Monday, April 30, 2012

Select The Win 4 Races

As part of The Raceway at Western Fair District's Molson Pace festivities, track management has asked HANA members to select three of the four races which will comprise their Win 4 (Pick 4) on Friday, May 25.  The Win 4 that evening will have a $15,000 guaranteed pool and a 15% take out rate.

Therefore, we are asking HANA members to take the survey by clicking on the link below.  Have your say and get ready to play the Win 4 as part of an excellent card at Western Fair District

Click here to take survey

For those who live close enough to London, Ontario, consider going out to Western Fair District not only for the Molson Pace, which features some of North America's greatest FFA Pacers, but for the New Molson Post Time Party which includes a concert by country artist Dallas Smith.  More details about the evening's activities may be found here.

The Chips Take an Early Lead; The Pen vs. The Chip Handicappers Discuss Ship- Ins

(April 30, 2012) – The first leg of HANA Harness’ The Pen vs. The Chip – The Road to the Breeders Crown Handicapping Challenge co-sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racetrack, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, is in the books and if the first leg is an indication of how the contest is going to go, it is going to be very competitive as Team Chip takes the lead with a small .03 advantage in the critical Win ROI statistic over Team Pen. However, the Pens are able to claim a moral victory as they have a .12 advantage in the Exacta ROI and ‘Mr. Trifecta’, Matt Keller, takes the early lead (Win ROI 1.18) over Scott Alberg of 4NJPICKS.COM (1.17) out of the gate. Trackmaster’s Chatsworth Consortium finished third in leg one. 

