Friday, March 29, 2013

HANA Harness Announces the 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge

(March 29 2013) – The Horseplayers Association of North America’s (HANA) harness racing division in association with the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness (Balmoral and Maywood Parks), The Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs is pleased to announce “The 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge”.

The format of this year’s competition is a change from past Pen vs. Chip competitions as it doesn’t matter which type of handicapping method a handicapper uses as long as it is their own.  In addition, instead of handicapping complete race cards, the contest focuses only on Grand Circuit races.  Using the Grand Circuit schedule, excluding most elimination races, handicappers will be given $30 to wager as they will on race finals or in the case of races being contested in divisions, on one or more of the divisions.  Each gambler must invest the full $30 or they will be penalized.  The handicapper with the highest net profit after the last Grand Circuit race of the year will be the champion.  The contest begins and concludes at Northfield Park; beginning on April 26 with the Courageous Lady and concluding on December 14 with the Cleveland Classic and includes 74 contest dates and 230 individual races.  Rules and the Schedule of Races may be found at the contest website.
Another difference this year is the prize money, donations to standardbred rescues will not be winner takes-all.  The sponsorship funds will be donated to standardbred rescues designated by our top three handicappers in a 50-35-15% breakdown, thus allowing more rescues to benefit.  While additional sponsorship money may be forthcoming, $2,500 has already been pledged by our sponsors.

“HANA Harness is pleased to be presenting 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge this year.” said HANA President Jeff Platt, “We’ve decided to focus on the Grand Circuit races in an effort to support the revival of the Grand Circuit which features quality racing.  I would also like to thank all our sponsors for providing sponsorship money which will help support standardbred rescues that are doing great work on behalf of our retired equine athletes”.
 “We are pleased and excited that HANA has chosen to feature the retooled Grand Circuit as their contest races”, stated John Campbell,  Grand Circuit President, “Hopefully the fans will enjoy following along with the races and the contest.  We also want to thank the sponsors who allow this contest to support standardbred rescue”.

HANA would like to invite all harness horseplayers to the contest blog, which will analyze and discuss the upcoming races from a handicapping perspective. The blog will also offer handicapping information and selections from our handicappers, all successful horseplayers and when available, links to free past performances or handicapping information.
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: and sign up. It’s free!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Handicapping Slots Filled

Due to an  overwhelming response, we must close accepting any additional applications for handicappers to participate in the 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge.

Thanks to everyone who has made their interest known.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Calling Handicappers

HANA Harness is sponsoring another handicapping contest this year. Instead of The Pen vs. The Chip Handicapping Challenge format, we are using a different format this year. We are using the Grand Circuit races as contest races (excluding eliminations, except same-day eliminations). Both Pen and Chip handicappers are invited to participate.

Basically, each handicapper will be given a fictional $30 to wager on each stakes race (a multi division stakes race is considered one race). The handicapper must wager the $30 on the stakes race or in the event of a race broken into divisions, must wager the $30 on one division or split it between multiple divisions.

There is no entry fee and any prize money will be awarded to the standardbred rescue of the winning handicapper's choice (from a list of pre-approved rescues).  At the present time, we have $2,000 committed towards donations to standardbred rescues.

For the complete schedule of the contest and the rules, please see the contest blog and check the appropriate tabs. Contestants are not provided with free race programs.

There is a limit to the number of handicappers which may participate so if interested, please contact as soon as possible and provide a brief background regarding your experience with handicapping.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We're Back! Handicappers and Writers are Wanted

With the off-season slowly melting away and northern tracks re-opening, it is time to get the ol' blog back into the swing of things.  But first a little housekeeping.

We need more contributors to this blog.  Maybe you have something to say?  The only requirement for this blog is topics need to be related to the goals of HANA as it relates to harness racing.  Those goals are:
  •  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.

Of course, articles talking about issues related to harness racing, such as talking about upcoming stakes races and handicapping are welcome to.  Other issues about harness racing are welcome as well, though this is not a forum for personal attacks.  If you are interested in becoming a contributor to this blog, leave a response to this post with your contact information (the post will not be published).

In addition, a new HANA Harness handicapping contest will be coming up shortly.  If you want to show people how good you are handicapping, you can let us know by responding to this entry as well (once again, not being posted; leave your contact information).  You will be handicapping solely for fun and personal satisfaction as if there is any prize money, it will be donated to standardbred horse rescues.  When you  respond, if you can let us know a little about yourself handicapping-wise (been in contests before, etc.), let us know.  There is a limit to the number of handicappers able to participate.