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(November 5, 2017) - As the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge enters the deep stretch, Rusty Nash and Gordon Waterstone each had four winners on Saturday night's (11/4) eight race slate with races at Hoosier Park and the Meadowlands. However, with Nash having two second place finishers to Waterstone's one, Nash edged out Waterstone to take top harness racing honors for the week by $3.00. Steve Horoky took the show spot for the week. With four contest dates remaining, Nash remains in the top spot for the fourth straight week with 1,46.20 points. Just 76.7 points behind, Waterstone has moved into second place with 1,369.50 points while Anne Stepien drops one peg into third with 1,336.82 points. Not out of contention are Sally Hinckley (1,313.48 pts.), Megan Maccario (1,310.90 pts.), and Dennis O'Hara (1,295.85 pts.); all within 150 points of the leader.   Standings thru Saturday, November 4, 2017 - Leg #75       Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Points Back   Last Week   Streak   1st   Rusty Nash   1,446.20   7       1st   4   2nd   Gordon Waterstone   1,369.50   10   76.70   3rd       3rd   Anne Stepien   1,335.82   9   110.38   2nd       4th   Sally Hinckley   1,313.48   9   132.72   5th       5th   Megan Maccario   1,310.90   9   135.30   4th       6th   Dennis O’Hara   1,295.85   10   150.35   7th       7th   Matt Rose   1,278.88   10   167.32   6th       8th   Steve Horoky   1,244.83   5   201.37   8th       9th   Russ Adams   1,200.54   8   245.66   9th       10th   Ray Garnett   1,081.61   6   364.59   10th       11th   Bryan Owen   1,043.90   9   402.30   11th       12th   Jay Hochstetler   924.50   4   521.70   12th       13th   Michael Carter   880.03   3   566.17   13th       14th   Ray Cotolo   834.33   5   611.87   14th       15th   Terry Wilson   809.47   5   636.73   15th       16th   Rich Mattei   644.30   2   801.90   16th         Next Up: This week freshmen trotters and pacers of both sexes head to Dover Downs for the Matron stakes on November 9 The following week, the contest returns to Dover Downs as sophomores compete in the Matron stakes on November 16.  November 25 is the final Saturday night of the handicapping challenge with the Final Four and TVG series finals being contested at the Meadowlands.  On November 30, the contest concludes with the Progress Stakes at Dover 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  

(October 29, 2017) - In perhaps the busiest three-day (10/26-10/28) week in the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge, twenty-one races were contested; the Breeders Crown Finals at Hoosier Park plus the final preliminary leg of the Kindergarten Classic at Vernon Downs as a warm up. When the harness racing results were tabulated, Sally Hinckley nosed out Steve Horoky by three points, 115.0 to 112.0. Horoky drew first blood on Thursday night with his selection of Points North ($14.80) in the 2yo pacing colt division of the Kindergarten Classic. The selection of Points North and four others allowed Horoky to earn 70 points for the day. Dennis O'Hara had the same longshot but only a total of three winners which was good for second place for the evening. Friday night was Hinckley's turn to draw blood and she blew the other handicappers away for the evening with her selection of Pure Country ($31.00) in the Breeders Crown Final for pacing mares which with four additional winners earned her 75 points. While two other handicappers had five winners, Hinckley's net profit of $43.50 was far ahead of her closest competitor. With a seven-point lead going into the final night of the week's racing, Horoky was looking to put the week away on Saturday but it was not to be as Ray Cotolo took the checkered flag with a net profit of $57.80 thanks to selecting a trio of longshots; Stay Hungry ($11.00), Breeders Crown 2yo Colt and Gelding pace; Beckhams Z Tam ($11.20), Breeders Crown 3yo Colts and Gelding pace; Split The House ($18.40), Breeders Crown Open pace. Hinckley managed to pull out the victory for the week with her four winners for Saturday versus Horoky's double. For the third week in a row, Rusty Nash leads in the overall standings, just under 48 points ahead of Anne Stepien. Gordon Waterstone is roughly 4 points further behind in third. Megan Maccario is in fourth while Sally Hinckley moved up from seventh to fifth place, still in contention with five legs remaining in the contest.   Standings thru Saturday, October 28, 2017 - Leg #74       Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Points Back   Last Week   Streak   1st   Rusty Nash   1,376.20   6       1st   3   2nd   Anne Stepien   1,328.82   9   47.38   2nd       3rd   Gordon Waterstone   1,324.50   10   51.70   3rd       4th   Megan Maccario   1,310.90   9   65.30   4th       5th   Sally Hinckley   1,295.98   9   80.22   7th       6th   Matt Rose   1,278.88   10   97.32   5th       7th   Dennis O’Hara   1,278.85   10   97.35   6th       8th   Steve Horoky   1,222.83   5   153.37   9th       9th   Russ Adams   1,182.54   8   193.66   8th       10th   Ray Garnett   1,074.11   6   302.09   10th       11th   Bryan Owen   1,041.90   9   334.30   11th       12th   Jay Hochstetler   924.50   4   451.70   12th       13th   Michael Carter   868.03   3   508.17   14h       14th   Ray Cotolo   834.33   5   541.87   15th       15th   Terry Wilson   807.47   5   568.73   13th       16th   Rich Mattei   644.30   2   731.90   16th         Next Up: This week ten stakes races will comprise Saturday’s leg, made up from the finals of the Kindergarten Classic from the Meadowlands and the Carl Erskine, Crossroads of America, USS Indianapolis, and Monument Circle finals at Hoosier Park. The following week, Dover Downs hosts the Matron Stakes for 2yo and 3yo trotters and pacers of both sexes. 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  

