December 8, 2013 – With one race remaining in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, handicapper Richard Scott, who has led a majority of the way in the contest, remains in front with a seemingly comfortable lead of $736.45 with a net loss of $134.40. With only the Cleveland Classic remaining on the docket, it will take some Hail Mary handicapping for anyone to wrest the top spot from Scott. With donations being made to the designated horse rescue charities of the top three, the real race is for the place and show spots which are currently held by Earl Paulson and Rusty Nash. Hoping to crack into the top three are handicappers Anne Stepien and Dennis O’Hara with Garnet Barnsdale having a slight chance to make the top three. In this week’s action, with the Reynolds 3yo filly pace being cancelled, the Reynolds 3yo colt pace was the sole contest. Rusty Nash was top dog for the week with a profit of $6.80. Here are the contest standings at the conclusion of action on December 8, 2013 with one week to go. Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott ($7.00) ($134.40) 1st 6 2nd Earl Paulson ($30.00) ($870.85) ($736.45) 2nd 7 3rd Rusty Nash $6.80 ($929.07) ($794.67) 3rd 4 4th Ann Stepien ($25.40) ($1,062.35) ($927.95) 4th 1 5th Dennis O'Hara $2.10 ($1,226.35) ($1,091.95) 5th 2 6th Garnet Barnsdale ($30.00) ($1,457.74) ($1,323.34) 6th 10 7th Gordon Waterstone ($30.00) ($2,070.60) ($1,936.20) 7th 4 8th Mark McKelvie ($30.00) ($2,379.79) ($2,245.39) 8th 9 9th Sally Hinckley ($30.00) ($2,700.50) ($2,566.10) 9th 0 10th Ray Garnett ($30.00) ($3,210.43) ($3,076.03) 10th 3 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. This Week’s Contest Schedule Saturday, December 14, 2013 – Northfield Park; $130,000(Est.) Cleveland Classic - Open by Allan Schott for HANA
November 25, 2013 – While Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment had a stellar opening, the same cannot be said of the handicappers in this past week’s racing action in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. The ‘top’ handicapper was overall leader Richard Scott who had a net loss of only $14.50 for the two races on this past week’s slate. Rusty Nash and Anne Stepien are the only other two handicappers who cashed any tickets. Overall contest leader, Richard Scott remains on top with a net profit of $33.60, $670.45 ahead of second place handicapper Earl Paulson. After this week, there are only three races remaining in the contest which concludes December 15, 2013. Here are the contest standings at the conclusion of action on November 23, 2013. As of November 23, 2013 Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott ($14.50) $33.60 $0.00 1st 6 2nd Earl Paulson ($60.00) ($636.85) ($670.45) 2nd 7 3rd Rusty Nash ($36.60) ($776.87) ($810.47) 3rd 4 4th Ann Stepien ($57.90) ($924.90) ($958.50) 5th 1 5th Dennis O'Hara ($60.00) ($1,060.45) ($1,094.05) 4th 2 6th Garnet Barnsdale ($60.00) ($1,187.74) ($1,221.34) 6th 9 7th Mark McKelvie ($60.00) ($2,139.79) ($2,173.39) 7th 8 8th Gordon Waterstone ($60.00) ($2,233.60) ($2,267.20) 8th 4 9th Sally Hinckley ($60.00) ($2,785.50) ($2,819.10) 9th 0 10th Ray Garnett ($60.00) ($3,429.03) ($3,462.63) 10th 3 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Contest Schedule This Week Saturday, November 30, 2013 – Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment - $500,000 TVG FFA Series Trot Final; $500,000 TVG FFA Series Pace Final, $534,500 Governors Cup (2yo Open Pace), $394,950 Three Diamonds (2yo Filly Pace), $494,750 Valley Victory (2yo Open Trot), $456,150 Goldsmith Maid (2yo Filly Trot), $172,500(Est.) Nadia Lobell (3yo Filly Pace), $253,000(Est.) Moni Maker (3yo Filly Trot) Sunday, December 1, 2013 – Dover Downs - $330,000(Est.) Progress Pace (3yo Open Pace) by Allan Schott for HANA
November 18, 2013 – Handicapper Anne Stepien took top honors this past week in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs by scoring a net profit of $151.10 for the week which included races from Maywood Park on Friday and the Matron Stakes at Dover Downs on Sunday. Stepien is the only handicapper to score a net gain for the week as she moves closer to one of the payoff positions in the standings. Despite losing ground this week, overall leader Richard Scott remains in front with a net profit of $48.10; $624.95 ahead of second place handicapper Earl Paulson. With a month remaining in the contest, it seemingly will take a huge effort to unseat Scott from the top of the standings. Overall contest leader, Richard Scott remains on top despite his losing performance this week, showing an overall net profit of $106.75, leading the pack by $574.10. As we see from McKelvie’s performance this week, no position is solidified with seven contest dates remaining. Here are the contest standings at the conclusion of action on November 17, 2013. Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott ($58.65) $48.10 1st 6 2nd Earl Paulson ($109.50) ($576.85) ($624.95) 2nd 7 3rd Rusty Nash ($123.50) ($740.27) ($788.37) 3rd 4 4th Ann Stepien $151.10 ($867.00) ($915.10) 5th 1 5th Dennis O'Hara ($27.50) ($1,000.45) ($1,048.55) 4th 2 6th Garnet Barnsdale ($91.50) ($1,127.74) ($1,175.84) 6th 9 7th Mark McKelvie ($360.00) ($2,079.79) ($2,127.89) 7th 8 8th Gordon Waterstone ($109.80) ($2,173.60) ($2,221.70) 8th 4 9th Sally Hinckley ($207.90) ($2,725.50) ($2,773.60) 9th 0 10th Ray Garnett ($270.10) ($3,369.03) ($3,417.13) 10th 3 Key Hits Garnet Barnsdale – $15 Trifecta Key ($30 Total) paid $223.50; Dennis O’Hara - $4 Exacta Box ($24) on the Galt Trot paid $118.40, $5 Trifecta Key ($30) on the Matron 2yo Filly Trot paid $55.00, $5 Trifecta Key ($30) on the Matron 3yo Colt Trot paid $99.50; Earl Paulson - $15 Exacta Box ($30) on the Matron 2yo Colt Pace paid $147.00; Richard Scott - $.50 Trifecta Key ($24) on the Galt Trot paid $67.25; Anne Stepien - $1 Trifecta Box ($24) on the Cinderella Pace paid $91.80, $2 Trifecta Key ($20) on the Windy City Pace paid $130.80, $5 Exacta Box ($10) on the Windy City Pace paid $99.50; Gordon Waterstone - $3 Exacta Part Wheel ($9) on the Abe Lincoln Pace paid $55.20 Contest Schedule This Week Saturday, November 23, 2013 – Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment - $50,000 TVG FFA Series Trot; $50,000 TVG FFA Series Pace by Allan Schott for HANA .
November 10, 2013 – Mark McKelvie, winner of the 2012 handicapping contest has been quiet for a while in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs showed triple digit profits at Hoosier Park and Vernon Downs on Friday evening, but when he wakes up, he wakes up as McKelvie scored an eye opening net profit of $1,000.40 on the American National card at Balmoral Park Saturday evening (November 9). (Editor’s Note: The contest uses USTA-posted prices. If using out of state prices, McKelvie would have had a net profit of $1,011.30). As a result of his performance, McKelvie moves into 7th place. Overall contest leader, Richard Scott remains on top despite his losing performance this week, showing an overall net profit of $106.75, leading the pack by $574.10. As we see from McKelvie’s performance this week, no position is solidified with seven contest dates remaining. Here are the contest standings at the conclusion of action on November 9, 2013. Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott ($186.00) $106.75 1st 6 2nd Earl Paulson $28.50 ($467.35) ($574.10) 3rd 7 3rd Rusty Nash ($166.40) ($616.77) ($723.52) 2nd 4 4th Dennis O'Hara $52.50 ($972.95) ($1,079.70) 6th 2 5th Ann Stepien ($23.50) ($1,018.10) ($1,124.85) 5th 1 6th Garnet Barnsdale ($240.00) ($1,036.24) ($1,142.99) 4th 9 7th Mark McKelvie $1,000.40 ($1,719.79) ($1,826.54) 9th 8 8th Gordon Waterstone ($92.00) ($2,063.80) ($2,170.55) 7th 4 9th Sally Hinckley ($151.90) ($2,517.60) ($2,624.35) 8th 0 10th Ray Garnett ($240.00) ($3,098.93) ($3,205.68) 10th 3 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Key Hits Mark McKelvie - $30 Win wager in the American-National for 2yo pacing colts paid $237.00, $15 Exacta Partial Wheel ($30 total) in the American-Nation for 3yo trotting colts paid $843.00, $30 Win ticket in the American-National for 3yo pacing fillies paid $117.00; Dennis O’Hara - $15 Trifecta Partial Wheel ($30) in the American-National for 3yo pacing colts paid $250.50; Earl Paulson - $15 Exacta Box ($30) in the American-National for 3yo pacing fillies paid $142.50, $15 Exacta Box ($30) in the American National pace for 4yos & up paid $126.00; Anne Stepien - $15 Exacta Box ($30) in the American-National pace for 4yos & up paid $126.00. Contest Schedule This Week Friday, November 15, 2013 – Maywood Park - $180,000(Est.) Windy City Pace - 3yo Open; $73,000(Est.) The Cinderella – 3yo fillies pacers; $110,000(Est.) The Galt – 3yo Open Trot; $89,000(Est.) The Abe Lincoln – 2yo Open Trot Sunday, November 17, 2013 – Dover Downs - $165,000(Est.) The Matron – 2yo colt and gelding pace; $149,000(Est.) The Matron – 3yo filly trot; $140,000(Est.) The Matron - 3yo colt and gelding trot; $173,000(Est.) The Matron – 3yo colt and gelding pace; $124,000(Est.) The Matron – 2yo filly trot; $160,000(Est.) The Matron – 2yo filly pace; $159,000(Est.) The Matron – 2yo colt and gelding trot; $123,000(Est.) The Matron – 3yo filly pace by Allan Schott for HANA
