The combination of Super Night eliminations and a fabulous guaranteed wagering menu brings the spotlight to Illinois racing as Balmoral Park, for the first time in history, will offer four guaranteed pools on one night. With the addition of a Pick Five carryover of $5,399, Balmoral Park and USTA Strategic Wagering program will offer an instant guaranteed pool of $20,000. The one mile oval will offer players guaranteed pools totaling $100,000 on Saturday night. The four guaranteed pools are a $20,000 Pick Five pool on races 4 thru 8, a $25,000 Pick Four pool on races 9 thru 12, a $30,000 Trifecta pool on race 11 and a $25,000 High Five pool on the race 12 finale. Free deluxe twelve line program pages are now available courtesy of Track Master at www.ustrotting.com The Guaranteed pools averaged over $110,000 a night at Balmoral Park in August without a single carryover. The three guaranteed pool model at Northfield, Maywood and Balmoral has proven there is an audience for these wagers every night. That was a big step. Our guaranteed High Five pools are bigger than every thoroughbred track in the country except Del Mar, which handled more than $12,000,000 a day in 2014. That was a big step. The guaranteed pools are at the height of their popularity. The Pick Four averaged only $8,827 in 2009. With the lowering of takeout to 15% in 2010, the Balmoral Pick Four has grown more than four times that amount to a nightly average of $35,894 in August 2015. Therefore we feel it is the right time for Balmoral Park to step up by raising the Pick Four and High Five guarantees on Saturday and Sunday by $20,000 a week as we head towards the biggest night in Illinois racing. Promoting the wagers that offer pool liquidity will most definitely get the players attention. The way I see it, Strategic Wagering has thrown Illinois the football and it is time to see how far Balmoral can run with it. First post at Balmoral Park on Saturday is 7:10 p.m. (central) There will be more eliminations on Sunday, Sept. 6th as well as the American Nationals for two year old colt and filly trotters. The Sunday night card will also offer $75,000 in guaranteed pools and all the action gets underway at 7:10 p.m. (central). Michael Antoniades... Balmoral Park Racing Analyst
The latest model of Strategic Wagering got off to a roaring start last weekend at the harness racing meeting at Balmoral Park. The idea that began four years ago with guaranteed pools of $400,000 a month in 2011 have been increased fivefold in 2015. Strategic Wagering will now offer at least one guaranteed trifecta pool, Pick Four pool and High Five pool every night for 31 straight days. The addition of the trifecta pools in August will see Strategic Wagering offer guaranteed pools in excess of $2,000,000 this month. The success of the three guaranteed pools last weekend is very encouraging and it appears that Strategic Wagering is on the right path. Bigger pools will most certainly bring bigger players. The weekend averages of the guaranteed pools at Balmoral Park were $54,206 on the trifecta, $36,001 on the pick four and $35,456 on the ten cent high five. Players will like the fast paced action of four races and three guaranteed pools in a little more than an hour. The debut of the three nightly guaranteed pools model at Balmoral Park saw total handle for the two days clock in at $2,171,438 for an average of $98,701 per race with a nightly average of $1,085,719. The final four races featuring the three guaranteed pools did extraordinary business. Handle on the last four races Saturday was $490,700. The Sunday final four sequence did over a half million dollars clocking in at $514,972. The handle for those eight races totaled $1,005,672, or $125,709 per race. The Sunday Pick five paid $11,717.30 for fifty cents. The guaranteed trifecta pools seemingly have the same effect as the guaranteed High Five pools that began in July. The low ten or twenty cent Guaranteed High Five has proven to be extremely popular. The low minimum allows the small player to be a part of the game. Last Friday the Maywood Park High Five pool totaled $26,671, second in the country behind the Del Mar High Five pool of $55,888. Saturday Del Mar had the top High Five pool in the country at $44,301 with Balmoral a close second with $39,214. Pretty admirable figures considering Del Mar averaged $12,087,844 per day during their 2014 summer meet. The pilot program kicked off with three tracks, Balmoral Park, Northfield Park and Maywood Park. During the month of August, Balmoral will offer $70,000 in