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HARRISBURG, PA - Gordon Waterstone, a 42-year veteran of harness racing journalism who has worked at The Horseman and Fair World for over two decades and is a member of harness racing's Communications Hall of Fame, has been appointed to the Hall Of Fame Screening Committee of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) by Kim Rinker, president of the sport's leading media organization. The HOF Screening Committee considers the nominees submitted by the various chapters of USHWA, talks with a select group of present members of the Hall Of Fame, and then announces the candidates for the summer HOF ballot, on which a nominee requires 75% of the yes-no vote to receive the sport's highest honor, election to the Hall Of Fame. Waterstone started his career working in publicity at Detroit's Hazel Park, and also worked at other tracks at other points of the season, including helping with Breeders Crown publicity in that series' early days. In 1998 he joined the Horseman and Fair World as associate editor, and during his time with the Kentucky-based company he has received two John Hervey Writing Awards, one in the feature category and one in the news/commentary division, making him one of the few people to have been honored in both sections. His popular "Backstretch With Gordon" column during the prime of The Red Mile's racing season keeps him in close contact with many of the sport's leading horsepeople. A former national president of USHWA and a Life member of the organization, Waterstone is currently the president and secretary of the organization's Kentucky Chapter. He received the USHWA President's award in 2001. Waterstone has also been honored by the North American Harness Publicists Association, Harness Horsemen International, and the Michigan Harness Horsemen's Association. The ultimate honor for a harness journalist, entrance into the Communicators Hall of Fame, came with his induction ceremony in 2017 at the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen NY. The first Sunday in July at Goshen, if the world is back in normal order, will find Waterstone discussing the merits of this year's candidates with his fellow committee members: committee chair Judy Davis-Wilson, Tim Bojarski, Bob Heyden, Jason Settlemoir, and Steve Wolf; president Rinker also serves on this committee as an ex officio voting member. From the U.S. Harness Writers Association  

The Breeders Crown Team Handicapping Contest on last Saturday's (Oct. 27) Breeders Crown championship card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono was over before the half. When Garnet Barnsdale turned his total $360 in wagers on the 3-Year-Old Colt Trot (Race 7) into a cash of $2,895, it propelled Team Gallo Blue Chip to an easy victory. As a result, New Vocations will receive the first-place prize of $1,000 from the Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown, which sponsored the contest that included 12 of harness racing's top handicappers. The 12 players were divided into three teams of four members each, playing for three designated charities: Harness Horse Youth Foundation, New Vocations and Standardbred Retirement Foundation. Each team member handicapped three Crown finals. All wagers were mythical and players were limited to $100 maximum win or win/place combination, $100 maximum in total exacta wagers, and $120 maximum in total trifecta wagers. Barnsdale, the Woodbine Mohawk Park handicapper for DRF Harness, took full advantage of altering his selections when morning-line favorite Six Pack was an early scratch. While Barnsdale already had a $100 win bet on eventual champ Tactical Landing, he switched his exacta and trifecta selections and was able to nail both. While his win wager resulted in a cash of just $140, Barnsdale had a $100 straight exacta ticket that returned $1,250 and a $10 trifecta ticket that was worth $1,505. Barnsdale's total cash of $2,895 was actually more than each of the other two teams had in total. With teammates Gordon Waterstone cashing for a total of $1,158.50, Gabe Prewitt for $692.50, and Ellie Sarama for $578, Team Gallo Blue Chip's total cash was $5,324. Finishing second with a total of $2,730 and earning $500 for the Harness Horse Youth Foundation was Team Foiled Again, which consisted of Allan Schott, Dave Brower, Derick Giwner and Dave Weaver. Slightly more than half the team's bankroll came from Weaver, who was the only handicapper in the contest to cash in all three of his designated races. Weaver, a host on the TVG network, saw his biggest return come in the Open Pace, where he had a $50 place wager on Filibuster Hanover, the runner-up to McWicked, as well as a two-horse $50 exacta box and a $5 trifecta box that in all totaled $868.50 and brought his overall total to $1,403.50. Finishing third with a total of $2,346.90 and earning $250 for the Standardbred Retirement Foundation was Team Moni Maker, which consisted of Mark McKelvie, Megan Maccario, Michael Carter and Sally Hinckley. It was Hinckley, a longtime oddsmaker and handicapper, who led the team with a final bankroll of $1,522.50. Hinckley's biggest cash of $1,070 came in the 3-Year-Old Colt Pace, where she had a $50 place wager on Lather Up, who was second to Dorsoduro Hanover, and a $50 two-horse exacta box that returned $965. "Great job by all the Breeders Crown handicappers," said Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown COO Moira Fanning. "The 12 championships from The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono had a little something for everyone, from favorites to longshots. The Hambletonian Society is happy to sponsor this contest which results in real dollars for some very special charities --- Standardbred aftercare and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. Thanks to all for the efforts." From the Breeders Crown

