Monday, April 29, 2013

They're Off!

HANA Harness' 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge has kicked off and while it is certainly too early to make any assumptions, on whose winning or who has the best method of handicapping, one of the contestants made a comment regarding what he liked about the contest.  He mentioned it was you can see how people did the previous night to see what strategies work and which don't because you an always learn.

That's because the smartest gambler knows their handicapping method can always use fine tuning.  For example, betting these Grand Circuit events tend to be different from overnight races so you may need to change your gambling approach accordingly.    For example, one gambler collected on three trifecta plays one day, only to net a profit $14.70.  Meanwhile, another horseplayer made just two win wagers to profit $93.00.

So as the gambler said, why not check out the handicapping challenge on Grand Circuit race days to see what the handicappers select and just as importantly, check back the next day to see how their plays panned out.
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Let the Games Begin!

The HANA Harness 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness, IHHA, Meadowlands, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs kicks off tonight with the $84,000 Courageous  Lady at Northfield Park.  A team of ten handicappers will be making their selections in Grand Circuit final races during the whole racing season and their selections will be available here.

In the Courageous Lady, #5 Charisma Hanover is the heavy favorite off of her win last week at the Meadows.  However, her 5-2 morning line seems to be too generous.  Look for most of  the handicappers to try to maximize their profits by playing exotics.

Follow along with the contest.  Who knows, you may get some ideas from their selections.

The contest continues tomorrow with the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Finals at Yonkers Raceway.  The complete schedule of the contest may be found on the contest site.


Northfield Park has a Pick 4 tonight with a $10,000 Guaranteed Pool along with a low 14% rake.  The Courageous Lady is part of  the sequence.  At 14%, the wager is worth a look.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Announcing the Vernon Downs Showdown

Vernon Downs has announced sign-ups have begun for the Vernon Downs Handicapping Showdown with their competition beginning on Friday, April 26.


Starting with the April 26 card, each contestant must pick a horse in any race on the Vernon Downs card.  If the horse finishes 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, you advance to the next racing day.  If your horse finishes out of the money, you are eliminated.  If you are the last handicapper standing, you win $1,500 with the runner up winning $750.  There is no entry fee to compete.

I've registered, isn't it time for you to as well?  Details, including the link for registering may be found here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

WEG Cuts Rake for Thoroughbreds Only

The handicapper roster for the 2013 Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge has been released along with the standardbred rescues involved in the competition.  This year's roster represents a strong group of handicappers who will be making spot selections in Grand Circuit races starting next Friday at Northfield Park where the Courageous Lady will be contested.  Handicapping selections will be made available at the contest website each morning of the contest. 

HANA would like to thank those sponsors which have committed funds for distribution amongst the top three rescues.  The sponsors who have already committed are the Hambletonian Society, Chicago Harness (Balmoral and Maywood Parks), New Meadowlands Racing, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, and Red Shores Charlottetown with additional sponsors anticipated.


Great news for Woodbine horseplayers as WEG has announced a takeout reduction of 2% on their win wagers, bring the rate down to 14.95%; good news that is provided you are a thoroughbred player as the takeout remains 16.95% for WEG's standardbred meet.

We, as much as anyone else, are puzzled as to why the takeout was not reduced for its standardbred meet.  The answer may be the fact Hastings Park is offering a 15% takeout for its thoroughbred meet so WEG decided to undercut it, but I have to wonder if it has more to do with the fact wagering on thoroughbred racing supports the runner's purse account much better than it does for the standardbred meet.  If this is the case, it may be WEG and its thoroughbred horsemen felt they were able to reduce takeout in an effort to stimulate wagering in the hope it increases wagering while the standardbred horsemen were left unwilling to try anything which would risk a further hit to their purse account.

UpdateWEG Explains Policy

I understand it is a scary new world in Ontario, more so for standardbred horsemen than thoroughbred, but the very refusal to cut the rake is what has contributed to the problem the standardbred industry finds itself in.  Make no mistake, I understand the hunker down attitude amongst the standardbred horsemen but it is during these difficult times horsemen must reach up and show some guts.