nightly guarantees comprised of a guaranteed Pick Four pool, a High Five pool and a Trifecta pool every Saturday and Sunday. Northfield Park will offer three guaranteed pools every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Maywood Park will follow with three guaranteed pools each Thursday and Friday. In my opinion, the industry must try to create larger pools. There are so many potential players that would bet $1000 to win, a $200 exacta or a $50 trifecta if the pools would accommodate those wagers. The people who put in thousand dollar tickets on multi race wagers are out there. Creating larger pools will bring these valuable players and eventually increase participation. The lesson we are learning in thoroughbred racing and harness racing is that actually offering less pools per race may be beneficial to business. Free deluxe twelve line program pages for all Strategic Wagering guaranteed pools are available courtesy of Track Master at www.ustrotting.com. The entire August calendar is also available on the USTA website. Michael Antonaides
Balmoral Park will offer a guaranteed Pick 5 pool of $20,000 on Sunday, March 8th. Because the 50 cent minimum wager was not hit on Saturday night, a carryover of $3,036.77 will be added to Sunday's wagering pool. The 50 cent bet is offered on races two through six on Sunday's harness racing card. In addition to the Pick 5 guarantee, fans will have a chance to add to their bankrolls later in the in the night as Balmoral will also offer a $25,000 guaranteed pool on their $1 Pick 4 wager. The Pick 4, which is on races seven through 10 on Sunday night features a low takeout of 15%. Handicappers across North America can get a head start on their competition with free 10 line program pages for the guaranteed pools courtesy of the USTA Strategic Wagering Initiative and Track Master on the handicapping section at www.ustrotting.com. Post time for Sunday's opener at Balmoral is 7:10 pm (central). Don't miss your chance to take home a big jackpot!. Balmoral Park
Deerfield Beach, FL – The American Harness Racing Secretaries annual meetings will officially get underway Thursday morning at the Embassy Suites at 9:00 am. These meeting are celebrating the 50th anniversary since the association first met. Featuring most of the race secretaries, State Sire Stakes officials and staking service companies from throughout North America, the meetings taking place will all but finalize the 2015 stakes schedule. Despite sunny skies, breezy winds and temperatures at around 80, the group meets daily on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to review, make changes, try and avoid conflicts and come away with a tentative schedule for nearly 1,800 stakes and added event races in 2015. President of the association is Ian Fleming, the race secretary at The Raceway Western Fair in Ontario and vice president is race secretary Rick Kane at Pocono Downs. The Recording Secretary is Sharon Hermann, formerly of Buffalo Raceway and the Stakes Administrator is newly elected Hall of Famer Communicator, Carol Cramer, who has attended these meetings for the past 48 years. Thursday evening is the American Harness Racing Secretaries annual dinner. Friday’s special guest presenter is David Siegel, president of Trackmaster and then on Saturday is the 50th anniversary awards luncheon. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com
TrackMaster announced today that it has launched a free iPhone App called the TrackMaster Pocket Handicapper Suite, which includes nine different handicapping products. The new App is now available in the iTunes store. "This new iPhone App brings handicappers the convenience of having a wide array of handicapping tools whenever and wherever they want them," said David Siegel, President of TrackMaster. "And with all purchases going directly through the customers' iTunes account, there is no need for any additional registration." Highlights of the Pocket Handicapper Suite app include the following Thoroughbred offerings - selections from the Turf Club Analysts, Walker Group and FAST Sheets; Railbird and FlashNet reports, and the Pocket Handicapper PPs. On the Harness side, Chatsworth and FAST selection reports are included along with FlashNet and the Pocket Handicapper PPs. "Handicappers are going to find this to be a terrific tool," said Mike Tanner, Executive Vice President of the United States Trotting Association. "Whether they are at the track, an OTB or playing online, all the information they need to make an informed wager is literally in the palm of their hand." TrackMaster, a wholly owned subsidiary of Equibase Company LLC, provides a full range of handicapping products for the three major racing breeds -- Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and Standardbred. Equibase Company LLC is a partnership between subsidiaries of The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America and serves as the Thoroughbred industry's official database. Additional information about the companies is available at trackmaster.com and equibase.com. From TrackMaster