The combination of the $2 million Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) Super day and the inaugural Fayette County Fair brought out a large crowd to The Red Mile on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16. While several music acts performed on two stages, including rising star and Lexington native Walker Montgomery, eight $250,000 KYSS finals highlighted the 10-race card that also included a pair of $50,000 consolation events. The revamped KYSS program was in full evidence on Sunday as seven different stallions were represented in the winner's circle, with the only two-time winner being Yankee Glide, who was just retired from active stud duty at the age of 24 by the Lexington-based Kentuckiana Farms. The first KYSS final was for 2-year-old male trotters and it appeared odds-on favorite Don't Let'em, who earlier this year won the Peter Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands, was on his way to victory as the field of 10 came out of the last turn. But Don't Let'em suddenly went on a break, which paved the way for the two-hole sitting Forecast to take advantage and score a 1:53.4 victory. Shake N Bake (Tim Tetrick finished a length behind in second and just ahead of show finisher Reign Of Honor (Dexter Dunn). Corey Callahan was in the sulky for trainer John Butenschoen behind Forecast, who won for the fifth time in nine starts while posting a career best. A $70,000 yearling purchase and owned by Bill Wiswell, Jean Goehlen and Eugene Schick, Forecast now has career earnings of $186,650. The son of Cantab Hall was bred by Diamond Creek Farm. Callahan and Butenschoen teamed up for a second KYSS champion with the 3-year-old filly trotter Nixie Volo, who redeemed herself after making a break in last year's final. Leaving from post 8, Nixie Volo was parked the entire mile but was still able to hold onto the lead she finally secured in deep stretch to win in a career-best 1:51.1. Pat Matters (Jimmy Takter) was a head back in second, with Live Laugh Love (David Miller) third. A daughter of Yankee Glide, Nixie Volo was a $22,000 yearling purchase and now owned by Kentuckiana Racing Stable, VIP Internet Stable, 83 Racing and the University of Kentucky football team's offensive coordinator Eddie Gran. With her fourth win of the year Nixie Volo boosted her seasonal earnings to $215,486 and career total to $286,786. She was bred by Jorgen Jahre Jr. Beautyonthebeach swept her way through the trio of 2-year-old filly pace preliminaries and she had no problems in the final as she cruised to a 1:51 victory. Doug McNair was in the sulky as Beautyonthebeach quarter-pole moved to the front where she led the rest of the way to win by two lengths over Margret Hill (Miller) with Summer Charm (Matt Kakaley) third. Trained by Gregg McNair, Beautyonthebeach is a Jim Avritt Sr.-homebred daughter of Somebeachsomewhere out of the standout mare Precocious Beauty. The was her fifth in eight starts and equaled her career mark set in the second KYSS leg. Her earnings now stand at $181,343. Whispering Oaks sprung a 16-1 upset in the KYSS final for 2-year-old filly trotters. Driven by Yannick Gingras, Whispering Oaks left fast from post eight, but after taking the lead soon yielded to heavy favorite Taylor Swiftly. That odds-on choice held the lead turning for home but in deep stretch gave way to Whispering Oaks, who crossed the wire in 1:54. Ma Was Right (Dunn) was able to get up for second late, just ahead of Taylor Swiftly (Scott Zeron). A daughter of Father Patrick, Whispering Oaks is a $100,000 yearling purchase of Brixton Medical, Herb Liverman and RAW Equine. Trained by Jimmy Takter, the win was Whispering Oaks' third of the year and came after three consecutive second-place finishes in the KYSS prelims. Her career-best effort increased her earnings to $124,574. Whispering Oaks was bred by Al Libfeld, Marvin Katz and Sam Goldband. While the remnants of Hurricane Florence slowly made their way into the Bluegrass on Sunday, it was Hurrikane Emperor who captured the KYSS final for 2-year-old male trotters. Already the winner of the New Jersey Sires Stakes final, Hurrikane Emperor became a two-state champ with a 1:49.3 victory for driver Daniel Dube and trainer Joh McDermott Jr. Hurrikane Emperor led at every call to best the pocket-sitting Blood Money (Gingras) by a head, with favorite Captain Trevor (Andy McCarthy) third. A son of Hurrikane Kingcole, Hurrikane Emperor was bred and is owned by Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group and Lind Racing Stable. The win was his sixth in eight starts, bringing her earnings to $214,400. The $250,000 KYSS final for 3-year-old filly pacers went to favorite Dance Blue and driver Andy McCarthy in 1:51.1. Defending divisional champ Band Stand (Doug McNair), who went off at odds of 68-1 on the toteboard, finished a neck behind in second, with Cabowabocuttie (Zeron) third. Winless last year at two, Dance Blue won for the sixth time in 12 starts this year, bringing her career earnings to $241,880. A $50,000 yearling purchase from breeders Steve Stewart and Julie and Charles "Cotton" Nash, the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven is owned by Katz, Goldband and Goran Anderberg Eurobond outgamed Tactical Landing in the stretch to capture the KYSS final for 3-year-old male trotters. With Wolfgang (Gingras) on the lead and Tactical Landing and trainer-driver Takter first-over, driver David Miller waited patiently along the inside. In deep stretch Miller found room with Eurobond and he was able to urge his charge to the wire a head in front of Tactical Landing in 1:51.3. Classichap (Callahan) rallied for third as Wolfang tired to fourth. A son of French stallion Love You, Eurobond is owned by breeder Lindy Farms of Conn. In partnership with Robert Rudolph. The win was just his second in a dozen starts this year and lowered his previous mark by more than two seconds. Domenico Cecere trains Eurobond, who increased his earnings to $152,900. The rich program was capped off by a 1:48.1 victory by American History in the KYSS final for 3-year-old male pacers. Driven by Gingras for trainer Tony Alagna, American History used a final quarter of :26.1 to get past leader Thinkbig Dreambig (Jordan Stratton) in deep stretch to win by one length. Grant Teton (McCarthy) was third. A son of American Ideal, American History was a $150,000 yearling purchase and now owned by breeder Brittany Farms, Marvin Katz and American History Racing. The win was the seventh of the year for American History, who earlier this year posted a 1:47 victory at the Meadowlands. The effort boosted American History's earnings to $472,285. Two $50,000 KYSS consolations opened up the card. The 2-year-old filly trot consolation went to Mother Teresa in 1:55.2 for driver Zeron and trainer Cecere. The daughter of Father Patrick is a homebred of KR Breeding. The consolation for freshman male pacers went to Waterway, who won in 1:50.1 for driver Brett Miller and trainer Alagna. The daughter of Captaintreacherous was bred by Brittany Farms and is owned by Alagna & Begley Stable, Santo Barbera, David Silverman and Joseph Barbera. Three KYSS consolations were held on Saturday night. Supergirl Riley (Muscle Mass) won the 3-year-old filly trot in 1:54.3 for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Erv Miller and owners Paymaq Racing, George Golemes and Harvey Eisman; Amico Mio Bi (Donato Hanover) won the 2-year-old male trot in 1:55.4 for trainer-driver Brian Connor, who shares ownership with Janice Connor, Arden Homestead Stable and Caroline Gerry; and Cruise (Sweet Lou) won the 2-year-old male pace in 1:52.4 for driver Christian Lind, trainer Brian Brown and owner Emerald Highlands Farm. From the Kentucky Sire Stakes  