(October 22, 2017) - The old axiom is "It only takes one race", and it was evident this weekend in the Hambletonian Society harness racing Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge. What made it strange was this was proven twice this weekend by one handicapper as Bryan Owen was the top handicapper this week. For the second week in the row, Rusty Nash sits on top of the overall contest with a shuffling of the standings below him. While Rusty Nash had five winners selected on Friday (10/20) night at Hoosier Park, it was good only for second place as Owen selected Ella Christina ($72.00) in the Breeders Crown elimination for three year old pacing fillies as his lone winner for the evening. With his selection of the daughter of Western Ideal, Owen picked up a net profit of $98.40 for the evening the dividend for win, place, and show on Ella Christina was $123.60. On Saturday (10/21) night, the axiom was even more evident as Sally Hinckley pick seven winners on the Breeders Crown Elimination night card yet ended up with a net loss of $4.90. However, completing the double was Owen with a net profit of $58.40 despite having no winners for the evening. This was accomplished thanks to Beckhams Z Tam finishing third which was good for a $92.80 show mutuel, the beneficiary of a failed bridge jumper gambit. For the second week in a row, Nash topped the season-long standings, 37.38 points ahead of his nearest competitor Anne Stepien who moved into second place. Gordon Waterstone moved up one spot into third place while Megan Maccario slipped from second to fourth place. A total of 50.30 points separates first from fourth place meaning the contest may come down to the last day of the contest.   Standings thru Saturday, October 21, 2017 - Leg #71       Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Points Back   Last Week   Streak   1st   Rusty Nash   1,325.20   6       1st   2   2nd   Anne Stepien   1,287.82   9   37.38   3rd       3rd   Gordon Waterstone   1,275.50   10   49.70   4th       4th   Megan Maccario   1,274.90   9   50.30   2nd       5th   Matt Rose   1,198.88   10   126.32   6th       6th   Dennis O’Hara   1,183.85   10   141.35   5th       7th   Sally Hinckley   1,180.98   8   144.22   7th       8th   Russ Adams   1,143.54   8   181.66   8th       9th   Steve Horoky   1,110.83   4   214.37   9th       10th   Ray Garnett   1,055.11   6   270.09   10th       11th   Bryan Owen   1,025.90   9   299.30   11th       12th   Jay Hochstetler   858.50   4   466.70   12th       13th   Terry Wilson   796.47   5   528.73   15th       14th   Michael Carter   794.03   3   531.17   14th       15th   Ray Cotolo   762.33   4   562.87   13th       16th   Rich Mattei   618.30   2   706.90   16th         Next Up: While the focus will be on the Breeders Crown races on Friday and Saturday (10/27-28), the contest week begins on Thursday (10/26) as the Kindergarten Classic’s fifth and final preliminary leg will be contested for late blooming juveniles on Thursday (10/26) at Vernon Downs.  Hoosier Park will host in addition to the Crown finals The Pegasus for three year old fillies of both gaits on Friday; three year old colts and geldings on Saturday.  The following week, Saturday (11/4) has an overflow of stakes from the Meadowlands and Hoosier Park of which the ten races will the highest purses will be used for the contest. 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  