Illinois conceived and foaled trotters and pacers were back in the spotlight on Saturday night at Balmoral Park as the Crete plant played host to four stakes or consolations for Super Night participants as part of the big 13-race harness racing program. Freshmen pacing fillies kicked off the action with a field of nine going postward in the $13,900 Thrifty Way Stake. Avenging a pair of recent tough trips that led to sub-par efforts Quaid Racing's Angel Demon came steamrolling down the center of the track to record a 3 Â½ length victory in a career best of 1:54.2 for driver John De Long. Saving ground the entire way, the daughter of Sportsmaster--Miss Swift appeared to be hopelessly shuffled out of contention before De Long managed to shake loose from the pylons. Storming down the center of the track Angel Demon blew right by a leg weary Girls Hunt Too to pick up her first career victory. Longshot Desi Dune (Todd Warren) turned in a nice effort to finish second while Girls Hunt Too was third. Now in the barn of conditioner Erin Elliott, Angel Demon returned $5.00, $3.60 & $3.40 while pushing her bankroll to $48,113. Trotters were next to hit the track as a field of seven diagonally gaited three-year-old fillies battled in the $20,000 Lady Ann Reed Consolation. Making amends for her costly break in the rich Super Night final of this event, Donald Huddleston's Macie Rae was on her best behavior as she made every call a winning one, reporting home by 4 Â¾ lengths in 1:57.1. With trainer Mike Rogers climbing into the bike for this battle the daughter of Powerful Emotion--Fox Valley Poetry stormed right to the front, putting up splits of 29.1, 58.1 & 1:27.0. After opening up a big lead at the top of the stretch, Rogers let his filly drift a bit through the stretch and she responded beautifully to that careful handling as she widened her margin while notching her 11th victory in 15 starts this season. Bands Alexis (Todd Warren) tried to follow the winner's every move but was forced to settle for a runner-up role while Fox Valley Skylar (Dale Hiteman) finished third. Heavily backed off her sparkling record Macie Rae returned just $2.80, $2.80 & $2.20 while upping her career earnings to $89,520 with career win number 19. Freshmen pacing colts jumped into the fray with a field of nine youngsters battling in the $13,900 Yates Eagle Stake. Taking advantage of a perfect two-hole trip, Fox Valley Elijah came rolling through the passing lane to win by 1 ½ lengths in a career best of 1:54.2. Perfectly positioned by driver Todd Warren, the gelded son of Sportsmaster--Eternal Gift had all the best of it while C Note (Travis Seekman) carved out splits of 29.0, 58.3 & 1:27.0. Fit and fresh off that journey the Nelson Willis trainee gradually wore down the pace setter, drawing clear in the shadow of the wire for his second lifetime win for the partnership of Kay Willis, Engel Stable Of Illinois and Haugen Stables. C Note held on gamely to finish second while Casey At Bat (Dean Magee) found room late to rally for the show dough. Part of a Willis owned entry Fox Valley Elijah returned $9.60, $4.20 & $4.00 while moving his bankroll to $15,890. Last but not least were sophomore pacing colts as a field of nine three-year-olds squared off in the $22,400 Pete Langley Memorial Consolation. This race provided the biggest shocker of the night as 19-1 longshot Fox Valley Cupid parlayed a perfect trip into a thrilling nose decision in a career best of 1:52.3. Hustled off the wings of the gate by Robert Smolin the gelded son of Yankee Skyscaper--Fox Valley Cherub landed in the garden spot right on the back of favored Uncle Ugly as that one put up hot splits of 26.3, 55.1 & 1:23.2. Moving into the passing lane the Mike Schulfer trainee gradually wore down the favorite and then held on for dear life as Overloaded (Kyle Wilfong) came flying late to just miss. The other half of that Tom Simmons trained entry; Fox Valley Van (Dale Hiteman) was a fast closing third. The win was just the second in a 34-race career for Fox Valley Cupid who has still managed to earn a "cool" $115,830 for owner James Strazlka, Mike Schulfer, James Skvarla and Nancy Magnus. Those lucky enough to back the bay sophomore were rewarded with mutuels of $40.80, $12.80 & $5.80. Saturday's 50 cent Pick 5 wager was not hit so there will be a carryover of $6,168 added to Sunday's pool. Thus, there will now be a GUARANTEED POOL OF $50,000 for Sunday's Pick 5 wager. The Pick 5 is contested on races 2-6 on Sunday's. Past performances courtesy of Trackmaster for the 50 Cent Pick 5 and the $1 Pick with its $25,000 guaranteed pool can be found at ustrotting.com Tom Kelley