(November 10, 2017) - In an abbreviated contest week, Gordon Waterstone won the seventy-sixth leg of the harness racing Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge allowing him to close the gap on contest leader Rusty Nash by forty points with three legs remaining. While Jay Hochstetler had three winners for the week, he had to settle for second place for the week as Waterstone's two winners included Springsteen ($15.20) in the Matron Stakes for 2yo colt and gelding pacers allowing him to earn a net profit of $16.20 for the day. Hochstetler's three winners were chalk as he netted a profit of $2.40. Finishing third for the week was Megan Maccario whose lone winner resulted in a net loss of $2.40. With three contest dates remaining, Nash holds on to first place for the fifth week in a row with a total of 1,453.20 points, 23.70 points ahead of Waterstone (1,429.50 pts.). On the periphery but not out of it is Anne Stepien (1,342.82 pts.) and Megan Maccario (1,327.90 pts.), both within 125 points of the contest leader.   Standings thru Thursday, November 9, 2017 - Leg #76       Pos   Handicapper   Total Points Earned   Legs Won   Points Back   Last Week   Streak   1st   Rusty Nash   1,453.20   7       1st   5   2nd   Gordon Waterstone   1,429.50   11   23.70   2nd       3rd   Anne Stepien   1,342.82   9   110.38   3rd       4th   Megan Maccario   1,327.90   9   125.30   5th       5th   Sally Hinckley   1,320.48   9   132.72   4th       6th   Dennis O’Hara   1,302.85   10   150.35   6th       7th   Matt Rose   1,285.88   10   167.32   7th       8th   Steve Horoky   1,251.83   5   201.37   8th       9th   Russ Adams   1,218.54   8   234.66   9th       10th   Ray Garnett   1,088.61   6   364.59   10th       11th   Bryan Owen   1,045.90   9   407.30   11th       12th   Jay Hochstetler   964.50   4   488.70   12th       13th   Michael Carter   885.03   3   568.17   13th       14th   Ray Cotolo   834.33   5   618.87   14th       15th   Terry Wilson   811.47   5   641.73   15th       16th   Rich Mattei   644.30   2   808.90   16th         Next Up: This week sophomore trotters and pacers of both sexes head to Dover Downs for 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 Check out the HANA Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

Dragon Again, a winner of more than $2.3 million on the harness racing track and the sire of the winners of more than $122.7 million, including the $7.5 million-winner Foiled Again, the sport's all-time richest racehorse, was euthanized Wednesday afternoon, April 19, at Sugar Valley Farm in Ohio, where he had stood stallion duty since 2014. Dragon Again's death comes one week after Sugar Valley Farm announced the retirement of the 22-year-old son of Dragon's Lair. In making that announcement, Sugar Valley Farm co-owner Joe McLead said Dragon Again had a fused right ankle that was ailing him. "He's had that fused right ankle the last 14 years and in the last day or so the ankle became just too much for him to deal with. It had begun to take its toll on the rest of his body," McLead said on Thursday morning. Dragon Again was bred by Andray Farm and was purchased as a yearling for $40,000 by Ohioan Ed Mullinax. Mullinax owned Dragon Again his entire racing career and is still the majority shareholder in the Dragon Again Syndicate. "I consulted with Mr. Mullinax and we made the decision to euthanize together," said McLead. "We did not want the horse to suffer." Dragon Again won 29 of 70 starts, with his biggest victory coming in the $450,000 Hoosier Cup in 1998 at Hoosier Park. Other big wins for Dragon Again included the $350,000 Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk Racetrack and the $250,000 Prix d'Autumn at Hippodrome de Montreal in 1999, and the $150,000 Battle of Lake Erie in 1999 at Northfield Park. Dragon Again's career best of 1:48.3 came on June 17, 2000, when he won the $87,600 Pacing Classic at Woodbine. At the time the mile was the fastest ever paced in Canada. Dragon Again was retired following his 5-year-old season in 2000, going on to a stud career at Hanover Shoe Farms in Pennsylvania. He stood at Hanover for 13 years before moving to Sugar Valley in 2014, where the size of his books were 116, 107 and 82 in years 2014-16. Dragon Again bred some mares this season, with a few already pronounced in foal. In addition to Foiled Again, Dragon Again's other $1-million-plus performers include My Little Dragon ($2.3 million); Atochia ($1.8 million); Aracache Hanover ($1.7 million); Wakizashi Hanover ($1.3 million); Versado ($1.2 million); and Tidewaterdragonfly ($1 million). Overall, Dragon Again sired 334 lifetime $100,000 winners from 940 performers. From those performers, 562 took marks of 1:55 or better. His fastest progeny were 1:48 winners Foiled Again, Wakizashi Hanover and Vlos. McLead said Dragon Again was buried on the farm near his paddock by the Sugar Valley office. "We have a pond near his paddock and there are two oak trees at the back of the pond, and we buried him between those two trees so he can see all the broodmares and his paddock," said McLead. Gordon Waterstone The Horseman And Fair World