(October 15, 2017) - With the Red Mile harness racing meet in the books, the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge moved on to Hoosier Park for the start of a three-week residency which culminates with the 2017 Breeders Crown. Week one had two nights (10/12 &10/14) of Circle City and Madison County stakes contested and once the races concluded, Anne Stepien was the winner while Rusty Nash returned to the perch as the overall leader for the contest with roughly six weeks remaining on the schedule. Stepien was the top handicapper for the week with 72 points vs. the 57 points for Dennis O'Hara in what could be called a tale of two nights. Thursday night, O'Hara was victorious without having a single winner thanks to his selection of Danceinthepines in the Circle City for 3yo trotting fillies; the longshot paying $14.80 and $6.40 for coming in second. The longshot provided him the winning margin despite four handicappers each having two winning picks. Saturday evening was a new day with Stepien tabbing four winners for the night, including the Courageous Lady Stake added on from Northfield Park, where her selection of Rosemary Rose ($20.60) made her one of two handicappers to have a positive ROI for the day. In what seems to be a pattern late in the contest, Nash and Maccario once again swapped spots with Nash coming out on top with a margin of 4.3 points. While the two handicappers have been locked in battle for the top spot, Stepien and Gordon Waterstone are lurking behind the duo, less than 22 points behind the leader and are clearly contenders to watch.   Standings thru Saturday, October 14, 2017 - Leg #69       Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Points Back   Last Week   Streak   1st   Rusty Nash   1,245.20   6       2nd   1   2nd   Megan Maccario   1,240.90   9   4.30   1st       3rd   Anne Stepien   1,230.82   9   14.38   4th       4th   Gordon Waterstone   1,223.50   10   21.70   3rd       5th   Dennis O’Hara   1,154.85   10   90.35   6th       6th   Matt Rose   1,148.88   10   96.32   5th       7th   Sally Hinckley   1,121.98   8   123.22   8th       8th   Russ Adams   1,099.54   8   145.66   7th       9th   Steve Horoky   1,066.83   4   178.37   9th       10th   Ray Garnett   1,025.11   6   220.09   10th       11th   Bryan Owen   920.90   7   324.30   11th       12th   Jay Hochstetler   841.50   4   403.70   12th       13th   Ray Cotolo   762.33   4   482.87   13th       14th   Michael Carter   750.03   3   495.17   15tg       15th   Terry Wilson   747.47   5   497.73   14th       16th   Rich Mattei   569.30   2   675.90   16th   v      Next Up: Week two at Hoosier Park has a weekend of Breeders Crown eliminations with the distaff tilts being contested on Friday (10/20) and open elms contested Saturday (10/21). The third and concluding week of the Hoosier Park residency begins with the final preliminary leg of the Kindergarten Classic being raced at Vernon Downs while the weekend features the Breeders Crown finals and Pegasus stakes. 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  

(Fort Washington, MD) - The race unfolded differently but at the end the result was the same as Hyway Marcus was victorious Sunday evening (October 8) in the harness racing RUS MidAtlantic Monte Trotting Series Final at Rosecroft Raceway. With the victory, Hyway Marcus completed the hat trick, sweeping the harness racing series. Determined not to let Hyway Marcus have his own way, One True Friend (Hillary Hartnett) powered to the front, parking Hyway Marcus to the first quarter with Keenan (Maria Buchanan) third, racing along the rail following the leader. Hartnett had her horse, the lone mare in the race, in front by one and a quarter length in a brisk :28.1 at the first station. After being stung throughout the first quarter, Sascha Moczulski took Hyway Marcus to the front with One True Friend sitting second through middle fractions of :58.1 and 1:28.1 with the leader being two lengths in front at the three-quarter mark. By this time Keenan was beginning to tire, six lengths behind the leader in third place. Once past the three-quarter marker, the all-to-familiar story played out as Hyway Marcus opened up on the field with a seven length lead at the top of the stretch to coast home in a final quarter of :31.4 to stop the teletimer in 2:00, seven and a half lengths over One True Friend who put the victor to task in the early portion of the race. Closing from sixth at the three quarter mark was Catalyst (Stephanie Jacobs) finishing third another length behind. Fourth, but placed fifth for violation of the breaking rule was Mr Protab while Pine Tab was elevated to fourth. Keenan, paying the price for his early pace finished sixth. With the victory, Hyway Marcus finished the season with a perfect three for three record and now has a lifetime RUS record of 8-6-1-0. The six year old son of Gut Instinct is owned by Joseph Faraldo, Gilbert Teitel, and Charels Wittstruck. Moczulski was the winning trainer. RUS MidAtlantic would like to thank all its sponsors of the series, Back on Track, Knutsson Trotting, Miller Lite, Poulin Grain, in addition to numerous others. Plans are already underway for the 2018 series. Anyone interested in becoming a member of RUS MidAtlantic or a sponsor of the 2018 series may contact RUS MidAtlantic through their website. By Allan Schott for RUS MidAtlantic   RUS MidAtlantic - Bringing racing under saddle to DE, MD, NJ, and VA      