MANALAPAN, NJ - August 21, 2014 - When Freehold Raceway re-opens for its 2014 Summer/Fall Meet on Thursday, August 28, there will be a return to condition racing and the introduction of automated morning lines. "In a mutual agreement with the SBOA [Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey], we are returning to conditioned races when we re-open August 28," said Freehold's General Manager Howard Bruno. "We had some success with the ABC classified system, however, the seasonal fluctuations in horse supply made it difficult to maximize its potential." The 48-day meet [August 28 through December 13] will occupy Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays each week along with a special Labor Day card on Monday, September 1. Post time is 12:30 p.m. Overnight purses will average $40,000 daily, according to Bruno. Automated morning lines, generated by TrackMaster, will debut this meet. "Several other tracks have begun using the system and the feedback has been positive," said Director of Racing and Racing Secretary Karen Fagliarone. "We feel the automation will lead to increased accuracy and be more timely than our current system." Opening weekend includes stakes action, an opening day t-shirt giveaway, and, on Labor Day, discounted food items, autograph session and a cap giveaway. The free t-shirt will be distributed with a paid Freehold live racing program [while supplies last] on Thursday, August 28. The opening day feature is the first round of New Jersey Sire Stakes Green Acres for two-year-old trotting colts. Friday, August 29 spotlights eliminations, if needed, for the Helen Smith Trot for three-year-old fillies which has a $55,000 estimated final on September 5. Saturday, August 30 will showcase three-year-old pacing colts in Green Acres action. Two-year-old pacers, both colts and fillies, face off in opening round Green Acres on Labor Day, September 1. Labor Day is also Back to the Track, a cooperative effort by the United States Trotting Association, its member racetracks, and horsemen from coast-to-coast that combines exciting harness racing and fan-friendly promotions. Freehold's Labor Day festivities include a free Back to the Track cap with paid Freehold live program [while supplies last], 50-cent hot dogs, 50-cent sodas, drawings for a season's parking pass and Back to the Track t-shirts. Additionally, there will be a drivers' autograph session. Saturday, September 20 marks the Third Annual Open Space Pace, which starts with a morning parade of horses on Main Street in Freehold Borough, ending at Freehold Raceway where additional events will be staged, including celebrity amateur races, demonstrations, educational exhibits, great food, live harness racing, family fun activities, petting zoo, a concert and fireworks. In addition to the Green Acres stakes for New Jersey-sired two and three-year-olds, the fall schedule includes the Lou Babic Paces [September 27] and the SBOANJ-sponsored Marion Dancer Trot [September 4], Helen Smith Trot [September 5], Charles Smith Trot [September 12], Harold Dancer Trot [September 25] and New Jersey Futurities [September 6, October 10, October 16 and October 25]. Qualifiers are on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. with declarations due the prior day at 10 a.m. Fourteen baby races and qualifiers are carded for Thursday, August 21. The opening week draw schedule: Thursday, August 28 - Draw on Monday, August 25 [Declare in by 9 a.m.] Friday, August 29 - Draw on Tuesday, August 26 [Declare in by 9 a.m.] Saturday, August 30 - Draw on Wednesday, August 27 [Declare in by 9 a.m.] Monday, September 1 [Labor Day] - Draw on Thursday, August 28 [Declare in by 9 a.m.] The remainder of meet will follow Freehold's traditional draw schedule of Saturday for Thursday, Tuesday for Friday and Wednesday for Saturday. by Carol Hodes, for the SBOANJ
