This Week: Breeders Crown eliminations, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and Hanover Stakes, Balmoral Park, Crete, Ill. Schedule of events: Grand Circuit action this week will get underway on Friday night (Oct. 11) at Pocono Downs with three sets of Breeders Crown eliminations, with a $25,000 purse for each race. There will be a pair of elims in the 2-year-old filly trot and 2-year-old filly pace, plus a single contest for the 2-year-old colt trotters. The Saturday card (Oct. 12) at Pocono will feature seven sets of $25,000 Breeders Crown eliminations. The 2-year-old colt pacers will split into a trio of eliminations; the 3-year-old filly trotters, 3-year-old colt trotters, 3-year-old colt pacers, and older mare trotters will have two eliminations apiece; and the older mare pacers and older open pacers will each have a single elimination. Balmoral Park will host a pair of $70,000 (est.) Hanover Stakes on Sunday (Oct. 13) with contests for both the 2-year-old colt trotters and the 2-year-old filly trotters. Complete entries for the races are available at this link. Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website. Grand Circuit Standings: In 2013, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Hanover Shoe Farms is the sponsor for the 2013 Grand Circuit awards. Here are the leaders following the past weekend: Drivers: 1. Yannick Gingras – 1,423; 2. Tim Tetrick – 1,284; 3. David Miller - 872; 4. Brian Sears - 598.5; and 5. Andy Miller – 575. Trainers: 1. Ron Burke – 1,357.5; 2. Jimmy Takter – 937.5; 3. Linda Toscano – 443.5; 4. Jonas Czernyson – 362.5; and 5. Tony Alagna – 359. Owners: 1. Burke Racing – 298.2; 2. Weaver Bruscemi – 280; 3. Brittany Farms – 225.1; 4. Frank Bellino – 218.5; and 5. WJ Donovan – 185.75. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Vernon Downs. Pocono will host all 12 Breeders Crown finals for 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and older horses of both sexes and gaits. Vernon will offer the fifth leg of the Kindergarten Series for 2-year-old colt and filly trotters. by Paul Ramlow for the Grand Circuit
August 4, 2013 – While all eyes were centered on the Meadowlands in the afternoon, Handicapper Anne Stepien was able to take advantage of the three Hanover Colt Stakes at Balmoral Park in the evening to take the week’s top honors from Garnet Barnsdale in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. At the end of the nine races conducted at the Meadowlands, Barnsdale led Stepien, but where Barnsdale was shut out at Balmoral Park, Stepien managed to pick up $162 in the Hanover Stakes turning her $109 deficit to a $53.10 victory for the week showing a weekly net profit of $446.60 to Barnsdale’s $393.50. Perhaps more importantly, Stepien managed to move this week from fifth place to second place in the overall standings, behind leader Richard Scott who was idle this week and leads by $647. Besides Stepien’s weekly net profit of $446.60 and Barnsdale’s profit of $393.50, Dennis O’Hara joined the duo with a weekly profit of $144.20. The contest standings are: Standings as of August 3, 2013 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott $0.00 $792.29 1st 4 2nd Ann Stepien $446.60 $145.45 ($646.84) 5th 0 3rd Rusty Nash ($11.22) $20.03 ($772.26) 2nd 1 4th Dennis O'Hara $144.20 ($159.45) ($951.74) 3rd 2 5th Earl Paulson $0.00 ($435.35) ($1,227.64) 8th 2 6th Mark McKelvie ($36.00) ($607.24) ($1,399.53) 4th 0 7th Ray Garnett ($67.20) ($1,044.15) ($1,836.44) 6th 1 8th Gordon Waterstone ($205.90) ($1,225.60) ($2,017.89) 9th 3 9th Garnet Barnsdale $393.50 ($1,487.00) ($2,279.29) 10th 6 10th Sally Hinckley ($287.10) ($1,584.90) ($2,377.19) 7th 0 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Key Hits (Hanover Stakes at Balmoral Park, all others at Meadowlands) Garnet Barnsdale – Peter Haughton Memorial - $15 Trifecta Box ($30 Ticket) paid $109.50, U.S. Pacing Championship - $30 Win Wager paid $744.00; Ray Garnett – Hanover 2yo Filly Pace 1st Division $5 Exacta Box ($30) paid $160.00; Mark McKelvie – Hanover 2yo Filly Pace 1st Division $10 Win, Place, and Show ($30) paid $106.00; Rusty Nash – U.S. Pacing Championship - $2 Exacta Wheel ($18) paid $259.00; Dennis O’Hara – Hambletonian 2nd Elimination - $8 Exacta Partial Wheel ($24) paid $176.00; Hambletonian Oaks - $4 Trifecta Key ($48) paid $168.40; Anne Stepien – Hambletonian 2nd Elimination - $10 Win, Place ($20) paid $98.00, Hambletonian Oaks - $5 Trifecta Key ($30) paid $210.50, U.S. Pacing Championship - $1 Exacta Box ($12) paid $192.50, $9 Place and Show ($18) paid $124.20, Hanover 2yo Filly Pace 1st Division - $10 Win, Place, and Show ($30) paid $106.00. Contest Schedule This Week Wednesday, August 7, 2013 – Harrah’s Philadelphia - $97,323(Divided) E.H. Harriman Cup (2yoC&G Trot) by Allan Schott
July 16, 2013 – With several special event races allowing handicappers to use additional funds to wager on the card this past weekend, the handicappers took advantage of the situation in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, which allowed Richard Scott to move from 6th place to 2nd with the top four handicappers being within $50 of each other. Despite a relatively bad week, Mark McKelvie remains on top, $31.27 ahead of Scott. While Friday night’s stakes races, the William Conners Memorial and Miss Versatility were relatively tame for the handicappers, they went to town on Saturday night at Balmoral Park and the Meadowlands with Ray Garnett, Dennis O’Hara, and Anne Stepien collecting some nice Trifectas while Richard Scott managed to hit some solid returns on straight wagers. Standings as of July 13, 2013 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Mark McKelvie ($104.60) ($214.04) 1st 0 2nd Richard Scott $174.10 ($245.31) ($31.27) 6th 2 3rd Dennis O'Hara ($112.50) ($263.75) ($49.71) 2nd 2 4th Ann Stepien $114.60 ($263.85) ($49.81) 5th 0 5th Sally Hinckley ($129.00) ($396.15) ($182.11) 4th 0 6th Rusty Nash ($228.20) ($451.65) ($237.61) 3rd 0 7th Gordon Waterstone ($103.10) ($664.95) ($450.91) 7th 3 8th Ray Garnett $84.60 ($673.55) ($459.51) 9th 1 9th Earl Paulson ($328.00) ($1,038.35) ($824.31) 8th 1 10th Garnet Barnsdale ($355.00) ($1,162.50) ($948.46) 10th 4 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Key Hits: Ray Garnett – Four horse $1 trifecta box in second division of the Hanover Stakes for 3yo colt & gelding pacers paying $211.60; Mark McKelvie – Two horse $1 exacta box in William R. Haughton Memorial paying $56.30; Dennis O’Hara - $5 Trifecta partial wheel ($30) in first division of Hanover Stakes for 3yo filly pacers paid $117.00; Richard Scott - $15 Win, Place ticket on second division of Hanover Stakes for 3yo filly pacers paying $166.50; Anne Stepien - $1 four horse Trifecta box in the William R. Haughton Memorial grossing $339.50. Contest Schedule This Week Thursday , July 18, 2013 – Tioga Downs $75,000(Est.)Tompkins-Geers (2yoCGT), $75,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (2yoFT). Friday, July 19, 2013 – Tioga Downs $70,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (2yoFP), $65,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (2yoCGP). Saturday, July 20, 2013 – Mohawk Racetrack $340,000(Est.) Roses Are Red (F&M Open Pacers), $543,000 Maple Leaf Trot (Open); Northfield Park $100,000(Gtd.) Battle of Lake Erie (Open Pacers); Tioga Downs $70,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (3yoCGT), $65,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (3yoFT); Yonkers Raceway $100,000(Est.) Lawrence B Sheppard (2yo Open Pacers). Sunday, July 21, 2013 – Tioga Downs $65,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (3yoFP), $70,000(Est.) Tompkins-Geers (3yoCGP). by Allan Schott
Despite rain, hail and winds in excess of 30mph throughout the day Sunday night's (October 14) stake action at Balmoral Park went off without a hitch with the harness racing action being headlined by a pair of Hanover Stakes for two-year-old trotters and Betzotic Stake for Illinois conceived and foaled two-year-old pacing fillies.
