Thursday, May 31, 2012

Suspend the Horses

If you ever had to point to one thing the Ontario Racing Commission has done right is suspending horses when a horse tests positive.  However, commissions in the United States have never taken such a step, other than honoring an ORC ruling (which was shaken last year when the owners of Crys Dream went to court to get a preliminary injunction in New Jersey to all the horse to race).

Suggest such a thing in America, and you will hear how it can't be done.  You don't want to discourage a potential new owner or lose an existing owner who had no idea what was going on.  Sounds good, if you believe the premise.

What do you say when a stable uses a trainer who gets suspended for drug violations?  "Well, anyone can have chosen a bad trainer.  When you choose your next trainer, please pick a good one". 

What do you say when that stable chooses a new trainer and that trainer goes down for a medication violation?  Really, you need to chose your trainers much better.  Check their records dude!"

So the horses are moved from the trainer to the next and the next trainer also goes down for a medication violation.  What do you say? "Am I being played for a fool?"

Well such a situation has come up and probably has happened before and likely will happen again.  As gamblers, we need to say enough is enough.  We are not here to say who a person can use as a trainer; nor are we suggesting an owner be penalized if it's not their horse who comes up positive.  However, I don't think we are asking too much to ask an owner be required to choose their trainers responsibly. 

The racing commissions need to adopt rules for owners or stables who don't stay away from trouble.  Have a horse with a trainer who gets a positive with your horse?  The first time you get a pass; we'll call it inexperience or an error in judgement..  

Get a second suspension with the same trainer or another trainer within a two year period and the trainer ends up getting a positive with your horse(s)?  You get a 30 day suspension for the horse. 

Move on to another trainer (or your stay with either your fist or second trainer) and they get another positive within a two year period?  It is time to throw the book at the owner.  The horse which gets the positive gets a ninety day period, but all your other horses with the trainer at the time of infraction get a thirty day vacation as well.  In addition, if you sell or transfer the horse that is under suspension, the suspension is transferable, meaning don't bother to change the ownership of the horse. 

Only medication violations which mandate a suspension qualify as we are not worried about the minor infractions such as (too much/too little Salix as an example).  

Owner need to be held responsible for the trainers they select.  Okay, the first time an honest mistake can happen.  The second time a slap on the wrist, but the third time I think it is totally reasonable to enforce an owners responsibility rule.

It is time the regulator protects the gamblers instead of the owner's interest.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

McKelvie Scores a Hat Trick, Yonkers and The Meadows up Next

 (May 29, 2012) – Pen Handicapper Mark McKelvie scored a hat trick this past weekend, taking top honors in legs five through seven of HANA Harness’ The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge, sponsored by The Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs, as a result taking the overall lead in the contest to date standings. This past Friday, McKelvie had a 1.33 Win ROI at The Raceway at Western Fair District but exploded on Saturday night at Georgian Downs where while his Win ROI was 1.68, McKelvie had an eye popping Exacta 12.61 ROI thanks to selecting the seventh race exacta which paid $412.30 for a $2 bet. While the Canadian McKelvie had a home field advantage with the first two legs of the weekend being contested north of the border, he proved he is just as capable south of the border by completing the hat trick at Harrah’s Philadelphia, winning Sunday’s Betsy Ross Invitational card with a Win ROI of 2.02.
 
When asked what he attributed this past weekend’s performance to, McKelvie claimed his success at Western Fair District and Georgian downs was helped by his familiarity with the horses he sees on a weekly basis which helped him when comparing choices. He also credited the wagering public with helping him by overlooking his two biggest winners of the weekend. In addition, Mark capitalized on a class drop at Harrah’s Philadelphia and a circuit move from Mohawk to Georgian Downs.