“The jury is still out on this one,” said Joe Faraldo, attorney for Standardbred Breeders Association of New York in pertaining to the passage of the casino gaming legislation in New York after yesterday’s elections. “It’s sort of like a wet kiss in the night,” Faraldo explained. “The legislation has been passed but no one has really seen this legislation and not enough people paid attention to the details.” “I am very pleased for us at Tioga and for Monticello and Saratoga that the legislation passed.” Said Jeff Gural, president and CEO of Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and the Meadowlands. “It bodes well for the sport and obviously we are happy. It should give us a leg up on the competition for the future.” I was also pleased with the election results,” Gural added. “You never know how the people will turn out for an election. But the issue in New York was strong for more public jobs that the casinos will bring and it was not a moral issue about gambling.” Faraldo explained that the new legislation at best will allow Saratoga Raceway, Monticello Raceway and Tioga Downs the opportunity to have full-fledged casinos (slots and live table games). But Batavia Downs, Buffalo Raceway and Vernon Downs are excluded from any chance because they are too close to already established Indian casinos. Yonkers Raceway, as part of the legislation, is excluded from any consideration for live table games for seven years. It was also pointed out by Faraldo and Todd Haight, the General Manager of racing at Batavia Downs, that any revenue from live table games in New York, is treated the same as in Pennsylvania, and does not share a percentage with the tracks for purses or for the New York Sire Stakes program. “The legislation is wordy about a cap of agricultural and racing business,” Faraldo added. “There is a freeze at 2013 consumer pricing for purse levels and growth of the industry. Currently 25% net win sets what purse money is allotted to tracks and to the breeding program (NYSS). So when a Racino turns into a Casino and gets live table games, the cap is on 2013 levels. “This can mean that racing can get less revenue if more money is spent on live games than the slot machines,” Farado explained. “Most of the Racinos now have electronic table games for craps, roulette and some have blackjack but when those games are replaced by live games, then racing will lose out on revenue.” When might Tioga Downs, Saratoga Raceway and Monticello Raceway see their Racinos turn into Casinos? “It will take some time for the selection committees to come up with the rules and regulations,” Gural said. “At least a year or more from now and they won’t get started on it until it becomes law on January 1, 2014. I feel this will be great for us because the table games will bring a younger demographic to the casino and for racing. We still have a bidding process to go through for the three tracks but I am hopeful it will all work out in our favor.” “There is a lot of permitting and new rules that have to be developed,” Faraldo explained. “It could be one year, one and half years, even two years before the first full gaming casino comes about. That is a tough call. “I think the three racinos that could turn into full casino will most certainly benefit from it.” Faraldo added. “It may not be a home run for them but more like hitting ground balls, which is still good.” By Steve Wolf for Harnesslink.com
Paulson Goes Wild at Hoosier Park in 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge November 11, 2013 – While four of the handicappers in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs showed triple digit profits at Hoosier Park and Vernon Downs on Friday evening, Earl Paulson went wild showing a profit of $585 to move from fifth to third, less than $20 away from second place by grossing over $1,000 for Friday evening. With his performance this weekend, Paulson is the top handicapper for the past two weeks straight. However, with Richard Scott showing a profit of $247.15 this week, he has opened up a lead of $768.87 on the rest of the handicappers putting him in a good position to be the overall contest winner as the opportunities to overtake Scott are starting to dwindle. Other handicappers besides Paulson and Scott who had a week in the black were Dennis O’Hara ($143.60), Mark McKelvie ($132.30) and Garnet Barnsdale ($64.70). This week’s contest also included the Lady Maud and the Messenger Stakes at Yonkers Raceway but the handicappers were less than successful with Gordon Waterstone doing the best, showing a net loss of $8.50 for the two races. Here are the contest standings at the conclusion of action on November 2, 2013. Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott $247.15 $292.75 1st 6 2nd Rusty Nash ($178.45) ($450.37) ($743.12) 2nd 4 3rd Earl Paulson $585.00 ($495.85) ($788.60) 5th 7 4th Garnet Barnsdale $64.70 ($796.24) ($1,088.99) 4th 9 5th Ann Stepien ($224.25) ($994.60) ($1,287.35) 3rd 1 6th Dennis O'Hara $143.60 ($1,025.45) ($1,318.20) 6th 2 7th Gordon Waterstone ($58.00) ($1,971.80) ($2,264.55) 7th 4 8th Sally Hinckley ($252.15) ($2,365.70) ($2,658.45) 8th 0 9th Mark McKelvie $132.30 ($2,720.19) ($3,012.94) 10th 8 10th Ray Garnett ($126.95) ($2,858.93) ($3,151.68) 9th 3 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Key Hits Garnet Barnsdale - $15 Exacta Box ($30 total) Simpson Memorial 2yo Filly Trot at Vernon Downs paid $310.50, $1 Trifecta Part Wheel ($16) in the Carl Erskine Trot paid $114.20; Ray Garnett - $5 Exacta Box ($30)in The Circle City 3yo Filly Trot paid $154.50; Mark McKelvie - $10 Win ($10) in the Simpson Memorial 2yo Filly Trot paid $109, $2 Trifecta Partial Wheel ($18) in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby paid $241.80;Dennis O’Hara - $15 Exacta Box ($30) in the Simpson Memorial 2yo Filly Trot paid $310.50; Earl Paulson - $15 Exacta Box ($30) in the 2nddivision of the Simpson Memorial 2yo Colt Trot paid $151.50, $15 Exacta Box ($30) in the Simpson Memorial 2yo Filly Trot paid $310.50, $15 Exacta Box ($30) in The Circle City 3yo Filly Pace paid $145.50, $15 Exacta ($30) in The Carl Erskine Trot paid $103.50), $15 Exacta Box ($30) in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby paid $151.50; Richard Scott - $15 Exacta Box ($30) in the 2nd division of the Simpson Memorial 2yo Colt Trot paid $151.50, $15 Exacta Box ($30) in the Simpson Memorial 2yo Filly Trot paid $310.50; Gordon Waterstone - $10 Exacta Box ($20) in the 2nd division of the Simpson Memorial 2yo Colt Trot paid $101, $10 Exacta Box ($20) in the Hoosier Park Pacing Derby paid $101 Contest Schedule This Week Saturday, November 9 at Balmoral Park – The American Nationals - $250,000(Est.) 3yo C&G Pace, $165,000(Est.) 3yo Filly Pace, $240,000(Est.) 3yo C&G Trot, $115,000(Est.) 3yo Filly Trot, $190,000(Est.) 4yo & Up Pace, $195,000(Est.) 4yo & Up Trot, $113,000(Est.) 2yo C&G Pace, $115,000(Est.) 2yo Filly Pace Allan Schott HANA Harness Coordinator
October 22, 2013 – Sally Hinckley, in her secondly weekly victory in the row was the Queen of the Breeders Crown in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs as she managed to defeat Rusty Nash by just under $45 for the twelve race contest day ($287.20 vs. $242.25). Overall for the week which also included the final preliminary legs of the Kindergarten Classics at Vernon Downs, Hinckley managed to score a profit of $291.30 versus Nash’s $217.85. Finishing third for the week was Earl Paulson with a net profit of $139.50. Richard Scott (who came out $18.10 to the positive this past week) still holds the overall lead in the contest with an overall net profit of $105.60 leading Rusty Nash, who moved into the place spot overtaking Garnet Barnsdale who settled into third, by $397.02. Here are the contest standings at the conclusion of action on October 19, 2013. Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott $18.30 $105.60 1st 5 2nd Rusty Nash $217.85 ($291.42) ($397.02) 3rd 3 3rd Garnet Barnsdale ($62.60) ($566.94) ($672.54) 2nd 8 4th Ann Stepien ($242.05) ($1,064.35) ($1,169.95) 4th 1 5th Dennis O'Hara ($189.80) ($1,594.05) ($1,699.65) 5th 2 6th Earl Paulson $139.50 ($1,663.10) ($1,768.70) 7th 7 7th Gordon Waterstone ($20.00) ($1,693.40) ($1,799.00) 6th 4 8th Sally Hinckley $291.30 ($2,176.05) ($2,281.65) 10th 0 9th Mark McKelvie ($214.50) ($2,510.49) ($2,616.09) 8th 8 10th Ray Garnett ($281.70) ($2,705.50) ($2,811.10) 9th 3 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Key Hits Garnet Barnsdale - $30 Win in the Breeders Crown 2yoF Pace paid $153.00, $7 Exacta ($14 total) in the Breeders Crown 2yoF Trot paid $106.40; Sally Hinckley – $1 Trifecta Key ($12) in the Breeders Crown 2yoF Trot paid $229.50, $1 Trifecta Key ($30) in the Breeders Crown Mare Trot paid $214.90; Rusty Nash - $0.50 Trifecta Wheel ($28) in the Breeders Crown 2yoF Pace paid $224.75,$0.60 Trifecta Wheel ($28) in the Breeders Crown Mare Trot paid $107.45; Earl Paulson - $15 Exacta ($30) in the 2nd division of the Kindergarten Classic for 2yo trotting colts paid $126.00, $15 Exacta Box ($30) in the Breeders Crown Open Trot paid $291.00, $15 Exacta Box ($30) in the Breeders Crown Open Pace paid $141.00; Gordon Waterstone - $20 Win in the Breeders Crown Mare Pace paid $102.00. Contest Schedule This Week Friday, October 25, 2013 – Vernon Downs - $222,500 Kindergarten Classic – 2yoCT, $211,000 Kindergarten Classic – 2yoFT Saturday, October 26, 2013 – Hoosier Park - $65,000(Div.) – Circle City for 2yo colts and geldings (trot and pace), 2yo filly (trot and pace), 3yo colts and geldings (trot and pace) by Allan Schott for HANA
