Hinckley Still Atop ‘Capping Contest

The results are in for the Breeders Crown Championships for the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Handicapping Challenge.

With 12 championships races on the docket, there were two handicappers that soared above the rest of the flock – three handicappers each had seven wins apiece. The big question was which seven races would determine the handicapping contest’s winner? Ray Garnett took the honours by almost 100 HANA points, as he brought home a total of 620 for the night. His key was Colors A Virgin in the 10th who returned $15 to win and a total of 182 HANA points in that race. Second place went to Bryan Owen who bagged the biggest win price of the evening when Boston Red Rocks scored at $38 for a total of 330 HANA points. The top five was rounded out by Bob Zanakis at 457 points, then two of the regular top contenders Gordon Waterstone, 448 points and Ann Stepien at 446 points.

One of the things four of the top five had in common was the selection of Wild Honey. When Mission Brief went off stride in the lane, the bridge jumpers donated $125,000 to the show pool for anyone who took a contrarian position. Wild Honey returned $5.20 to win, $2.90 to place and $9.40 to show for 17.50 point times their multipliers. That was a very nice bonus for beating an odds-on favourite! None of the contest’s handicappers had Im So Fancy at $150 or Speak To Me at $84 to show in the contest.

There were a lot of favourites winning on the evening, thus keeping the overall points fairly low. Strategy came into play as many handicappers took a few shots at some big prices. Ray and Bryan were rewarded with top honours in correctly coming up with two of the surprise winners.

Sally Hinckley retains her overall lead by 266 points over Mark McKelvie. With another good night at the office Anne Stepien moves into third place in front of Dennis O’Hara. Gordon Waterstone retains fifth place and increased his lead over the sixth spot by several hundred points. Overall there was a tightening in the standings as most of the field picked up points on the leaders.

Next week the contest will have nine events scheduled at Hoosier Park and two at Vernon Downs.

(With files from HANA)

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