HARRISBURG PA - Brian Sears, a "youthful veteran" of the sport of harness racing who stands fifth on the all-time list of moneywinning drivers and has driven some of the sport's greatest horses of the last 15 years to victories in championship races, has been elected to the sport's highest honor, the Hall of Fame, in balloting conducted by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), the trade organization of harness journalists. In addition, Gordon Waterstone and Steve Wolf, two veteran harness publicists and writers whose careers share many similar highlights and awards though they never worked together directly, have been elected to the sport's Communicators Hall of Fame. Sears was named USHWA's Rising Star of the Year in 1991 and hasn't looked back. Sears, a 48-year-old native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who now resides in Secaucus, N.J., was at the top rungs of the driving colony of Vernon Downs, Pompano, Pocono, and The Meadows before moving eastward to the metro New York area a dozen years ago. He has continued to dominate on the toughest circuits in harness racing, winning multiple driving championships at the Meadowlands and also topping the charts at Yonkers Raceway. Sears entered Monday with 9,670 career wins, good for 14th place among all drivers in North American history. Among the horses that have helped boost his career driving earnings to $174 million all-time are three winners of the Horse of the Year title: Rocknroll Hanover in 2005, Muscle Hill in 2009, and Bee A Magician in 2013. Sears is the only driver to twice win the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks on the same day, accomplishing the feat with Muscle Hill and Broadway Schooner in 2009 and again with Royalty For Life and Bee A Magician in 2013. He also won the Hambletonian in 2015 with Pinkman in his only drive behind the horse that season. The sport's Driver of the Year in 2009, Sears has won 26 Breeders Crown titles, good for No. 4 on the all-time wins list in the series. Horses driven by Sears have earned more than $10 million in the series, which is among the top five in history. Waterstone was for many years the publicist for Hazel Park in Detroit, also working at other area racetracks, before becoming associate editor of The Horseman And Fair World, which was a magazine when Waterstone started and for whom he wrote two John Hervey Award-winning stories, before becoming a multimedia enterprise in recent years. Wolf was a publicist for several tracks in the immediate area of his native New Jersey (Freehold Raceway 13 years, Brandywine Raceway and Liberty Bell Park) and for the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey before "shipping south" to Pompano Park in Florida, rising through the ranks to become senior director of racing operations, until starting his own consulting agency. He also served on the Board, including as president, of the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. The parallels in the careers of Wolf and Waterstone are striking. Both first entered the communications end of the industry in 1979. Both have been president of USHWA and both have won that organization's Member of the Year (Wolf twice, the first to earn that distinction); both currently serve as their USHWA chapter's president. Both have won the Harness Publicists Association's Allen J. Finkelson Golden Pen Award for outstanding lifetime achievement in promoting harness racing, and both have won the Clyde Hirt Media Award from Harness Horsemen's International. Both have chaired several important USHWA committees, and are teaming again for the 2017 USHWA annual convention and Dan Patch Award Banquet: Waterstone on the Location Committee and on-site planner/negotiator, and Wolf on the Dinner Committee, which he has chaired 15 times. That USHWA event, to be held at the Planet Hollywood casino in Las Vegas on February 25-26 of next year, will be the first introduction of Sears, Waterstone, and Wolf as the newest members of the Halls of Fame. The formal induction ceremony will be held at the Hall of Fame dinner at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y., on Sunday, July 2, 2017. Hall of Fame voting is conducted among eligible USHWAns and members of the Hall of Fame; Communicators Hall of Famers are voted on by all members of the Harness Writers Association. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications  