(Wyomissing, PA - August 19, 2014) Penn National Gaming, Inc., (PNGI) the largest operator of Standardbred racetracks in North America, will institute the new Trackmaster automated morning line system at all of its harness racing facilities effective immediately. PNGI owns and operates Hollywood Casino, Hotel and Raceway (Bangor, ME), the new Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, Plainridge Racecourse and Rosecroft Raceway. PNGI is also joint venture partner with Greenwood Racing, Inc. at Freehold Raceway. "This new morning line feature from Trackmaster should help bring consistency to our morning line process and also provide a reliable starting point for our wagering guests," said Christopher McErlean, Vice President of Racing for PNGI. "With the implementation of the USTA's on-line entry system at all of our harness tracks and the use of its automated post position draw system, the Penn Gaming harness tracks are using all the technology tools available to streamline our racing office processes and offer user friendly services to our horsemen and the wagering public," added McErlean. In addition, Rosecroft Raceway will institute a new simulcast graphics system with enhanced racing information and statistics generated by Trackmaster when its summer-fall meet begins September 13. "We think these informative graphic enhancements will help handicappers on-track and at all our simulcast locations," said McErlean. The upcoming Penn National Gaming harness meets include: Plainridge Racecourse: In progress Freehold Raceway: August 28 Rosecroft Raceway: September 13 Dayton Raceway: October 3 Bangor Raceway: October 6 Penn National Gaming, Inc. (PNGI) is the largest operator of pari-mutuel facilities in North America with 12 racetracks in 10 different jurisdictions featuring Standardbred, Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Greyhound racing. PNGI conducts over 1,100 live racing performances a year with over $1 billion in pari-mutuel wagers processed annually. PNGI also operates five off-track wagering facilities and a regional Internet/Telephone account wagering system. PNGI is also one of the largest regional gaming operators in North America with 27 facilities in 18 different jurisdictions with over 31,000 gaming machines, 800 table games and 2,900 hotel rooms. From Penn National Gaming, Inc.
Thanks to an ongoing agreement between The Meadowlands and Trackmaster, we are happy to offer the trackmaster past performances for Hambletonian Day to our customers completely free of charge. Those looking to get a head start on their handicapping for the biggest day in harness racing can access the past performances here: http://meadowlandsracetrack.com/uploadedFiles/Handicapping/Past_Performances/mxx0802e%5B1%5D.pdf. Hambletonian Day kicks off at noon with Hambletonian post time set for 5:11 P.M. by Darin Zoccali, for Harnesslink.com
Handicappers that closely follow the racing at Yonkers Raceway may have noticed a subtle change in the program information the last month. The morning line odds are now being prepared by a computerized program. For the last three years, TrackMaster has been developing software to generate automated morning lines. In statistics compiled by TrackMaster, these automated lines have proven to be more accurate than the lines currently being used at most harness tracks "While this has taken a substantial investment by TrackMaster and the USTA to build the automated line seamlessly into the eTrack race office system, it is of substantial benefit to racetracks and players," said David Siegel, TrackMaster President and Chief Executive Officer. "The lines are demonstrably more accurate in predicting what odds that the public ultimately dictate. Additional benefits include a uniform and unbiased approach to the line, fast turnaround time, perfectly balanced lines, reliability and potential cost savings." Yonkers Raceway continues its five day a week racing schedule with a 7:10pm first post on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Yonkers has requested permission from the New York Gaming Commission to offer day racing on Sundays beginning November 9 through the end of the meet on December 14. The Sunday racecards would replace Tuesday nights and would begin weekly simulcasting of Yonkers races into the French PMU markets in Europe. From the SOA/NY