Chairman Shawn Wiles wants to remind members that the USTA District 8 Membership Meetings along with the District 8 and New York Sires Stakes Awards Dinner will be held at Tioga Downs on Sunday, October 27. The informative programs are run under the aegis of the United States trotting Association and Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding and Development Fund. “During the membership meetings there will be a discussion of the proposed rules and suggested by-law changes and we’ll have a Q and A period ” Wiles said. Joining Wiles will be the USTA’s Ellen Harvey. “I’ll have the usual USTA list of activities and some of them I know more about than others, so I can give a summary of those with which I am most familiar and answer some questions,” Harvey added. Also present at the USTA Meetings will be District Directors, Jason Settlemoir, Mark Ford, Ray Schnittker, Mike Kane, Bruce Tubin and Kim Crawford. The General Membership Meetings will begin at 5:00PM. At 6:30PM there will be a Cocktail Party hosted by Tioga Downs, Batavia Downs, Buffalo Raceway, Monticello Raceway, Saratoga Raceway and Vernon Downs followed at 7:30PM with the Banquet Dinner and Awards Ceremonies. The membership meetings and discussions are free to all USTA District 8 members. However, tickets to the Banquet and award ceremonies are $30 per person. The top horses in the New York Sires Stakes program along with the best owned by USTA District 8 members will be awarded beautiful trophies. But the highlight of the awards presentations will be the Bruce Hamilton Memorial Medal which will be awarded to Wanda Polisseni. Those who plan on attending the awards dinner must remember to make reservations (518-785-5858) prior to Wednesday October 23 and then make checks payable to HHBNYS and mail to: Harness Horse Breeders; 400 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110 by John Manzi for USTA/NYSS
October 14, 2013 – Handicapper Sally Hinckley, guest handicapper on Scarborough Downs broadcasts, managed to squeeze out top honors in this past week’s action at Balmoral Park in HANA Harness’ 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs by scoring a net profit of $56.20 for the three race competition where the race victors were odds-on favorites hampering any significant moves. Hinckley’s $56.20 topped handicappers Gordon Waterstone ($42.10) and Dennis O’Hara ($40.40) to secure top honors. Richard Scott still holds the overall lead in the contest as the contest heads into Breeders Crown week with an overall net profit of $83.70, leading by $591.64. However, with twelve contest races and the usual mix of favorites and long shots anticipated, the possibility of a big move exists. To follow the contest, including obtaining handicappers selections at hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com. Here are the contest standings at the conclusion of action on October 13, 2013, 2013. Pos Handicapper Week Gain Net Profit Behind Last Pos Days Missed 1st Richard Scott ($33.00) $87.30 1st 5 2nd Garnet Barnsdale $0.00 ($504.34) ($591.64) 2nd 8 3rd Rusty Nash $17.95 ($509.27) ($596.57) 3rd 3 4th Ann Stepien ($58.65) ($822.30) ($909.60) 4th 1 5th Dennis O'Hara $40.40 ($1,404.25) ($1,491.55) 5th 2 6th Gordon Waterstone $42.10 ($1,673.40) ($1,760.70) 6th 4 7th Earl Paulson $18.00 ($1,802.60) ($1,889.90) 7th 7 8th Mark McKelvie $0.00 ($2,295.99) ($2,383.29) 8th 7 9th Ray Garnett ($31.00) ($2,423.80) ($2,511.10) 9th 3 10th Sally Hinckley $56.20 ($2,467.35) ($2,554.65) 10th 0 Ten grace days permitted. After ten days, there is a penalty of $30 per race. Key Hits Sally Hinckley - $1 Trifecta Key ($30 Total) in Hanover 2yo colts and geldings paid $74.30; Earl Paulson - $15 Exacta Box ($30) in 1st Division of Hanover 2yo filly stakes paid $108; Gordon Waterstone - $30 Win wager on Hanover 2yo colts and geldings paid $57. Contest Schedule This Week Friday, October 18, 2013 – Vernon Downs - $200,000(Est.) Kindergarten Classic – 2yoFT, $200,000(Est.) Kindergarten Classic – 2yoCT Saturday, October 19, 2013 – Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs - $500,000 Breeders Crown 2yo Colt Trot, $500,000 Breeders Crown 2yo Filly Pace, $500,000 Breeders Crown 2yo Filly Trot, $600,000 Breeders Crown Trot (Open), $500,000 Breeders Crown 3yo Filly Pace, $500,000 Breeders Crown 2yo Colt Pace, $250,000 Breeders Crown Mare Trot, $300,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace, $500,000 Breeders Crown 3yo Filly Trot, $500,000 Breeders Crown 3yo Colt Pace, $500,000 Breeders Crown 3yo Colt Trot, $500,000 Breeders Crown Pace (Open) .by Allan Schott for HANA .