The Bluegrass State crowned its champion 2 and 3 year olds of both gaits and sexes on Sunday night at The Red Mile, with the eight $175,000 Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) finals dominated by favorites. Cinnabar Hall won the KYSS final for 3-year-old male trotters, earning the distinction of being the only reigning champion to successfully defend his title. Tom Jackson drove Cinnabar Hall to the wire-to-wire 1:56.2 victory for trainer Pete Foley and owner All Star Racing of Towaco, N.J. Sent off the 1-9 favorite, Cinnabar Hall swept the three-leg KYSS series this year, increasing his career earnings to $222,840. A son of Groton Hall, Cinnabar Hall was bred by Walnut Hall Ltd. of Lexington, Ky., which had three winners to its credit on Sunday night. Tail Gunner Hall, bred and owned by Walnut Hall Ltd., won the KYSS final for 3-year-old male pacers. Starting from the outside post 9 as the 9-5 second favorite, Tail Gunner Hall crossed the wire in 1:52, two lengths better than runner-up and even-money favorite McEnroe Hall. A son of Third Straight, Tail Gunner Hall now has seven wins and four seconds in 11 starts this year after going unraced last year at two. His career earnings now stand at $109,083. The 3-year-old filly pace final went to Twilight Princess, who made just one start at two but has now scored nine wins in 12 starts this year. Aaron Merriman, the leading dash-winning driver in North America in 2014, directed the daughter of Prince Chablis to the 1:54 victory as the 1-5 betting favorite. Kentuckian Robert Mullet bred Twilight Princess, who now has earnings of $113,070 for trainer-owner Donna Gilfson-Eferstein. Jane Eyre led wire to wire to win the 3-year-old filly trot final in 1:55.1 with Tom Jackson driving for trainer Fred Grant, who also shares ownership with Steve Katz and Janice Rubin. A strong second choice on the toteboard, Jane Eyre defeated favorite (and defending champion) Armatrading by one length. Just the second win of the year for the daughter of Groton Hall bred by Mary Katz and Berto Stable, it boosted her earnings to $164,770. Barryscourt rallied from six lengths back at the half to win the 2-year-old male trot final by 7 1/4 lengths in 1:58.4. Josh Sutton drove the Peninsula Farm-bred son of Northern Kid for trainer Bobby Brower, who shares ownership with Mystical Marker Farms, Ben Graber and Victory Hill Farm. A 14-1 winner in the opening KYSS leg on Aug. 9, Barryscourt was the 4-5 betting favorite in the final as he won for the second time in three starts. Lakeisha Hall won the 2-year-old filly pace final in 1:54, with the 1-9 favorite scoring by 3 1/2 lengths. Dave Palone guided the Walnut Hall Ltd.-bred daughter of Third Straight to her fourth win in five starts. Ron Burke trains Lakeisha Hall or owners Weaver Bruscemi LLC and Burke Racing Stable. The complexion of the 2-year-old filly trot final changed dramatically when odds-on favorite Kentucky Hall made a break while on the lead near the half-mile point. That paved the way for second-choice Erica America to rally for a 4 3/4-length win in 1:59.4 for driver Chris Page. Kevin Thomas trains the daughter of Northern Kid and shares ownership with Jim McLaughlin, Fortunate One and Red Mile announcer Gabe Prewitt. Erica America was bred by Dunroven Stud of Kentucky. The lone upset on the night came in the finale in the 2-year-old male pace when the 8-1 Dragallthemoni rushed past favorite Cracker Cam in deep stretch to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:53.2. Chris Page drove the Thomas Cave-bred son of Third Straight for trainer Steve Carter and owners Peggy Carter, Sheila Hummel, Ron Reid and Chuck Grubbs. Gordon Waterstone -  Horseman And Fair World

HARRISBURG PA - Gordon Waterstone, associate editor of the Horseman and Fair World magazine, former President of the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), and two-time winner of a John Hervey Award for excellence in harness journalism, has been selected for recognition by the media organization as its 2014 "Alan Prince USHWA Member of the Year." Waterstone, a Michigander and proud product of Michigan State University, started his harness racing career at Detroit's Hazel Park in 1979, and spent the better part of two decades working at that track and metro Detroit's Northville Downs, mostly as publicity director.  In 1998 he had the opportunity to join the Proximity Award-winning Horseman and Fair World, with his time working in Kentucky quickly approaching the amount he posted in his native state. During the Lexington Grand Circuit meet, his "Backstretch With Gordon" column is a must-read for the latest stories behind the star horses and horsemen, where to eat after the races, and the price of gasoline in the area. Gordon was a member of the Officers of USHWA for six years, highlighted by his two years as President (2004-06), during which he made permanent the design of the Dan Patch Awards trophies which mark excellence in the harness sport. As a Past President, he has served on the Board of Directors since the end of his presidential term. He has been President of the Kentucky Chapter since its start-of-the-century renaissance, and has added secretarial duties to his portmanteau the last few years. Waterstone earned his USHWAn of the Year award largely through his continuing efforts to serve the Writers Association on a national level, including giving constructive criticism, at times frequent, to keep the operation running at its finest. Gordon is currently head of the Tabled Items Committee, and has served on the Site Location Committee, the Dinner Committee, the Breeder/Broodmare Committee, and the Hall of Fame Screening Committee. Waterstone's Hervey Writing Awards came in two different categories, Features (1999) and News/Commentary (2008), making him one of only a few journalists to win a national award in more than one category. He was awarded the Allen J. Finkelson Golden Pen Award by the Harness Publicists Association in 1995 (an organization of which he was President in 1999), and the Clyde Hirt Media Award by Harness Horsemen International in 2002. His award, along with the Dan Patch Horse of the Year and additional human award trophies, will be presented on Sunday, February 22, 2015 in Orlando, Florida. Tickets for this gala event, the Dan Patch Awards Banquet--Night of Champions, are now available. Tickets for the Dan Patch Awards Banquet can be reserved via telephone or Email by contacting Judy Davis-Wilson at 302-359-3630 or Email: zoe8874@aol.com or Steve Wolf at 954-654-3757 or Email: stevenwolf1956@gmail.com. Substantial savings on hotel rooms can be attained for this event, which is being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld. A special rate of $115 can be reserved by calling 407-352-1100 BEFORE January 25, 2015, and mentioning code: Dan Patch or clicking this link. The deadline for the Dan Patch Awards journal is Monday, January 26. To advertise in the souvenir journal, please contact Chris Tully by calling 845.807.7538 or Email: tullytrot@yahoo.com. All of this information and applicable advertising forms can be accessed via internet link: USHWA.org. From the United States Harness Writers Association  