After a pair of romping wins in downstate harness racing fair events, Donald Huddleston's Macie Rae returned to Balmoral Park on Sunday night looking to avenge her only loss of the year which came in the Violet Stake here back on May 25th. The speedy filly did just that as she shot right to the front and proceeded to make every call a winning one in an easy 1 Â½ length victory over seven other ICF three-year-old trotting fillies in the $10,000 Betzotic Stake. The final time of 1:55.3 shaved nearly three seconds off her previous career mark. Taking full advantage of an inside starting spot driver Ryan Anderson hustled the daughter of Powerful Emotion--Fox Valley Poetry away from post two and quickly settled into a familiar position on the front end while leading the field through splits of 28.2, 58.4 & 1:27.4. With the Violet Stake winner Bailey's Wish (Dave Magee) sitting right on their backs, Anderson and the Michael Rogers trainee were never seriously threatened on their march to victory lane Sunday night, sealing the deal with a sharp 27.4 final panel while effortlessly keeping their chief rival at bay. Bailey's Wish was forced to settle for the bridesmaid role on this night while Say No Mo (John De Long) finished a distant third, five lengths behind the winner. With Sunday's victory Macie Rae, who was hammered at the betting windows returned $4.00, $2.80 & $2.60 while running her career record to 13-3-4 in 25 starts with earnings of $48,907 for her Palmer, Illinois based owner. Live racing continues at Balmoral Park on Wednesday, June 25th, win a nine-card card getting underway at 7:10 pm (central). The Wednesday Pick 4 will have a $10,000 guaranteed pool and will entail races six through nine. Past performances for the Pick 4 races, courtesy of Trackmaster and the U.S.T.A. can be found at www.ustrotting.com. Tom Kelley
Mountain View, CA --- For the next five Saturdays, harness racing fans will have their time to shine with the opportunity to compete in the exciting new TrackMaster-Meadowlands Harness Handicapping Challenge. With $5,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs in the finals, featuring a $2,000 grand prize, horse players of all types will not want to miss out on this free event. Co-sponsored by TVG and the USTA, the format of the challenge is simple. It's absolutely free to enter and play. Using a mythical bankroll, you'll make exactly eight $20 win wagers on any Meadowlands races each Saturday. There will be five weekly qualifying rounds, each providing a brand new chance to earn a spot in the finals which will be comprised of 50 players, the top 10 bankrolls from each qualifying round. "We are excited to partner with Meadowlands to highlight the high quality of racing they offer fans", said Jim Vanderbosch, TrackMaster Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "By focusing only on their races, we believe it will provide the best test for the contest participants, while showcasing the quality of Meadowlands races." TrackMaster will be providing free handicapping products to support the contest. The Challenge runs every Saturday starting April 26th, through May 24th, wrapping up with the finals on Saturday, May 31st. Registration is now open! Go to trackmaster.com/contest to register and find out more. From TrackMaster Publicity Department
After closing out his freshman campaign with a stakes victory here at BalmoralPark back in November, Tour Hall picked up right where he left off on Saturday night as the talented youngster cruised to an easy 1 Â½ length triumph over three other sophomore trotting colts in the $10,000 Speedy Rodney Stake. The final time was 1:59.3. Given a confident steer by co-owner and trainer Mike Brink, the gelded son of American Native grabbed command right from the start leading the field through leisurely splits of 29.3, 1:00 & 1:31.2. With plenty still in reserve Tour Hall sprinted home in 28.1 while easily keeping his rivals at bay for his fifth career win in 14 starts. Bobby B Breeze (Todd Warren) parlayed a pocket sitting journey into a second place finish whileVin (Casey Leonard) was third. With the win Tour Hall now boasts a career record of 5-3-1 in 14 starts with earnings of $78,801 for Brink and co-owner Loren Tournear. With the Easter holiday on Sunday, April 20thBalmoralPark will be "dark" for live racing. However, Wednesday night action will return at the Crete oval on April 23rd with a nine-race card getting underway at 7:10 p.m. (central). There will be a $10,000 Guaranteed Pool on Wednesday's Pick 4 which will entail races six through nine. Program pages will be available courtesy of Trackmaster and the USTA at www.ustrotting.com. Just click on the handicapping section of that website. Also, the 50 Cent Pick 5 wager will begin on the first race of the night on Wednesday.
