers Friday evening who had two out of three winners thanks to finishing second in race 6. Owen's wins were Bedroomconfessions ($3.80) in first division of the Matchmaker and Shesjustadelight N ($4.70) in the third tilt. While Steve Horoky had three out of four Levy elimination winners (Soto, 1st division, $10.00; Missile J, 2nd div, $2.70; Keystone Velocity, 3rd div, $3.10) Saturday evening, Nash managed to take top honors by selecting the 1st and 3rd division winners along with the second place finish of Great Vintage in the second split; allowing him to win the night with a net profit of $8.30 versus Horoky's $7.80. In the overall net-profit competition, Nash ($54.50) remains on top, leading Rose ($53.00) by $1.50. Ray Garnett sits in the show spot with a net profit of $29.50 as Ray Cotolo fills out the superfecta with a net profit of $16.70. The standings after the first six legs are:   Pos Handicapper Total Points Earned Legs Won 1st Matt Rose 165.5 2 2nd Rusty Nash 153.0 2 3rd Ray Garnett 111.0 1 4th Bryan Owen 108.0 1 5th Steve Horoky 91.5 0 6th Russ Adams 82.0 0 7th Dennis O’Hara 64.0 0 8th Sally Hinckley 63.5 0 9th Ray Cotolo 61.0 0 10th Gordon Waterstone 59.0 0 11th Megan Maccario 56.0 0 12th Anne Stepien 55.0 0 13th Adam Friedland 51.5 0 14th Jay Hochstetler 42.0 0 15th Terry Wilson 42.0 0 16th Michael Carter 42.0 0   Next Up:  The Challenge continues this week at Yonkers Raceway on Friday, April 7 and Saturday, April 8 for the fourth legs of the Matchmaker and Levy Memorial Series.  The Challenge remains at Yonkers Raceway until the conclusion of the two series on April 22. The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge  

(March 26, 2017) –  Matt Rose swept Friday night’s (March 26) three legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series to take a solid lead early on in the 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge by opening up a 50.5 point lead over Ray Garnett who managed to muscle into second place by 1 point over Rusty Nash by winning Saturday’s leg of the challenge by winning two of the four races.  Rose has now won two of the four legs contested thus far.     Clearly, Rose is taking advantage of the early legs at Yonkers, his home track, by winning all three races on Friday’s slate including Empress Deo ($25), Mackenzie A ($4.60), and Bedroomconfessions ($2.90) which allowed him to net $41.70 for the evening.  However, even a home track can be cruel as Saturday night was a different story, resulting in him having to settle for a couple of show placings. Garnett and Russ Adams both had two winners on Saturday evening, but the difference was Garnett’s tabbing of Keystone Velocity ($13.20) in the first division of the Levy which allowed him to eke out a net profit of $12.60.  Also selecting Keystone Velocity was Anne Stepien. In the overall net-profit competition, Nash ($62.10) remains on top, leading Rose ($58.80) by $3.30. Ray Garnett moves into third this week with a net profit of $36.80 as Ray Cotolo fills out the top quartet with a net profit of $22.60. The standings thus far after four legs are:   Pos Handicapper Total Points Earned Legs Won 1st Matt Rose 143.5 2 2nd Ray Garnett 92.0 1 3rd Rusty Nash 91.0 1 4th Dennis O’Hara 50.0 0 5th Russ Adams 50.0 0 6th Ray Cotolo 46.0 0 7th Gordon Waterstone 45.0 0 8th Sally Hinckley 44.5 0 9th Steve Horoky 44.5 0 10th Anne Stepien 41.0 0 11th Adam Friedland 37.5 0 12th Bryan Owen 33.0 0 13th Jay Hochstetler 28.0 0 14th Michael Carter 23.0 0 15th Megan Maccario 19.0 0 16th Terry Wilson 18.0 0   Next Up:  The Challenge returns to Yonkers Raceway on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 for the third legs of the Matchmaker and Levy Memorial Series.  The Challenge remains at Yonkers Raceway until the conclusion of the two series on April 22. The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment.  The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America.  Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.  Allan Schott HANA Harness Racing Coordinator allan@hanaweb.org Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge  

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