This week, the handicapping challenge heads to Freehold Raceway for a two day stand as our handicappers are ready to handicap the May 4 Lady Suffolk and May 5 Dexter Cup cards As these early season 3yo trotting stake races kick off the road to the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks.
With the handicapping action heading to Central Jersey this week, we will be dealing with a lot of horses that have been racing at different tracks; often different size ovals. Unlike thoroughbred racing where except for a few ‘bull-rings’, the tracks seem to have the same configuration (two turns to a mile) where harness racing occurs on all size tracks; half mile (four turns to the mile), five eighths ovals (three turns), seven eighths and mile ovals (2 turns), and even a track like Colonial Downs where the standardbreds start from a chute in the backstretch and the mile involves only one turn. With the different size tracks, mile times can vary so an important question is how does one handicap races when you get horses coming in from tracks of different sizes?
We’ve asked the handicappers taking part in the handicapping challenge what they look for when a horse is coming in from a different track. Their responses are as follows:
Scott Alberg claims you need to look at several factors when a horse ships in to a half mile oval. Specifically, “When a racehorse shows no lines on a half, obviously you look for speed. But the key is whether or not such speed will zap the horse of its zip. In other words, at what point will a quick opening panel do the horse in. On the other hand, if a racehorse does not demonstrate speed, you need to determine whether or not such speed can be generated and, if so, will stamina come into play at some point. Speed, staying power and endurance are the ultimate weapons on the half-mile track and when a racehorse possesses all three in its arsenal, the rest of the field is pretty much at its mercy”.
Alberg suggests when a horse ships in from a half mile track to race on the larger ovals, it may be time to go to the video tape, “When a speed horse from a half-mile track visits a five-eighths, seven-eighths or mile track, the question then becomes whether or not the headstrong participant is able and willing to allow himself to get covered up without getting choked down. Race lines won’t necessarily answer this question but videotape review will. An obstinate pacesetter is generally not going to fare well on a larger racetrack unless he commands too much respect on the front end. In which case, the opposite is usually true but only if the horse is ratable”.
“When a horse either has never raced on a half mile track or new to a half mile track, I look for a few things”, says Matt Keller, “First, I am looking at my own speed ratings and how they relate to track. Certain tracks are notorious for being heavily speed bias as well as race completely different then other tracks. A horse may race 1:53 at one track, ship over to another and race 1:58. Horses are definitely for courses. Some prefer one track to another”. With regards to horses going to other size tracks, Keller suggest, “On horses coming to a different size oval, I want the best post position as well as early speed. Going from a half mile to five-eighths mile track is a completely different race. The amount turns can make a big difference as horses go around the half mile oval twice and roughly one and a half times on our area’s five-eighth mile ovals. Once again I look for early speed. Speed is dominant on those smaller tracks as well as good post position. I will stick to the first five posts, anything beyond that is generally not a good bet for a win bet. If I do bet on an outside horse, that horse has to figure as being dominant or has great early speed to be able to get over to the rail”.
When a horse comes in from a larger track to the half mile oval, Bob Pandalfo suggests,”If the horse has no lines on a half, beware of any horses that show breaks. If a horse breaks on a one mile track, there’s a good chance that it will have problems handling the tighter turns on a half mile track. Also look at the horse’s running style. If a horse comes from far off the pace on a one mile track, the horse may not like a half mile track where speed and quickness is an asset”. But when it comes to a horse going from the half to larger tracks, Pandalfo suggests, “There really is no way of knowing how a horse will handle a track until it races over it. If you’re an expert on standardbred pedigrees you could use pedigree to get an idea but very few harness handicappers analyze pedigrees”.
Mark McKelvie has seen many races over the half mile oval. McKelvie says, “When a horse is switching from a mile to a half [mile track], I immediately look for any past lines on a half. If no lines are shown I am skeptical because some horses just can't get over a half. I look for speed and a favorable post position for the first time half mile starters. A good post position can help that horse because the horse is closer to the rail going into the first turn which he could have trouble on”. With regards to horses going to larger ovals, McKelvie says, “As for a horse going from a half mile track to five-eighths or a mile track I don't worry too much because I feel horses will only improve on the bigger track and many tracks have banked turns like a half”.
“Hopefully, when a horse moves to a different sized oval, I can look at the past performances and see how well they have performed on that sized track in the past”, says Earl Paulson, “If they are shipping to a half-mile track for the first time, I would look to see how much success their trainer has had over that oval. If a trainer who is successful on half-mile track brings in a horse, I'm confident that they will be able to handle the turns, even if the horse doesn't show any charted lines over a half-mile track. If the trainer doesn't have a good record on a half-mile track, then I wouldn't have confidence in the horse unless the past performance lines showed very good early speed”.
Ray Schell offers his thoughts, “Primarily I look for ground gains (lengths made up) in the stretch for the last two or three races to see if the new track stretch length will be beneficial or hurtful. Secondly, I check my speed track ratings for the two tracks to make the comparison in pace and final times, and lastly, (if I get to see the post parade) I'll look for size to see if some moose [larger horse] might have a hard time with sharper turns or some smallish horse might be getting an edge on the half mile.
The past performance lines is the key to Bob Zanakis. According to Zanakis, “When shippers enter a new sized oval, I personally tend to look at whether they are primarily an early speed type, a stalker type or a closer. Once I get a feel for their strengths by viewing their past performance lines, I can use those that fit this new track oval. In essence, the smaller the course, the more turns and the more early speed is important”. Zanakis continues, “If a closer on a mile track ships to a smaller size track, his closing speed would not be as fast or effective. On the other hand, a front end type shipping to a smaller oval will benefit as horses cannot negotiate the turns as fast as the bigger tracks. It works both ways, a front runner at a half mile track will be hard pressed to wire the field at larger oval with only two turns instead of three or four. Rule of thumb, the larger the oval, the less important early speed has to do with winning”.
As a reminder, handicappers’ selections will be posted on the HANA Harness contest website (http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com ) no later than the morning of each leg’s race card (Friday and Saturday morning). In addition to the handicapping selections, statistical information tracking the handicappers is available as well as links to our sponsor’s websites.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

HANA Harness' The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge Kicks Off

As a reminder, the selections for the first round of HANA Harness' The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping challenge are now available here.  While selections may be available earlier, as the contest picks up in intensity, selections will always be available the morning of each round's activity.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Pen vs. The Chip Challenge Kicks Off Saturday at Yonkers Raceway, Rescues are Named

(April 23, 2012) – HANA Harness’ The Pen vs. The Chip – The Road to the Breeders Crown Handicapping Challenge co-sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racetrack, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, kicks off this Saturday evening at Yonkers Raceway. The first round of the challenge features the entire Yonkers card which features the finals of the $455,000 George Morton Levy Memorial and the $297,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Pacing Series. By the conclusion of this contest on Breeders Crown night (October 27) at Woodbine Racetrack, not only will we know if the pen is mightier than the computer chip, one handicapper will have bragging rights as being the champion handicapper.