NICHOLS, NY - Tioga Downs is proud to announce that James Witherite, one of the top young announcers in harness racing, will become the track's full-time race caller beginning with the 2014 racing season. The 27-year-old Pennsylvania native has spent the past seven years as the track announcer at Harrah's Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack. Witherite has also called races at more than 60 harness and thoroughbred tracks throughout North America. "I have always been impressed with every aspect of the racing product at Tioga," said Witherite, who has had the opportunity over the past few years to call a couple of race cards each season at Tioga Downs. "While I've enjoyed a great seven years at Philadelphia and called some remarkable miles there, I'm looking forward to this new endeavor." In addition to announcing the races, Witherite will provide his race analysis and commentary in the racing program and on the Tioga Downs website. He will also conduct fan education seminars, meet-and-greets with on-track visitors and even play live music. Witherite is an accomplished multi-instrumental musician and composer. "We've always had a rotating cast of announcers during our race meet, but when it became apparent that James was available, we jumped at the opportunity to get not only one of the premier race callers in our sport, but also a talented and passionate promoter of all aspects of the industry," said Jason Settlemoir, Vice President of Racing. "We have great racing here at Tioga and James will only enhance that product," said Jason Bluhm, Senior Director of Racing. "We plan on creating a pre-race show among other enhancements to our live product and James will be an important part of that. I feel privileged to have him join the team." Witherite will begin his new role this winter working as a fan education ambassador at Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Tioga's sister property located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He will then relocate to Tioga Downs when its racing season begins. The ninth season of live racing at Tioga Downs is scheduled to begin on Kentucky Derby Day, May 3, 2014 (pending regulatory approval). by Justin Horowitz for Tioga Downs
LATHAM, NY---The Harness Horse Breeders of New York State are proud to announce that Wanda Polisseni has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Bruce Hamilton Memorial Medal. For the seventh consecutive year, this award recognizes an individual who has shown outstanding integrity in the sport and also has taken the time to give back to both harness racing and their community in the State of New York. Wanda Polisseni has certainly exemplified these traits since becoming involved in the industry. Polisseni was born and raised in Yates County and her love of harness racing started early as her family boarded Standardbred horses on their farm in the town of Potter, New York. However she would not buy her first one until after her husband, Gene, passed away in 2001. That is when she decided to do something she had always wanted and purchased her first six Standarbreds. Living in Fairport, Polisseni is only minutes from Finger Lakes Racetrack and also enjoys Thoroughbred racing. So she decided to invest in some of those too. Before long, the Purple Haze Stable (the business name chosen for her daughter Kimberly’s favorite color) was home to over 100 horses; about a 50/50 split between both breeds. Polisseni has always been a big supporter of the New York Sire Stakes program and has been heavily invested in New York bred stock since getting into the business. Her successes there have been many and horses like Dajarmbro and Blacktuxwhitesocks have also made names for themselves on the Grand Circuit as well. But there is one thing she enjoys more than watching her horse’s race; and that is helping others. The Polisseni Foundation was formed in the memories of Wanda’s daughter (Kimberly, who died in an auto accident) and husband (Gene) and has the mission statement “Improving the quality of life in upstate New York”. Since its inception in 1983, it has donated millions of dollars to worthy causes in an attempt to make the lives of those in Rochester, New York and the surrounding suburbs better. And they have certainly accomplished what they set out to do. A short list of contributions include building the Polisseni Center for minimally invasive surgery and Endoscopy unit at the Rochester General Hospital, the new ice hockey rink at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the new track and field complex at St. John Fisher College, a state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging center at the F.F. Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua, and they have also made major contributions to the Special Olympics of Monroe County, Advent House, Golisano Children’s Hospital, Marine Corp scholarship fund, Upstate Guide Dogs, Equicenter (horseback therapy for the physically impaired), National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Hunter’s Hope Foundation. Wanda Polisseni personally takes part in and contributes to any and all track sponsored fundraisers that occur during the racing year. Polisseni was also a driving force in the formation of a horse rescue foundation called the Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Adoption Program (FLTAP). Her contribution there built “The Purple Haze Center”, which is a 10,000 square foot facility housing 12 x 12 foot stalls with stall doors that have a fold down design that allows the horses to interact with barn visitors. Outside there is a 70 x 72 foot riding arena as well as four 60 x 60 foot paddocks for turnout and two 60 foot round pens that allow the horses time on grass. Over 400 horses have been placed in new homes through the efforts of the FLTAP. Character, accomplishment and benevolence are the qualities the Bruce Hamilton Memorial Medal seeks to honor every year. And there is no one who displays those more than Wanda Polisseni. The Bruce Hamilton Memorial Medal will be presented to Polisseni at the New York Sire Stakes/USTA District 8 awards dinner on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 5:30 p.m. at Tioga Downs. For reservations or more information, contact the Harness Horse Breeders at 518-785-5858 or firstname.lastname@example.org. by Tim Bojarski for Harness Horse Breeders of NY State