Mr. Ursitti was born May 23, 1927, in Chaffee, N.Y., outside Buffalo. He was a star athlete in high school and college, lettering in virtually every sport. "One time George brought in a scrapbook from his high school days and he was all-everything," said longtime friend Ken Marshall, director of racing operations at Hazel Park Raceway. "He was known as 'Mr. Big' around the Buffalo area." One of Mr. Ursitti's favorite sports was wrestling, and he turned to the professional ranks in the 1940s. While he wrestled under his real name in the Buffalo area-including a few well-documented "cage matches" against local rival John "Flash" Gordon-he also began wearing a mask and became known as "The Masked Marvel," traveling the circuit on a full-time basis. Mr. Ursitti was also a successful driver in his earlier years. Among Mr. Ursitti's more well-known horses were the $173,180 winner Bye Time and the $140,209 winner Castle Knight, both owned by his Mac Jay Stables in partnership with his longtime friend, Doc Rini. Bye Time and Castle Knight started respectively in the 1967 and 1968 Provincial Cup at Windsor Raceway, both won by Cardigan Bay. Another of Mr. Ursitti's more successful horses in the 1960s was Guy Yates, who earned nearly $100,000. Among his later stars, Mr. Ursitti was one of the first trainers of Days With Dad, who earned $346,621 in his career. Mr. Ursitti's stable was hit hard in early 2005 by a herpes virus that briefly closed Northville Downs. He persevered through the hardship, and with his quick sense of humor he quipped to The Horseman And Fair World magazine at the time that he got through the rough times by "eating a lot of spaghetti." He was able to put his stable back together, although with Michigan racing on the decline the past few years, he moved his base of operations to Northfield Park in Ohio. In 2006, Mr. Ursitti was honored at Hazel Park as one of several "Michigan Legends." Helped in recent years by his longtime assistant Wendy Cox and his son Andy, Mr. Ursitti's stable had 239 training starts in 2014, the most since sending out 265 starters in 1997. He posted 18 wins this year, his last coming on Oct. 14 when Tyler St. Louis directed He's Got That to a victory at Northfield Park. His other winners this year included Bittersweet Dreams, Shockbyelectric, Dannys Man, Careless Love and Exactor Man. "When I first got in the business they had Legends Night at Hazel Park and I knew of George, and thought it was neat how he was a professional wrestler and also trained and drove," said Michigan native Ronnie Wrenn Jr., the leading driver at Northfield Park. "They say that back in the day he was a decent driver. My dad always spoke highly of him and George gave me an opportunity to drive, a little bit in Michigan but in the last couple years when I moved to Ohio a lot more. He was always a gentleman and respected me, and he helped me." Mr. Ursitti is survived by his children, Jamie, Kyle, Fritz, Chuck, Doreen, Andy and Rick; 11 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Mr. Ursitti is also survived by his longtime companion, Diane Sheeders. Memorial contributions may be made to the Standardbred Retirement Foundation or the local Humane Society. Arrangements will be posted when available. by Gordon Waterstone, for harnessracing.com 

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

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

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

September 16, 2014 - While most contest handicappers found this a weekend to forget, Rusty Nash will remember this week as he leapfrogged from 11th to 5th place in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs thanks to his hit in the Canadian Trotting Classic which netted him $2,912 for the night. At the end of the weekend's action, which included the Quillen Memorial at Harrington Raceway, Nash netted a profit of $2,816 for the week and took weekly honors. The only other handicapper who showed a positive result for the weekend was Mark McKelvie who netted $237.50 for the period. Despite having a poor showing for the weekend, Bob Zanakis maintains a comfortable overall lead in the contest with al net profit of $3,738.85, $1,163.85 ahead of second place handicapper Brandon Valvo. Close behind Valvo with a difference of less than $200 is Mark McKelvie. The big hit of the weekend was the aforementioned hit by Nash where a $40 trifecta partial wheel (out of a total of $230 wagered on the trifecta) paid $3,162. The only other significant hit of the weekend belonged to McKelvie whose $50 win ticket on the Peaceful Way paid $487.50. The current standings after the completion of the weekend's activity are: As of September 15, 2014 - Leg 30 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis ($452.60) $3,738.85   2nd Brandon Valvo ($250.00) $2,575.00 $1,163.85 3rd Mark McKelvie $237.50 $2,372.00 $1,366.85 4th Josi Verlingieri ($349.00) $1,139.05 $2,599.80 5th Rusty Nash $2,816.00 $197.24 $3,541.61 6th Earl Paulson ($364.00) ($95.50) $3,834.35 7th Brian McEvoy ($19.00) ($221.50) $3,960.35 8th Gordon Waterstone ($382.00) ($339.30) $4,078.15 9th Derick Giwner ($340.00) ($1,349.23) $5,088.08 10th Garnet Barnsdale ($250.00) ($1,394.70) $5,133.55 11th Ray Garnett ($488.00) ($1,627.10) $5,365.95 12th Ann Stepien ($248.40) ($2,132.71) $5,871.56 13th Sally Hinckley ($198.00) ($2,241.90) $5,980.75 14th Dennis O'Hara ($210.00) ($3,039.70) $6,778.55 15th Ray Cotolo ($500.00) ($6,198.40) $9,937.25                                                                                   This week, the action comes fast and furious with the American-Nationals for 2yo trotters at Balmoral Park and at Delaware, the Buckette, Old Oaken Bucket, and the eliminations of the Jugette and Little Brown Jug on Wednesday and Thursday.  The week’s action concludes with a quartet of stakes at Hoosier Park plus the Milton at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening.  As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.     by Alan Schott, for HANA