However, as much as our eight handicappers want to be able to snare the title of top dog, there are some standardbred horse rescue groups which will be cheering on the handicapping contestants. In Canada, some racetracks that are part of the handicapping challenge will be making donations to their local standardbred rescue group or the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society (http://www.osas.ca) in honor of the overall challenge winner or the handicapper that has the highest Win ROI at the track’s challenge dates. In the United States, not only are some racetracks in the contest offering donations to their local standardbred rescue, some tracks will be making donations to a standardbred rescue group named by the handicapper who is top dog at their track; there is at least $2,000 going to the rescue group selected by the overall challenge winner.
Each rescue selected either rescues exclusively or a significant number of standardbreds. If a group rescues various breeds, the funds donated through this contest are to be dedicated towards the acquisition of standardbreds through auction or their upkeep. The rescue groups cheering on the handicappers are: Helping Hearts Equine Rescue (http://hher.webs.com) , selected by Scott Alberg; Horse Lovers United, Inc. (http://www.horseloversunited.com) , selected by Bob Zanakis; Horse Rescue United (http://www.horserescueunited.org ), selected by Mark McKelvie; Racer Pacers (http://www.racerplacers.com), selected by Matt Keller; Standardbred Retirement Foundation (http://www.adoptahorse.org) selected by Earl Paulson and Trackmaster’s Chatsworth Consortium; Starfish Stable, selected by Bob Pandalfo and Ray Schnell.

Handicapper’s selections will be posted on the HANA Harness contest website (http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com ) before Saturday morning for those who want to see what the handicappers’ are selecting. While statistics will be kept on Win wagers and Exacta keys, the individual leg and overall challenge winner will be determined by the handicapper with the highest Win ROI%. Visit The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapper Challenge website for additional information, including future contest dates.

HANA Harness is the Harness Racing Division of the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA). HANA, established in 2008 has grown to over 2500 members. To join HANA Harness please visit this link: http://www.horseplayersassociation.org/ and sign up. It’s free!
 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pen and Chip Handicappers Discuss the Most Important and Overrated Handicapping Angles

(April 18, 2012) – With just a little over a week until the kick off of HANA Harness’ The Pen vs. The Chip – The Road to the Breeders Crown Handicapping Challenge co-sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racetrack, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, we asked some of our handicappers participating in the challenge what they felt the most important handicapping and overrated handicapping angles are. Here are their thoughts.
“The most important aspect of handicapping is visualizing the trip and predicting the fractions along the way,” states Scott Alberg (Pen), ”Visualizing the trip enables you to envision the position of each horse at each mile marker. Predicting the fractions along the way allows you to determine the stamina of the pace-setters. The least important aspect of handicapping is to ascertain the type of race bike a driver is using. The Meadowlands offers this new statistic during its post parade but it is somewhat pointless. The majority of drivers use their own race bikes anyway and their stats are widely known”.

“I would say the most over-rated factor when handicapping harness racing is capping purely on the final time of a horse”, says Matt Keller (Pen), “There are so many factors that aren't taken account in a race and it never shows on a past performance. Many horses with "good" final times are beaten an easy 7-10 lengths, tagging along for the ride at the end of the pack”. With regards to the most important aspect, Keller goes on to say, “The most important aspect to handicapping harness racing is good early speed as shown in form from the last 2-3 races. I want a horse that wants the lead and wants to wire the field. Most tracks are 1/2 to 5/8 miles and generally either the pacesetter, first over or pocket sitter win the race. I'd rather have the horse to catch then to catch a horse”.


“I think race mile times can be an overrated factor when handicapping”, says Mark McKelvie (Pen), “This can stand out especially in stakes events after eliminations are contested. The fact that each race sets up differently affects each race time and a 1:49 mile all out holds nothing to me over a horse who is closing hard or grinding out a victory on the front refusing to let anyone by going in 50-51 speed”. With regards to the most important thing, McKelvie goes on to say, “Without a doubt the most important thing to me is the last quarter of a mile. The last quarter tells you everything. I look for horses who know how to pass others in the stretch. Everyone loves the flashy last quarter speed but important to me is horses who show a lot of grit coming for home and those who are still progressing in that last eighth of a mile”.

According to Bob Pandolfo (Chip),” Class is very important in Handicapping. Horses with a class edge or a ‘touch of class’ usually end up beating the in-form horse that has been racing well but has never really accomplished much or beaten quality horses. For instance, if you’re handicapping a $15,000 claiming race and you’ve narrowed it down to two prime contenders. One only has 3 career wins against modest stock but shows solid recent form at the $15,000 level. The other horse has 30 career wins and $500,000 in earnings and looks to be rounding into form. In this situation, the horse with the proven class usually prevails”.


