(August 13, 2017) – With only two races on the docket this weekend, it figured to be a close finish and indeed it was as three handicappers came together at the wire but Matt Rose was the winner of the photo for weekly honors in the Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge. Rose bested Dennis O’Hara and Bryan Owen who dead-heated for second, 57 to 48.75 points. With his victory this weekend, Rose moved back into second place, easily within striking distance of the overall leader Megan Maccario.
On Friday (8/11), O’Hara and Owen tabbed Hoosier Park’s Dan Patch Stakes victor Check Six ($13.40) which allowed them to dead-heat for the top spot at the end of the evening’s action by earning 42.50 points. However, on Saturday (8/12), Rose was the sole handicapper to tab Downbytheseaside ($11.60) in Northfield Park’s Carl Milstein Memoria which gave him 55 points.
When the points were tallied in the overall contest, Maccario maintained her lead for a second week with a total of 681.48 points. Rose moved up from third into second place with 667.13 points, just 14.35 points off the lead. Dropping to third was Rusty Nash with 658.95, easily within striking distance of the leader.
Standings as of Saturday, August 12, 2017 - Leg #38
Total Points Earned
Next Up: Friday, August 18 at Vernon Downs hosts the finals of the $370,000 (estimated) Zweig Memorial and $150,000 (estimated)Zweig Filly Stake for three year old trotters. Saturday, August 19 brings the Grand Circuit to Red Shores-Charlottetown Driving Park for the fan-favorite Sobey Gold Cup and Saucer. On Sunday, August 20, Tioga Downs hosts the estimated $175,000 Roll With Joe for open pacers and the third leg of the Ms. Versatility for distaff trotters as well as Hippodrome 3R hosting the $200,000 Prix d’Ete for 4yo pacers.
The following weekend (August 25-26), Mohawk Racetrack will be hosting the Nassagaweya (two year old pacers) and the Eternal Camnation (two year old filly pacers) on Saturday night while Tioga Downs hosts on Sunday the Crawford Farm Trot (open trotters) and Joie De Vie (filly and mare trotters) as well as the Artiscape for (filly and mare pacers).
The 2017 Hambletonian Society Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge is sponsored by Adam Friedland, DRF Harness, Green Acquisition Corporation, The Hambletonian Society, Hoosier Park Racing and Casino, Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment, Northfield Park, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Red Shores Charlottetown/Summerside, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, Wellbourne Farms, and WEG Entertainment. The contest is administered by HANA Harness, the harness racing division of HANA, the Horseplayers Association of North America. Fans may follow the challenge by visiting the contest site at http;//hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com.