March 23, 2014 - HANA Harness is pleased to announce the initial Gold Sponsors of this year's handicapping contest along with the handicappers and rescues they are representing in this year's event. This year's Grand Circuit 'Shoot-Out Handicapping Contest is being sponsored by prior year sponsors, The Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. New this year to the Gold Level Sponsorship level is DRF Harness and Northfield Park. Thanks to the sponsors which have already committed, at least $3,000 will be distributed to Standardbred rescues as a result of this year's contest. Additional sponsorships, primarily at the Silver and Bronze levels. are still available. Whether a racetrack, horsemen's group, or a provider of services related to harness racing, HANA Harness welcomes your sponsorship of this contest. 100% of all funds are directed to approved standardbred rescues. For further information regarding sponsorship opportunities, you may send an email to email@example.com. In addition to the initial gold level sponsors, the contestants for the 2014 HANA Harness Grand Circuit 'Shoot-Out' Handicapping Contest presented by The Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs have been named. This year we have a mix of handicappers of all age groups, from teens and up; some returning and first time contestants. Along with the names of the handicappers is their primary relationship to racing, how they finished in their last HANA Harness Contest (if competed before), and the standardbred equine rescue they are playing for in this year's contest. For complete biographies of the handicappers, you may visit the contest website for additional information. Garnet Barnsdale - Harness Racing Writer; Finished 6th in 2013, Rescue: TROTR; Therapeutic Riding and Off-Track Rehabilitation) Ray Cotolo - Internet Harness Racing Analyst and Writer; Did Not Compete, Rescue: Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals Ray Garnett -Handicapper; Finished 10th in 2013, Rescue: Rockin T Equine Rescue Derick Giwner - Editor, DRF Harness; Did Not Compete, Rescue: New Vocations Sally Hinckley - On-air Handicapping Personality; Finished 9th in 2013, Rescue: Sunshine Horse Rescue. Mark McKelvie - Handicapper; Finished 8th in 2013, Rescue: Rainhill Sanctuary. Rusty Nash - Trackmaster Handicapper; Finished 2nd in 2013, Rescue: Central Virginia Horse Rescue Dennis O'Hara - Handicapper, Former Asst Race Secretary; Finished 5th in 2013, Rescue: Standardbred Retirement Foundation Earl Paulson - Handicapper, Yahoo Harness Racing Forum Director; Finished 3rd in 2013, Rescue: Heading for Home Anne Stepien - Handicapper, Former Trainer; Finished 4th in 2013, Rescue: Heart of Phoenix Gordon Waterstone - Associate Editor, Horseman and Fair World; Finished 7th in 2013, Rescue: Racer Placers Brandon Valvo - Handicapper, Writer; Did Not Compete, Rescue: Changing Fates Equine Rescue Josi Verlingieri - Handicapper; Did Not Compete, Rescue: Helping Hearts Equine Rescue. Bob Zanakis - Ocean Downs Handicapper; Finished 3rd in 2012, Rescue: Horse Lovers United. The first leg of the 2014 Grand Circuit 'Shoot-Out' is scheduled for April 26, 2014 when the finals of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pace and the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series will be contested at Yonkers Raceway. A complete list of bcontest days may be found here. by Allan Schott, for HANA