With regards to the most overrated factor Pandolfo says, “The most overrated factor is ‘smart money’. Some people think that the board shows which horses are ‘hot’ or being bet by people in the know. There is no such thing. Most horsemen and people working in the backstretch are notoriously terrible bettors. The true ‘smart’ money is bet by a few professional gamblers, but that money usually only shows up at tracks that have high handle. And professional bettor money comes into the pools late, mostly bet on longshots or overlays in exotic wagers”.

Chip handicapper Earl Paulson takes a different view; it is not a question of the most important or overrated handicapping angles as they change depending on the individual race. The key is to know how to rank the importance of each handicapping angle within the context of the particular race. “The importance of post position depends on the type of race,” Paulson states, “If it is the final of the Little Brown Jug, I would want the rail. If it’s a race for green trotters, I would not want the rail as many a young trotter will jump off-stride from post one when the gate pulls away and the rest of the field converges on them”. As for the driver and trainer, the top handlers at each racetrack are fairly equal in talent so Paulson suggests discounting that angle unless there is a change to someone who figures to be better suited to the horse than the previous handler.

Chip handicapper Ray Schell claims, “The most over-rated factor in harness racing is post position as ranked by percent wins. Posts 1 and 5 have the highest win percentages but in this modern day game, everyone knows it and that leads to those posts being overbet. ROI percentages for post positions would be more useful but those numbers are hard to come by”. As for the most important factor, Schell indicates the most important factor is predicting the call at the half mile pole for all the contenders in the race. Specifically, he says, “To develop this call order one needs to take into account, which horses can leave, how many will leave, who is going to surprise leave, class/driver changes and on some days, the wind and track condition effecting the leavers”.


“I find in the classification of the race itself as the most important factor in handicapping,” says Bob Zanakis (Pen), “One determines today’s race and its class and compares those in it to their previous competition. I prefer to bet those horses moving into the class (up or down) as opposed to those who have remained there for a couple of starts. Those moving up are in great shape and have every right to improve while those on the class drop have won at this level in the past”. Zanakis states, “The most over-rated handicapping tool is that of pure speed handicapping. The final times of a race are used but the manner in how the race was won will have a greater impact on the horse’s ability. Look at two horses with wins in 1:52 flat. Pure speed handicapping has them even in talent but one could have been racing against less talented horses and had his own way while the second horse was hung most of the mile. The two horses are not equal in ability although they have the same time”.

The kick-off of the handicapping challenge is next Saturday April 28 at Yonkers Raceway. The race card features the finals of the $455,000 George Morton Levy Memorial and the $297,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Pacing Series. For a complete list of contest dates, please visit the contest website at:
http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Takeout Rates for North American Harness Tracks

We know takeouts can be the difference between making a profit or a loss.  Let's face it, if you have a 15% takeout on a win wager, you may a higher ROI than you would if the takeout is 18%.  Remember the last time you just eked out a winning night for an evening?  How would you have done if the takeout was just a point or two higher?  You probably would have ended up on the losing end of things.  Over one night, it may not make much of a difference, but if you are wagering over the whole year, it can become a significant factor to your balance sheet.

Well, thanks to Horseplayersbet.com, there is a Google map of each harness track in the United States and Canada which shows the takeout rates for the individual tracks.  On this map, you will see Lebanon Raceway with a 18% takeout on their straight wagers and a 22% takeout for exotic wagers.  On the other hand, Chester Downs has a 17% takeout on straight wagers, but a punishing 30% on trifectas.  With all thinks being constant, where are you going to play your trifectas?

Of course, while showing an exteme example as above makes it easy to decide where you want to make your wagers, it isn't that simple.  It may be one thing if you are a $2 player; then you can just decide by takeout rates, but if you are a heavy hitter, a track like Lebanon Raceway may not be able to handle your wager as a $100 wager would likely kill the odds at Lebanon Raceway, yet not even impact the odds at a track like the Meadowlands.  It is the combination of track handle, your wagering habits, and takeout rate which matter.  The key is an educated gambler may be the difference between a winner or a loser. 

This is why a map like the one from Horseplayersbet.com is important to have access to.  Keep it in your toolkit. 


   

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lack of Gambler Protection

Imagine you are in Las Vegas and you are playing roulette.  Somehow, when the croupier released the little white ball, it bounced out of the wheel.  Next thing you know, the croupier is taking your wager away claiming you lost.  What would you do?