NICHOLS, NY - Come to the races and drive home in a new car. That's the opportunity for area harness racing fans this Saturday night as Tioga Downs celebrates the closing night of its 2013 live racing season. The first of 10 live races begins at 6:50 p.m. Fans will have an opportunity to earn the final entry into the season-long Horseplay Car Giveaway following the third race of the evening. Then all 56 finalists will be placed into a barrel and a backwards draw will be conducted. Names will be drawn one-by-one until only one name remains. That person will be the winner of the Scion iQ automobile courtesy of the Williams Auto Group in Sayre. There will also be drawings to win a laptop computer and gift cards to MaineSource Food & Party Warehouse. Following the last race of the season, a spectacular fireworks display will light up the skies over Tioga County. On the track, some of the country's premier two-year-olds will race for more than $144,000 in prize money in the Reynolds Stakes, hosted by Tioga Downs for the first time. Justin Horowitz
Casie Coleman has always thought highly of Lucan Hanover, but the 3-year-old gelding pacer never put it all together until winning the $250,000 New Jersey Classic on Aug. 3 - Hambletonian Day - at the Meadowlands. Now Coleman has what she thinks are two top 3-year-olds as the Pacing Triple Crown season gets underway with Monday's $360,211 Cane Pace at Tioga Downs in upstate New York. Coleman's Lucan Hanover and stakes-winner Vegas Vacation face millionaire Captaintreacherous and five other foes in the Cane. Lucan Hanover had won three of his first 10 career races before Coleman put him in the Summertime Pacing Series at Mohawk Racetrack. He swept two preliminary legs and the final as a precursor to his lifetime-best 1:48.3 win from post eight in the New Jersey Classic. "As a 2-year-old and starting out as a 3-year-old, Lucan was who I thought was going to be my best 3-year-old colt," Coleman said. "I was always extremely high on this colt and he just never really put it out there on the track. He just wasn't doing what I thought he had in him. "He was racing no good early in the season at the Meadowlands so I brought him back to Toronto and put him in against cheaper horses than what he'd been facing and he got a few wins under his belt. Once he got to beat up on them a little bit and win a few races, he really got his confidence up. I thought he was going to put in a real big effort on Hambo Day and that's exactly what he did. I was real happy with him." Prior to his four-race win streak, Lucan Hanover also suffered from splints, a situation Coleman was able to rectify during a brief layoff prior to the Summertime Pacing Series. "He was running out really bad going into the first turn at the Meadowlands," Coleman said. "He had a couple outside splints, which are very uncommon, that were really bothering him. They were real close to his knees so I couldn't do much vet work until we had a break in his schedule. Now he's steering straight." Lucan Hanover is a son of stallion Western Ideal out of the mare Lauren Order and a half-brother to stakes-winner Lawgiver Hanover. He was purchased for $47,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale and is owned by West Wins Stable and Christine Calhoun. "He's still got some good stakes races the second half of the season," Coleman said. "I think they're definitely going to know who he is. Since his 2-year-old season I thought he was going to be a top player and he kept making me look stupid talking about him being a good horse. Hopefully he's going to turn it around now." Lucan Hanover will start the Cane Pace from a tough spot, post eight, while stablemate Vegas Vacation begins from post four as he looks to turn the tables on multiple-stakes-winner Captaintreacherous. Vegas Vacation was second by a neck to Captaintreacherous in both his elimination and the final of the Max C. Hempt Memorial in June at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. "He's always right there knocking on the door," Coleman said. "Vegas tries every single race; he gives it all he's got. It would be nice to get the better of (Captaintreacherous) sometime here, but Captain is a great horse. I've always believed in Vegas and I really believe if we get the right trip and the upper hand on Captain that we can beat him. Captain is a great horse, but I think that I have a great horse. "I know the winner gets all the credit, but if anybody goes back and watches the replays of some of the trips Vegas Vacation went, he was phenomenal in each of those races also." Vegas Vacation, a son of Bettor's Delight-Don't You Smile, enters the Cane Pace off a 1:48.3 win in the $257,250 Empire Breeders Classic on Aug. 11 at Tioga Downs. The time equaled the fastest mile ever by a 3-year-old gelding pacer on a five-eighths-mile track. Coleman hoped the Cane Pace would have eliminations last week, but when only eight horses entered the race elims were unnecessary. So she qualified Lucan Hanover in 1:53 on Aug. 27 at Harrah's Philadelphia and trained Vegas Vacation in New Jersey. "I thought for sure there would be elims and that kind of stinks for me because Vegas has been off for three weeks and Lucan for four weeks," Coleman said. "But there's nothing we can do about that. With Vegas, I trained him up good. I'm not a person that usually trains overly fast miles, but I did train him in (1):54.4 on Tuesday. He came the back half in :54 and home in :27 and he was very strong doing it. "It's still not a real race, so being short scares me a little bit, but he's been healthy and sound and feeling great. He looks awesome. The time off definitely did him good and he's got a busy schedule coming up in the next few weeks. Both horses are feeling sharp and are ripping the barn apart. I couldn't be any happier with the way both of them seem coming into the race. I just wish I had a race under the belts. Hopefully we've got everything under control." Brian Sears will drive Vegas Vacation and David Miller will