Columbus, OH --- Michael Chosky from Pittsburgh, Pa. and David Pankenier of Maricopa, Ariz., became the final two qualifiers in the USTA World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifying Series with wins in the contests involving Maywood Park on Friday (March 14) and Balmoral Park on Saturday (March 15), respectively. Each of the 10 winners earned entry ($800 value) to the finals of the $60,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship at The Meadowlands on Saturday (April 19). The USTA free, online contests conducted on www.HorseTourneys.com involved racing from 10 different USTA member racetracks from Jan. 30 through March 15. First prize in this year's WHHC final is $24,000 with payouts to the top 10 finishers. For more information, click here or visit the Meadowlands website at www.meadowlandsracetrack.com. Last year's winner of the WHHC final was USTA qualifier Jeff Klahr from Erie, Pa. Free TrackMaster Platinum Plus past performances were provided to all contestants for the 10 contests. Following are the 10 winners from the 2014 USTA World Harness Handicapping Championship Qualifying Series: Thursday (Jan. 30)--Northfield Park--Gerry Tuzzolino (Shoreview, Minn.) Friday (Jan. 31)--The Meadows--Jeffrey Arnold (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) Friday (Feb. 7)--Meadowlands--Arthur Nigro (Tuckahoe, N.Y.) Saturday (Feb. 8)--Yonkers--Rick Arbiter (Kingston, N.Y.) Thursday (Feb. 13)--Dover Downs--Matt Minger (New Lenox, Ill.) Saturday (Feb. 15)--Cal Expo--Chris Revington (London, Ontario, Canada) Saturday (Feb. 22)--Pompano Park--Walter Andrasi (Middleburg, Ohio) Friday (March 7)--Buffalo Raceway--Ron Rippey (Wayne, N.J.) Friday (March 14)--Maywood Park--Michael Chosky (Pittsburgh, Pa.) Saturday (March 15)--Balmoral Park--David Pankenier (Maricopa, Ariz.) by Dan Leary, USTA Director of Marketing and Communications
Columbus, OH --- The last two chances to win a free entry to the 2014 World Harness Handicapping Championship in the USTA's online qualifiers will be this weekend with races from Maywood Park on Friday (March 14) and Balmoral Park on Saturday (March 15). First post time for both tracks is 8:10 p.m. (EDT). Adding to the excitement in the final two contests of the USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifying Series is that fact that it will be opening night of the 2014 racing season at both Illinois tracks. Contestants can enter both contests at www.HorseTourneys.com. Over the past weekend, Ron Rippey, a public handicapper for the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger since 1978 and winner of the 2006 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, earned the eighth spot in the USTA's qualifying series in Friday's contest involving Buffalo Raceway. The $60,000 World Harness Handicapping Championship will be held at the Meadowlands on Saturday (April 19). In addition, free TrackMaster Platinum Past Performances for Maywood Park and Balmoral Park will be available to all contestants approximately 48 hours before each contest at www.HorseTourneys.com. Following is the schedule/results with featured racetracks for the 2014 USTA Free, Online WHHC Qualifying Series: Date--Track--Winner Thursday (Jan. 30)--Northfield Park--Gerry Tuzzolino (Shoreview, Minn.) Friday (Jan. 31)--The Meadows--Jeffrey Arnold (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) Friday (Feb. 7)--Meadowlands--Arthur Nigro (Tuckahoe, N.Y.) Saturday (Feb. 8)--Yonkers--Rick Arbiter (Kingston, N.Y.) Thursday (Feb. 13)--Dover Downs--Matt Minger (New Lenox, Ill.) Saturday (Feb. 15)--Cal Expo--Chris Revington (London, Ontario) Saturday (Feb. 22)--Pompano Park--Walter Andrasi (Middleburg, Ohio) Friday (March 7)--Buffalo Raceway--Ron Rippey (Wayne, N.J.) Upcoming events Friday (March 14) Maywood Park--8:10 p.m. Saturday (March 15) Balmoral Park--8:10 p.m. by Dan Leary, USTA Director of Marketing and Communications