(Fort Washington, MD) - A field of six trotters will compete Sunday (October 8) evening in the RUS MidAtlantic Monte Series Final, being contested at Rosecroft Raceway. The $5,000 race is headlined by Hyway Marcus, who won the first two legs of the series and is looking to complete the series sweep. The tilt will go as a non-wagering event after the third race on the regular harness racing card with an estimated post time of 7:30pm. Hyway Marcus (post 2), is trained and ridden by Sasha Moczulski for new owners Joseph Faraldo, Gilbert Teitel, and Charles Wittstruck. The six-year-old son of Gut Instinct has developed a reputation for being a star RUS trotter with a lifetime record of 7-5-1-0. The horse has made only two starts this year under saddle, winning series legs at Ocean Downs and the Meadowlands with a seasonal mark of 1:59.4 set at the Meadowlands. Looking to be his main contender is Pine Tab (post 5), ridden by Helene Gregory. The Nick Surick trainee in his first lifetime start was dueling Hyway Marcus in the stretch at the Meadowlands, getting to within a ¼ length when he went off-stride. With a race under his belt, his connections are looking for an improved effort here. Another contender is One True Friend (post 3) who finished second in the second leg of the series at the Meadowlands. Since that effort, the lone mare in the race came in first at Saratoga, followed by second place finishes at Batavia and in the Elizabeth Miller Memorial at Monticello this past Monday. Hillary Hartnett is once again in the irons for trainer Wesley Miller. Other horses in the race are Mr Protab (post 1, Emma Wahlberg) who won his lone start last year at Ocean Downs and looks to improve off a third-place finish at the Meadowlands in his seasonal debut. Catalyst (post 2, Stephanie Jacobs) looks to improve with the return to the 5/8 mile oval after putting in a dull race at the Meadowlands. Keenan (post 6, Maria Buchanan) finished second in his lifetime debut at Ocean Downs but jumped off before the start at the Meadowlands. With a cleaner start, he may be in the thick of things late. First race on the wagering card is slated for a 6:40pm post. Allan Schott RUS MidAtlantic - Bringing racing under saddle to DE, MD, NJ, and VA      

(October 2, 2017) - In an explosive move, handicapper Anne Stepien leapfrogged from seventh to second place, just 14 points away from first place in the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge as week one (9/28-10/1) of The Red Mile Grand Circuit, supplemented with races from Harrah's and Northlands Park, ended. In the overall harness racing standings, Rusty Nash maintains his hold on the stop spot for the third week in a row. Four handicappers earned triple digit points for the four days. Stepien earned a total of 180 points to earn weekly honors with Ray Cotolo finishing second with 152 points. Jay Hochstetler's 137 points was good enough to land the show spot with Megan Maccario completing the superfecta with 111 points. On Thursday, Sally Hinckley drew first blood with her selection of Seven Iron ($26.80) in the second division of the Bluegrass for 2yo colt and gelding trotters and Moosonee, whose second-place finish in a later division earned her an additional $34.40 dividend to cruise to victory. Despite Stepien having six winners on Friday, the day's top spot belonged to Ray Garnett whose three winners were coupled with Baby Wants, whose third place finish in the Simpson paid $76.40 to show. Saturday, Cotolo's three winners was good enough to grab the top slot, edging Maccario by $1.70. Saving the best for last, Stepien tabbed seven winners on Sunday to grab daily honors. Among her winners were Mike's Z Tam ($27.60) and International Moni ($10.60). In the year to date battle, Nash maintains his lead with 1,111.2 points, just ahead of the surging Stepien (1,097.82 pts.).  Moving back into the top three is Maccario with 1,094.9 points.  Matt Rose (1,073.88 pts.) and Gordon Waterstone (1,070.5 pts.) round out the top five, within striking distance. .   Standings thru Sunday, October 1, 2017 - Leg #63   Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Last Week   Streak   1st   Rusty Nash   1,111.20   6   1st   3   2nd   Anne Stepien   1,097.82   8   7th       3rd   Megan Maccario   1,094.90   8   4th       4th   Matt Rose   1,073.88   10   2nd       5th   Gordon Waterstone   1,070.50   9   3rd       6th   Dennis O’Hara   1,036.85   9   6th       7th   Russ Adams   1,003.04   8   5th       8th   Sally Hinckley   1,001.98   8   8th       9th   Steve Horoky   945.83   4   9th       10th   Ray Garnett   905.11   5   10th       11th   Bryan Owen   802.90   6   11th       12th   Jay Hochstetler   763.50   4   12th       13th   Ray Cotolo   720.33   4   14th       14th   Terry Wilson   700.47   5   13th       15th   Michael Carter   612.53   3   15th       16th   Rich Mattei   476.30   2   16th         Next Up: The Red Mile meet concludes with the contesting of the International Stallion, Allerage Farms TVG, Glen Garnsey Memorial, Tattersalls, Kentucky Futurity and Kentucky Filly Futurity stakes.  The following week, Hoosier Park’s Circle City and Madison County stakes will be contested along with the Yonkers International Trot on Saturday, October 14. 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  

(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

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