September 2, 2014 - The week off in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs gave the handicappers the opportunity to think over their handicapping strategy and by doing so, they came out guns a blazing with five instances of handicappers scoring net profits of over $1,000 on any given day. When the dust settled, Mark McKelvie was the big winner for the week showing a net profit of $2,586, leapfrogging from 8th to 3rd place. While McKelvie won the week, Bob Zanakis regained the lead over Brandon Valvo with a swing a $2,919.25 thanks to his weekly net profit of $2,094.75. Gordon Waterstone's weekly net profit of $2,103 moved him from 12th place to 6th. On Thursday, August 28, Bob Zanakis started the hit parade, playing a $6 price part wheel trifecta ($144 total) in the first division of the Champlain and it paid off handsomely as he received a dividend of $2,408.40. Other key hits on Thursday were Sally Hinckley's $10 trifecta key ($120l) in the third division of the Champlain which paid $301, Dennis O'Hara's $50 cold exacta in the same race which returned $260, and Ann Stepien's $2 four-horse trifecta box ($48) earned $143.60. On a typical day, Gordon Waterstone's $20 trifecta key ($120) in the third division would normally have been the talk of the town with its $602 return but alas, Zanakis' play overshadowed this accomplishment. On Friday, August 2, the handicappers gathered their collective breaths with no particular breakouts. While the day's action was sedate, there were some individual bets worth noting. Derick Giwner's $150 exacta in the Zweig Memorial returned $405 while in the same race, Hinckley's $25 trifecta key ($150) paid $307.50. Saturday saw three players with big nights. Mark McKelvie led the trio with a net profit of $3,226 thanks to a $20 trifecta part-wheel ($60) in the She's A Great Lady. Waterstone earned $1,403 as a result of a $10 trifecta part wheel ($200) in the same race and O'Hara's $1,097 evening was attributable to a $30 trifecta key ($360) in the Metro which grossed $1,497. Other solid plays were Ray Garnett's $14 trifecta key ($280) in the Metro paid a $698.60 dividend as was Hinckley's $10 trifecta key play, returning $499. In the first division of the Simcoe, Josi Verlingieri had two winning tickets, a $25 exacta box ($150) paid $317.50 and a $125 win, place wager which returned $943.75. With a one day break, the handicappers returned for a Labor Day stanza which belonged to Garnet Barnsdale with his hit in the Shady Daisy. While Barnsdale had listed a $1 superfecta part wheel ($42), his ticket was reduced to a $.30 ticket ($12.60) which paid $2,561.90, reflecting the size of the superfecta pool. Waterstone was the only other player who won on Sunday as his $30 exacta box ($180) paid $438. The current standings after the completion of four legs are: As of September 1, 2014 - Leg 27 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Bob Zanakis $2,094.75 $4,303.45   2nd Brandon Valvo ($824.50) $2,780.00 $1,523.45 3rd Mark McKelvie $2,586.00 $1,962.00 $2,341.45 4th Josi Verlingieri $937.40 $1,551.55 $2,751.90 5th Earl Paulson ($504.00) $240.90 $4,062.55 6th Gordon Waterstone $2,103.00 $202.70 $4,100.75 7th Brian McEvoy $67.50 ($110.00) $4,413.45 8th Derick Giwner ($715.00) ($759.23) $5,062.68 9th Garnet Barnsdale $1,331.30 ($894.70) $5,198.15 10th Ray Garnett ($480.40) ($1,102.55) $5,406.00 11th Sally Hinckley ($122.00) ($1,793.90) $6,097.35 12th Ann Stepien ($406.95) ($2,156.06) $6,459.51 13th Rusty Nash ($745.65) ($2,369.76) $6,673.21 14th Dennis O'Hara $467.00 ($2,579.70) $6,883.15 15th Ray Cotolo ($1,150.00) ($5,698.40) $10,001.85 This week, one leg of the contest will be held on Saturday, September 6 at Mohawk Racetrack with a trio of races scheduled, the Simcoe for 3yo open pacers and the Champlain for 2yo open pacers and 2yo filly pacers will be contested. As always, the Grand Circuit Shoot-Out may be followed at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. by Allan Schott for HANA