Fortunately, it really isn't an issue as that is not the way casinos operate.  In effect, it's considered as if the game malfunctioned and the bet remains on the table for the next game.  Gamblers are happy, and the game goes on.

Now, let's turn to harness racing.  The starting gate begins to move 1/4 mile from the race's starting line and the horse you wagered on starts jumping from the moment the car moves.  The rest of the field goes on to start as your horse is attempting to do his best imitation of a bronco.  By the time the field is released, your horse is closer to the back paddock than the starting line.  What do you do?

Well, if you are in Canada, you have the Fair Start Rule which protects you.  As long as your horse is two hundred feet or more behind the field when they are released you get your money back.  All you need to wait for is the judges who will checking the replay to see if your horse was indeed behind the fair start pole at the start and you get your money back as if the horse was scratched.  If your horse was after the recall pole, then you are out of luck, but the assumption is while the horse far behind, he was close enough to get back into contention.  Okay, maybe not the best rule, but at least you have some type of protection.

However, if you are betting on a race in the United States, you are out of luck.  There are no refunds for a bad acting horse or a horse that goes off stride before the race starts so while your horse may be three hundred feet behind when the field is released, you have a losing ticket.  Now, unless you are wagering at the very last second (which depending on your ADW may not be possible), you most likely have a losing wager (unless you can get to a window or your ADW still has wagering open and you can cancel the wager in time).  A losing wager despite the fact other people are still wagering on the race.  How happy are you going to be if this happens to you?

We all know breaking horses and horses that just refuse the gate happens; it is part of the game.  Sooner or later, we will all face this scenario.  But it wasn't all this way.  A long time ago, there was something called a recall pole which was placed a 1/16th or a mile before the start.  If your horse wasn't up at the gate by the time they reached the recall pole, a recall would be ordered and they would try the start a second time.  If your horse did the same thing twice, your horse was ordered scratched and they would try the start once again.  The bettor was protected.

A funny thing happened when they decided recalls were not fair to the other horses in the race.  They got rid of recalls for bad acting horses and they had to think, what do you do about the horse which normally would have caused the recall?  The fair thing would have been to scratch the horse and refund the wager.  However, tracks were already experiencing declines in handles and the tracks and horsemen decided they didn't want to refund the money because they would need to give up the commissions on the wagers made on the particular horse.  So the racing commissions, the very people who allegedly are there to protect the gambler's interests, got rid of the refund option.

The lack of a fair start rule in the United States has to have been one of the most unfair things ever done to harness racing gamblers.  Yes, conceivably the horse two hundred feet behind could end up in the money at the end of the race, but the odds of that are probably one in a hundred.  Yes, if there was a fair start rule in place and you had a winning ticket, it takes the money out of the mutuel pool and lowers the payoff to the winners, but more times than not, you will have been the one wagerin on the jumping horse than the one holding a winning ticket..

It is also possible that you may end up on the wrong side of the uncompetitive horse once too often, when you had a large bet on a horse, it was your key horse in the last race of the Pick 4, or you decided it is hard enough to beat the horses with the rake to have this happen and you decide to become an ex-harness racing gambler. 

Who knows how many people the lack of a fair start rule may have caused.  One thing for certain, in the long run, being able to pocket the commission on a non-competitive horse has probably cost the tracks and horsemen more than they made in this scenario.  Racing needs to wake up and become more customer friendly.  It is time to introduce the fair start in the United States.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Pen vs. The Chip Challenge - The Road to the Breeders Crown



 HANA Harness Announces The Pen vs. The Chip - The Road to the Breeders Crown Handicapping Challenge
 