handle Lucan Hanover in the Cane Pace. The entry is the 5-2 second choice behind the Tony Alagna-trained entry of Captaintreacherous and Wake Up Peter, which is at 8-5 on the morning line. Estimated post time is 4:30 p.m. Monday for the Cane Pace. Captaintreacherous is coming into the Cane Pace after suffering his first loss in seven starts this year. He was beaten by a nose by Sunshine Beach in a world-record-equaling 1:47.4 mile in the Battle of the Brandywine on Aug. 17 at Pocono Downs. The colt's wins this year include the North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace, in addition to the Hempt Memorial. "That race (the Battle of the Brandywine), Sunshine Beach raced tremendous and so did Captain," Coleman said. "He dug right through the wire. That was a really good race; both those horses were digging real hard for the wire. You can't take anything away from each of them. Captain is an amazing horse, for sure." Following is the Cane Pace field in post position order with drivers, trainers and morning line: 1. Someplace Special, Corey Callahan, Mark Silva (12-1); 2. Captaintreacherous, Tim Tetrick, Tony Algana (8-5); 3. Wake Up Peter, Ron Pierce, Alagna (8-5); 4. Vegas Vacation, Brian Sears, Casie Coleman (5-2); 5. Word Power, Jody Jamieson, Larry Remmen (10-1); 6. Twilight Bonfire, John Campbell, Danny Collins (3-1); 7. Varadero Hanover, Yannick Gingras, Ron Burke (5-1); 8. Lucan Hanover, David Miller, Coleman (5-2). For a Cane Pace preview from "Eye on Harness Racing," Eye on Harness Racing 2013 # 13- 08-29-2013 from USTA on Vimeo. Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications
The 7th race open featured World Champion and multiple Dan Patch award winner Check Me Out as the heavy 1/4 favorite. In the early going, Tioga Open regular Aruba Vacation left swiftly from the far outside and cleared easily to the front while posting a 26.3 opening panel. Check Me Out drifted from her outside starting position and settled in 4th. As the open trotters passed the stands for the first time Ray Schnittker eased Check Me Out 1st over and began a slow march to the front as Aruba Vacation led them past the half in 56. As the field turned down the Tioga backside and headed to three quarters, Check Me Out stalled 3rd on the outside and had to be urged on by Schnittker, but to no avail as the field passed three quarters in 1:24. Check Me Out began to back thru the field and eventual upset winner Fox Valley Smarty eased out from the perfect pocket trip given to him by driver Corey Braden, locked horns with and wore down front runner Aruba Vacation to win by a half-length in 1:53.4. The win was the 4th of the year for the David Duspiva trained Fox Valley Smarty and his 27th career win. Fern Paquet, Jr. and Mike Simons picked up driving doubles. Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Sunday, August 18th with a post time of 6:50pm. For more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com. Jason Bluhm
Coming into Friday night’s NYSS events for 2-year old colt pacers, the talk of the state has been about He’s Watching who has posted two impressive sire stakes wins at Saratoga and Buffalo after making breaks at the start. When the night was over, the story got more impressive after He’s Watching (Jim Morrill Jr.) minded his manners on Friday night at Tioga and erased the world record for 2-year old colt pacers previously held by Rock N Roll Heaven (Dan Dube) of 1:50.3 when he cruised to victory in 1:50. Leaving from post position number four, He’s Watching took his time working his way to the front through an opening quarter of 27. As the field headed towards the half mile mark of the race, He’s Watching kept a snug hold of Morrill and continued through some brisk fractions posting a half mile mark in 54.4. Twin B Speedo (Yannick Gingras) was doing all he could do to keep within striking distance sitting in the two hole as the field went by three quarters in 1:22.4. Around the final turn, Morrill let the 2-year old son of American Ideal – Baberhood pace the final quarter and quickly step away from the rest of the field to win by six and a quarter lengths in a world record of 1:50. David Menary trains and co-owns He’s Watching with Brad Gray and Michael Guerriero of Ontario. “He is such a nice colt and he is just so fast it is unbelievable. I asked him to go in the stretch there tonight a little bit but he could have just as easily gone in 49 tonight, he is just so fast it’s amazing” said drive Jim Morrill Jr. following the victory. Three other divisions of NYSS for 2-year old colt pacers were held on Friday night at Tioga, the winners included: Neat – Marcus Miller (1:53.2), Major Trick – Jim Morrill Jr. (1:53.2), and Stay Up Late – David Miller (1:52.4). Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Saturday, August 10th with a post time of 6:50pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us on our website at www.tiogadowns.com . Dustin Ross
Cold Certified won for the 2nd time in two starts in 2013, both on the 5/8th mile oval in Nichols, Ny. Both times Corey Braden put the 4 year old son of Kadabra-I Like Stephanie on the front and both times he never looked back. Tonight, over a tracked listed sloppy after hours of steady rain, Cold Certified wrangled the front in a quick 27.4. After backing down to the half in 57.4, Braden used another burst of speed to lengthen his lead to five thru ¾ in 1:26.1 and cruised home to a length and three quarter victory over a hard charging Windsong Hercules, who shook loose late to close for 2nd, Fool's Revenue was 3rd. Corey Braden posted a driving triple while Bruce Clarke and Victor Kirby each secured driving doubles; Tyler Raymer had a training double. Also taking place during the races was the Annual Miss Tioga contest. A record 19 contestants entered to battle it out for the crown. When the dust settled, Mary Katherine Julp from nearby Vestal, Ny was the winner. She currently attends UMBC studying Biology and Pre-dental. Tioga Downs continues live racing action on Sunday, July 28th with New York Sire Stakes for 3 year old colt pacers, post time will be 1:30pm, for more information on Tioga Downs please visit us online at www.tiogadowns.com. Jason Bluhm