As a result of this past weekend’s action, The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge standings through the first seven legs are:

Position Name $ Won ROI
1st Mark McKelvie (P) $227.00  1.26
2nd TM's Chatsworth Consortium (C) $156.60 0.87
3rd Earl Paulson (C) $145.10 0.81
4th Ray's Robot (C) $131.20 0.73
5th Mr. Trifecta (P) $128.50 0.71
6th Scott Alberg (P) $108.90 0.61
7th Bobby Z (P) $103.10 0.57
8th Pandy (C) $101.40 0.56


This coming weekend, the handicappers will be making their selections Saturday evening (June 2) at Yonkers Raceway where 3yo pacers will do battle in the $306,204 Art Rooney and 3yo filly pacers will be competing in the $176,484 Lismore. Then next Tuesday, the contest moves to Western Pennsylvania where 3yo trotters compete in the $100,000 estimated Currier and Ives.
As always, contest dates, handicapper selections, and additional statistical information are available at the contest website (http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com).
Rescue Spotlight – This week, our rescue spotlight takes a look at two of the standardbred rescues selected by our handicappers, Helping Hearts Equine Rescue and Horse Lovers United.
Helping Hearts Equine Rescue Inc. is a 50l(c)3 Non-Profit animal welfare organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of equines in need; assisting equines in situations of neglect, abuse or threat of slaughter located in, but not necessarily limited to Monmouth, Middlesex and Ocean counties – in our home state of New Jersey. To educate the public regarding the standards of care required to maintain an equine as a riding partner and/or companion animal in a humane manner. In 2011, we took in 21 horses, adopted out 22, and are currently maintaining 6 permanent residents. For further information, please visit our website at www.hher.webs.com.

Horse Lovers United, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, was founded in August 1992, by a small group of dedicated horse lovers. Our goal is to find new, lifetime homes for displaced horses. Since our incorporation, we have directly placed more than 120 horses in new homes. We have assisted in the placements of 700+ more through networking with other groups of similar interests. Adopters have gained much pleasure with their horses in a variety of new careers including trail riding, pleasure driving, riding in parades, sleigh rides, dressage and many more. We accept donations of all breeds of horses into our program with particular interest in the "retired" or "noncompetitive" Standardbred racehorse. Please learn more at www.horseloversunited.com.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Molson Pace Pick 4 Comes to California

On Friday, May 25, races 9-12 from The Raceway at The Western Fair District will be simulcasted into California. the first time the $300,000 race has ever been offered in the Golden State. As a result, not only will California racing fans be able to see some of the best aged pacers in North America compete in the Molson Pace, they will be able to wager on the $15,000 guaranteed Pick 4 being offered.

HANA members are reminded that HANA Harness' The Pen vs. The Handicapping Challenge has the Molson race card as part of the contest.  Selections from the team of handicappers will be posted on the Challenge website Friday morning. 

This weekend, the Handicapping Challenge also stops at Georgian Downs on Saturday (May 26) for the $600,000 Upper Canada Cup race card and on Sunday (May27) at Harrah's Philadelphia for the $100,000 Betsy Ross Invitational race card.  Selections for all legs of the Handicapping Challenge may be found at the contest website the morning of the day's races.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Three Stops This Week for Pen vs. Chip Handicapping Challenge

 (May 21, 2012) – After a week off, HANA Harness’ The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge, sponsored by The Hambletonian Society, The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs kicks into high gear with three legs of the competition occurring over the upcoming weekend as the contest heads to Canada for Friday’s (5/25) $300,000 Molson Pace card at The Raceway at Western Fair District, Saturday’s (5/26) $600,000 Upper Canada Cup card at Georgian Downs, before returning south of the border for Sunday’s (5/27) $100,000 Betsy Ross Invitational at Harrah’s Philadelphia. As a reminder to racing fans, the handicapping selections for the respective racing cards will be available the morning of each day’s racing action at http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.

For Molson Pace night, Pen Handicapper Mark McKelvie, the winner of Leg 4, will be appearing at The Raceway to share his insight with racing fans. In addition, there is the Molson Post Time Party with a couple local bands appearing before the Molson Pace with feature artist Dallas Smith performing after the big race. The concert will be occurring in the Progress Building with big screen televisions and a wagering area available so concertgoers won’t have to miss any of the racing action. In addition to the concert, there will be a tribute to legendary driver Dave Wall who was recently elected to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. There will be a Drivers Meet and Greet as race fans arrive at the track as well as a drawing for one fan to receive a $500 win wager on the horse of their choice in the Molson Pace.