(April 2, 2012) – The Horseplayers Association of North America’s (HANA) harness racing division, in association with the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racetrack, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs is pleased to announce “The Pen vs. The Chip – The Road to the Breeders Crown Handicapping Challenge “.
This handicapping contest pits four ‘Pen’ (regular) handicappers against four ‘Chip’ (computer program) handicappers involving selected race cards of various tracks across North America. The contest will end with the Breeders Crown, this year held at Toronto’s Woodbine racetrack.
“HANA Harness is pleased to be presenting The Pen vs. The Chip Challenge this year.” said HANA President Jeff Platt, “We’ve decided to have the competition feature stake races which will be on the road to the Breeders Crown. Since many racetracks put together strong race cards to support these stake races, racing fans should have quality competitive races to wager on. With many of these tracks having guaranteed pools, we hope our thoroughbred and quarter horse members and others will take advantage of the opportunity to see some of the best harness racing available. I would also like to thank our main sponsor, the Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racetrack, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, and our associate sponsors who have committed to making donations to standardbred horse rescue groups as part of the challenge”.
The Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racetrack, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs are main sponsors, with associate sponsorships being provided thus far by the Delaware County Fair, Grand River Raceway, Harrington Raceway, Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association, Indiana Downs, and Woodbine Entertainment. Additional sponsors may be announced at a later date.
“The Hambletonian Society is happy to co-sponsor this HANA contest, as it includes several important Grand Circuit events that lead up to the $6 million Breeders Crown at Woodbine”, said Moira Fanning, Director of Publicity for the Hambletonian Society. “We may also finally settle the question as to whether handicapping is an art or a science, and benefit retired standardbreds as well”.
Representing the ‘Pen’ handicappers are Scott Alberg, a professional handicapper, who provides his Meadowlands selections at http://www.4njpicks.com; Matt Keller, otherwise known as Mr. Trifecta. Matt has his own website http://www.mrtrifecta.com where he provides his handicapping insight typically on races at Isle Casino and Racing Pompano Park and Balmoral and Maywood Parks; Mark McKelvie, son of Woodbine Race Secretary Scott McKelvie, who has participated in numerous handicapping contests; Bob Zanakis who has his own website at http://bobbyzpicksattheraces.horizon-host.com/index.htm where he handicaps several tracks.
Representing the ‘Chip’ handicappers are Bob Pandolfo (‘Pandy’) who uses the Diamond System Computer Handicapping System and offers his selections at http://www.handicappingwinners.com; Earl Paulson, also known as Earl the Pearl, a former handicapper for Sports Eye who developed a computer program he has been tweaking over the last twenty years. Earl runs an online harness racing group at MerryGoRoundRacing@yahoogroups.com; Ray Schell, who posts his selections on the PaceAdvantage message board daily as Rays Robots; Trackmaster’s Chatsworth Consortium which is available at http://www.trackmaster.com/harness/select/.
The winner of the competition will have a donation made in their name to a standardbred rescue group of their choice. Some tracks will be making donations in the name of the overall winner of the dates at their track to a local standardbred rescue group.
The challenge kicks-off on April 28 at Yonkers Raceway when the final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Series is contested. The contest will continue on with additional stops at Balmoral Park, Delaware County Fair, Flamboro Downs, Freehold Raceway, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, Harrah’s Chester Downs, Harrington Raceway, Hazel Park, Indiana Downs, Meadowlands, The Meadows, Mohawk Racetrack, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Northfield Park, The Raceway at Western Fair District, The Red Mile, Red Shores Charlottetown, Rideau Carleton, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Woodbine Racetrack, and Yonkers Raceway.
A complete list of contest dates, rules, results and standings may be found at the contest website : http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com
HANA Harness is the Harness Racing Division of the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA). HANA, established in 2008 has grown to over 2500 members. To join HANA Harness please visit this link: http://www.horseplayersassociation.org/ and sign up. It’s free! (HANA)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Welcome to HANA Harness

Welcome to the official blog of HANA Harness, a division of the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA) which is specifically dedicated to issues regarding harness racing.   HANA has another blog which has a focus more towards thoroughbred racing but will discuss standardrbred racing periodically. 

We encourage you to visit our other blog as the issues which face one breed of racing typically applies to all breeds of horse racing.  HANA is not dedicated to any one breed of horse racing.  We represent all horseplayers  regardless of the breed of preference, be it Arabian, Quarter Horse, Standardbred, Thoroughbred, or another racing breed of horses.  If it involves horses (and even mule racing which is conducted in California and Oregon), we are there to represent the horseplayer.

For those not familiar with HANA, the question you may be asking is what is HANA?

HANA is a grass roots organization made up of horseplayers just like you.

We stand for:
  • Fair and open access to all track signals for all licensed ADWs.

  • Optimal Takeout levels - to maximize revenue for tracks, horsemen, and state coffers.
    Read HANA's position on takeout --click here--

  • Penalties for cheating that make the penalty a deterrent to cheating.

  • A modern secure tote system fast enough to deliver odds and payoffs in real time.

  • An environment where racing decision makers value input from the player and seek it out - because doing that improves racing's long term outlook.

For further information regarding HANA or to join, please visit our main site.

In the meanwhile we hope you come back and visit HANA Harness periodically as we plan to offer you opinions from horseplayers who love harness racing and want to see it thrive.