Here is Jay Wolf's Road To The Little Brown Jug updates for Week #4   1. He's Watching (1:46.4; $983,969) Owner: Menary Racing (ONT), Brad Gray (ONT), Michael Guerriero (ONT) & Muscara Racing (PA) Trainer: David Menary  Driver: Tim Tetrick He has not raced since winning the $255,525 Empire Breeders Classic at Tioga Downs (8/10) in 1:49.1. He should be the betting favorite in the Cane Pace Final at Tioga Downs on Labor Day. 2. McWicked (1:47.3f; $907,888) Owner: SSG Stables (NY) Trainer: Casie Coleman  Driver: David Miller Was tapped as the morning line choice in the first LBJ Future Pool. 3. Somewhere In LA (1:50f; $317,136) Owner: J & T Silva Stables (NY), Deo Volente Farms (NJ) & TLP Stable (NJ) Trainer: Robert McIntosh and Jimmy Takter  Driver: Brett Miller/Tim Tetrick Won the $18,000 Preferred Handicap Pace at the Meadows (8/22) in 1:50. 4. At Press Time (1:48.2f; $325,903) Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA) and Weaver Bruscemi (PA) Trainer: Ron Burke  Driver: Matt Kakaley and Yannick Gingras Has not raced since finishing second in the leg of the PASS at Harrah's Philadelphia (8/7). 5. Sometimes Said (1:50.1f; $383,395) Owner: Fashion Farms (PA) Trainer: Jim Campbell  Driver: John Campbell/Tim Tetrick The son of Well Said won a $13,000 Conditioned Pace at Harrah's Philadelphia (8/20) in 1:50.4. 6. Jet Airway (1:50s; $262,159) Owners: Erv Miller Stables (PA), Tangie Massey (FL), Paul Sunderhaus (OH) and Larry Agle (OH) Trainer: Erv Miller and Tony Alagna  Drivers: Marcus Miller and Randy Waples Has not raced since winning a conditioned event for three-year olds at Mohawk Raceway (8/16). 7. Limelight Beach (1:49.4; $285,952) Owners: Burke Racing Stable (PA), Weaver Bruscemi (PA), M1 Stable (PA) and Wingfield Brothers (OH) Trainer: Ron Burke  Drivers: Yannick Gingras and Matt Kakaley He finished second by a neck in the $100,000 Millstein Consolation (8/15). 8. Cammikey (1:49.4f; $217,788) Owner: Cam Land LLC (PA) Trainer: William Zendt Driver: Brian Zendt He has been racing well in the Keystone State, finishing in the top three in 10 of 11 seasonal starts. He won a qualifier at the Meadows in 1:53.2 (8/14). 9. Let's Drink On It (1:48.3; $331,112) Owners: Tina Seekman (IL), Larry Bond (IN), Hal Hewitt (KY) and Vincent Boido, Jr. (MI) Trainer: Joe Seekman  Driver: Tyler Smith He was forced to race on the outside for almost the entire mile, finishing 5th in the Millstein Memorial. 10. Beat The Drum (1:49.2f; $290,274) Owner: Bender Sweden Inc. (FL) Trainer: Staffan Lind  Driver: Ron Pierce Won a conditioned event at Pocono Downs (8/24) in 1:49.2, establishing a new lifetime mark.   This week's expert ranking is courtesy of Gordon Waterstone. Gordon is the Associate Editor of the Horseman and Fair World and its companion publication Harness Racing Weekend Update.   1. He's Watching 2. McWicked 3. Somewhere In LA 4. Jet Airway 5. Tellitlikeitis 6. Limelight Beach 7. Sometimes Said 8. Cammikey 9. At Press Time 10. Western Vintage by Jay Wolf, for the Little Brown Jug

August 24, 2014 - In the final two legs before the mid-season break of HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. Josi Verlingieri dominated her fellow competitors with a net profit of $1,886.25, more than $1,000 ahead of the rest of the pack. While Verlingieri leapfrogged from 8th to 4th place with her performance, Brandon Valvo remains on top at the mid-season break, leading his fellow handicappers with a net profit of $3,604.50, $1,395.80 ahead of his closest competitor, Bob Zanakis Other handicappers had less profitable, though significant weekends. Overall leader Brandon Valvo ended the final weekend of the summer portion of the competition with a weekly net profit of $830 edging out Earl Paulson who had a net profit of $800. As for key wagers for the weekend, after starting off with a $70 loss in Leg 22 (August 15), Verlingieri reversed her fortunes dramatically with a profit of $1,956.25 in Leg 23 (August 16) by going all in with a $125 Win and Place wager on Solar Sister ($27.50, $7.80) in the 3rd leg of the Eternal Camnation at Mohawk Racetrack. For Leg 22, the inaugural Carl Milstein Memorial at Northfield Park, Earl Paulson netted a profit of $662.50 thanks primarily to a $25 Exacta box of three horses ($155 total) which returned $835. Valvo managed a $609 profit in Leg 22 with a $50 Win, Place wager on Milstein Memorial Consolation winner National Debt which returned $475 plus a $10 Trifecta part-wheel ($60) on the Milstein Memorial with its $294 dividend while scoring a $221 profit in Leg 23 primarily with his $10 Trifecta box ($60) in the Joe Gerrity Memorial at Saratoga Raceway which returned $206. Paulson scored a $600 profit in the Friday night leg of the competition primarily with a $25 Exacta three-horse box ($150) which returned a gross of $835 and a $137.50 profit on Saturday evening with a $5 Exacta box ($30) in the 3rd division of the Eternal Camnation which returned $252.50. Other performances worth noting were Sally Hinckley's $386.50 profit in the Saturday evening stanza with a $20 Trifecta key ($240) in the 3rd division of the Nassagaweya which returned $600 while Rusty Nash scored a $230 profit thanks to a $353 return on a $20 Win, Place wager on the 3rd division of the Eternal Camnation. The current standings at the break are: As of August 16, 2014 - Leg 23 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind 1st Brandon Valvo $830.00 $3,604.50   2nd Bob Zanakis ($500.00) $2,208.70 $1,395.80 3rd Earl Paulson $800.00 $744.90 $2,859.60 4th Josi Verlingieri $1,886.25 $614.15 $2,990.35 5th Derick Giwner ($143.00) ($44.23) $3,648.73 6th Brian McEvoy ($12.50) ($177.50) $3,782.00 7th Ray Garnett $0.00 ($622.15) $4,226.65 8th Mark McKelvie ($500.00) ($624.00) $4,228.50 9th Rusty Nash $18.52 ($1,624.11) $5,228.61 10th Sally Hinckley $216.10 ($1,671.90) $5,276.40 11th Ann Stepien ($240.00) ($1,749.11) $5,353.61 12th Gordon Waterstone ($500.00) ($1,900.30) $5,504.80 13th Garnet Barnsdale ($498.00) ($2,226.00) $5,830.50 14th Dennis O'Hara ($463.00) ($3,046.70) $6,651.20 15th Ray Cotolo ($500.00) ($4,548.40) $8,152.90 by Allan Schott, for HANA

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