On the racing side, in addition to the Molson Pace, other races of note on the card are an Invitational, Four City of London Series Finals, an Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final for 3yo colt trotters, and Preferred races for Fillies and Mares as well as Horses and Geldings. Gamblers may look forward to a $15,000 guaranteed Pick 4 with a 15% takeout. As a reminder to American handicappers, the $.20 minimum on Superfectas and the Pick 4 are now available.

At Georgian Downs, a special night of racing will take place on Upper Canada Cup night as the $100,000 Honorable Earl Rowe Memorial Cup, which is named for the former Lieutenant Governor and founder of Barrie Raceway, will also be contested. A great night of racing has been promised.

In addition to the night’s activity on the track, spectators will be shuttled from the parking lot to the main entrance by a landau carriage driven by a team of Clydesdales and upon arrival, fans will be welcomed by Mountie greeters. Between races, there will be numerous promotions including Money Machine Madness, where $1,000 will be up for grabs, plus Georgian Down’s version of trackside Deal-No-Deal. There will be a drawing for a Great Canadian Backyard Barbeque with the winner receiving a premium barbeque and a stylish patio set.

At Harrah’s Philadelphia, the action will be on the track as the $100,000 Betsy Ross Invitational for pacing mares is on the docket along with an Open pace and upper level conditioned classes. As part of the USTA Strategic Wagering Program, a $5,000 guaranteed Pick 4 on races 7-10 is scheduled.



The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge standings through four legs are:
Position
Name
$ Won
ROI
1st
Earl Paulson (C)
$95.10
0.95
2nd
Mark McKelvie (P)
$92.90
0.93
3rd
TM Chatsworth Consortium (C)
$84.60
0.85
4th
Mr. Trifecta (P)
$81.80
0.82
5th
Ray’s Robot (C)
$76.20
0.76
6th
Bobby Z (P)
$73.80
0.74
7th
Scott Alberg (P)
$70.30
0.70
8th
Pandy (C)
$61.50
0.62



Additional statistical information and contest dates are available at the contest website (http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com).

Rescue Spotlight – This week, we put the spotlight on Horse Rescue United, selected by (Pen) Mark McKelvie to be the standardbred horse rescue he is representing in The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge. Horse Rescue United, Inc. (HRU) saves horses of all breeds from abandonment, abuse, neglect, and slaughter. We specialize in retraining and re-homing Standardbred horses. Whenever possible, HRU purchases slaughter-bound horses from auction and finds them homes, and also helps owner surrenders find placement before they end up in the wrong hands. HRU is a registered New Jersey not-for-profit business, but has not yet obtained 501(c)(3) non-profit status. As of right now, donations to HRU are not tax-deductible. Visit www.horserescueunited.org for more information.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Molson Pace Promotions

With the upcoming Molson Pace at the Raceway at Western Fair District some ADWs are offering bonuses to their customers.

  • At horserplayersbet.com all exotic wagers on the Molson Pace card will earn an additional 3% bonus (horseplayersbet.com is not offered in Canada).

  • For Canadian horseplayers, HPI is offering 10X points on all Triactor bets on Molson Pace night.  For those who do not have a HPI account and head out to Western Fair District on Molson Pace Eliminations Night (this Frdiday), a $20 bonus will be offered to all race fans who open up a new HPI account at the track.  A drawing for a $500 deposit into your HPI account will be held for all HPI account holders in attendance on elimination night.

As other offers become known, they will be posted here.  If your ADW is not listed here, you may wish to check with your ADW to see if they are offering a special promotion.

HANA Harness and HANA does not receive any compensation for posting these specials and provides these listings as a service to its members..  Observe all local laws when it comes to opening an ADW account.  We do not guarantee any promotions offered by ADWs. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

(May 14, 2012) – Pen handicapper Mark McKelvie is the winner of leg 4 of HANA Harness’ The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge, sponsored by The Hambletonian Society, The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs which was contested this past weekend at the Meadowlands. McKelvie had six winners for the evening with a Win ROI of 1.90. Finishing second and third at the Meadowlands were Chip handicappers, Earl Paulson (1.39) and Ray’s Robot (1.35). For those who play Exactas, Ray’s Robot (Exacta ROI 1.72) and McKelvie (1.35) were the hot handicappers Saturday night with each picking three Exactas.