The harness racing action was fast and furious on Saturday, July 14th as Balmoral Park played host to eight divisions of Hanover Stake action for two and three-year-old pacers. There was plenty of action off the track as well with giveaways, food and drink specials and hay rides among the many things Balmoral Park patrons were treated to as the USTA and Balmoral celebrated Back To The Track 2012.
Sophomore trotting fillies headlined the Sunday, July 8th harness racing program at Balmoral Park as a field of nine diagonally gaited ladies were sent postward in a $34,700 Hanover Stake.
Walter & Paige Paisley's Riccolo faced his toughest harness racing test to date in an amazing 2012 run on Sunday night at Balmoral Park and the son of Northern Kid-Touch Of Victory passed with flying colors as he rolled to a half-length victory in a career best of 1:54.2 while taking the $34,700 Hanover Stake for three-year-old trotting colts.
Freshman trotters stepped into the spotlight on Sunday night (October 16) at Balmoral Park as a pair of Hanover Stakes shared top billing on the 10-strong harness racing program. With a total of 15 colts dropped into the entry box the boys were split into a pair of $29,850 tussles.
The U.S.T.A.'s Back To The Track weekend was a hit at Maywood and Balmoral Park both on and off the track as non-stop racing action; giveaways and contests provided plenty of fun for harness racing fans of all ages.
Hanover Stakes harness racing action continued on Wednesday night at Balmoral Park as a compact field of five three-year-old filly trotter's squared off in a $24,500 event. Splitting horses in the final sixteenth of a mile Ron Marino & David Hermann's Fox Valley Ruffian came flying through the lane to win by a half-length in a career best of 1:58.1.
The dream harness racing season for South Of The Tracks Racing's Anthonyskywalker continued on Saturday night (July 9) at Balmoral Park as the three-year-old gelding captured the $31,700 Hanover Stake over eight rivals in 1:55.1. Kicking off the 2011 Hanover season the gelded son of Powerful Emotion-Queen Jamie stormed right to the top from post position three for driver Kyle Wilfong.
The initial nominating payments for Balmoral & Maywood Park's biggest harness racing stakes events of the 2011 season are due by Feb. 15th.
A busy week of Hanover Stakes harness racing action came to a conclusion on Sunday (July 18) at Balmoral Park as a total of 22 diagonally gaited sophomore colts squared off in a pair of $28,250 Hanover Stake splits.
Hanover Stakes action was in full swing on Saturday (July 17) at Balmoral Park as 10 of the 14 races on the harness racing program featured Hanover action for two and three-year-old pacers of both sexes.
The 2010 Hanover harness racing stakes season started with a bang on Wednesday night as Paula Smith and James Runyan's Fox Valley Click took advantage of breaks by the two favorites, Action Broadway (1-5) and Southern Maebelle (6-1), then survived a long inquiry to post a 15-1 upset in the first of two $19,700 Hanover Stake splits for three-year-old trotting fillies.
A very busy weekend of stakes action came to a close in spectacular fashion on Sunday night as Powers Stables Southern Rocketop shattered the track record for a three-year-old gelding trotter while taking the $39,900 Hanover Stake for sophomore trotting colts in a national season's mark of 1:52.2.