Overall, while Earl Paulson (Chip, 0.95) is at the top of the standings through the first four legs of the contest, Mark McKelvie (Pen, 0.93) is breathing down the leader’s neck. In the show spot and in striking position is the winner of the 2010 Tioga Downs’ Pen vs. Chip Handicapping Challenge, Trackmaster’s Chatsworth Consortium (Chip, 0.85). When it comes to Exactas, the top three handicappers thus far are Ray’s Robot, Earl Paulson, and Mark McKelvie.

The standings through four legs are:
 
Position
Name
$ Won
ROI
1st
Earl Paulson (C)
$95.10
0.95
2nd
Mark McKelvie (P)
$92.90
0.93
3rd
TM Chatsworth Consortium (C)
$84.60
0.85
4th
Mr. Trifecta (P)
$81.80
0.82
5th
Ray’s Robot (C)
$76.20
0.76
6th
Bobby Z (P)
$73.80
0.74
7th
Scott Alberg (P)
$70.30
0.70
8th
Pandy (C)
$61.50
0.62
 
Additional statistical information and contest dates are available at the contest website (http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com).

This week is an off week for the handicappers as stakes action kicks into overdrive with legs 5-7 taking place the following week as the Handicapping Challenge visits The Raceway at Western Fair District (May 25, Molson Pace), Georgian Downs (May 26, Upper Canada Cup), and Harrah’s Philadelphia (May 27, Betsy Ross Final).  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Special Offer from the Meadowlands for HANA Members

The Meadowlands is offering HANA Members free admission and a program to attend Saturday night's (May 12) leg of The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge which is taking place at the East Rutherford oval.  All you need to do is present the coupon in this posting.

To make sure you get the entire coupon on one page, right-click on the coupon and click on 'Print Picture' and present the coupon at the admission gate.  HANA thanks the Meadowlands for making this offer.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pens Cling to the Lead; Meadowlands Up Next

(May 7, 2012) – This past weekend was a split decision between the Pens and the Chip in the second and third legs 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. The Pens came out on top on Friday afternoon at Freehold Raceway, only to see the Chips coming back with a vengeance Saturday afternoon at the Central New Jersey standardbred track.

By the time the dust settled, the Pens are clinging to a .01 advantage in the all-important Win ROI as the Pens have a ROI of 0.77 to the Chips 0.76. In the supplemental statistic of Exacta ROIs, the Chips have a 0.84 to 0.73 lead over the Pens. At the end of leg 3, the Chatsworth Consortium (Chip) has taken control of the top spot with an overall Win ROI of 0.95 (Exacta ROI of 1.16). Pen competitors Mr. Trifecta and Scott Alberg are tied for second with a ROI of 0.84.
This coming Saturday, May 12, The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge visits the New Meadowlands along with some of North America’s top pacers and trotters for the finals of the $210,000 Arthur J Cutler Memorial and the $180,000 Graduate. In addition, non-winners of $6,500 conditioned pacers will be competing in eliminations of the King of the Sixes where the top ten horses come back the following week to race for a lucrative $30,000 purse. All in all, competitive races are on tap for the handicappers to strut their handicapping skills.

As if the handicappers needed an extra inducement to do well this coming Saturday, the Meadowlands is offering an additional donation to the standardbred rescue group of choice for the handicapper who has the best Win ROI for all challenge dates at the Meadowlands.

In addition to the great racing, there will be plenty of action off track as well Saturday night. The Meadowlands continues with their Horseplay Car Giveaway, 60-Second Wagering Spree, and the return of the popular Mystery Voucher Giveaway. On the wagering side, the Meadowlands posts a $75,000 guaranteed Pick-4 for handicappers to aim for Saturday night.

An additional date has been added to the Handicapping Challenge as Tioga Downs will be hosting the Bettor’s Delight and the Artiscape for Open and Open Mare pacers on June 10. A complete schedule of the remaining events is available on the challenge website.