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McMasters Wins 2014 WHHC

Published: April 22, 2014 12:03 pm ET

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Robert McMasters, 44, of Milford, Ohio, captured the $16,600 grand prize in the 2014 World Harness Handicapping Championship on Saturday, April 19 at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

McMasters finished the tournament with a $2,968 bankroll to top the field of 83 players from across North America who competed for $41,500 in prize money. McMasters was an $800 tournament buy-in with two of his friends from Ohio.

The WHHC contest format required contestants to bet 10 races: seven Meadowlands races of their choice, plus one mandatory race each from Pompano, Buffalo and Meadowlands racetracks. Bets had to meet a $30 minimum, $100 maximum per race. Contestants could only bet one horse per race and wagers could either be win, place or a combination of the two.

McMasters cashed on seven of his 10 bets and took an early lead with a $2,403 score coming in the Meadowlands’ Race 2 with $40 to Win and $50 to Place on #1 (Rockin Wizard). His final two plays of the night helped McMasters grab the grand prize with $60 to Win and $40 to Place on #1 Verdad in the 12th from the Meadowlands, putting him $68 out of first place. His final wager of $30 to Win on #4 Ok Fame in the Meadowlands’ 13th catapulted McMasters into the top spot by just $65. He finished with a final bankroll of $2,968, taking home the $16,600 prize.

In addition to the Meadowlands, the following partner outlets sent players to compete in the 2014 WHHC: USTA, Buffalo Raceway, Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park, The Meadowlands Racetrack & Casino, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Western OTB/Batavia Downs,, and Standardbred Canada.

While neither of the Canadian qualifiers finished in the top 25, online qualifier Marlene Malina told Trot Insider that she had a great time.

"The track at the Meadowlands is very nice," said Malina. "There was a bar in the middle of the second level which had good music, very comfortable seating. The downstairs had a food court and coffee shop, etc. Lots of outdoor seating! I am glad we were able to experience it."

Malina was able to even take in some sight seeing in New York on her trip to the WHHC.

"Some of the ladies took the city bus into New York City on Saturday before the contest and we had lunch at Times Square," said Mailna. "We took my daughter with us [to the finals] and Rachel Ryan let her join us at the reception and the dinner on Saturday. That was a nice gesture on her part."

The breakdown of the top 10 finishers appears below.

Handicapper - Bankroll - Prize $

Robert McMasters - $2,968 - $16,600
Gary Machiz - $2,903 - $8,300
Mike Rip - $1,986 - $6,225
Jeffrey Arnold - $1,920 - $4,150
Andy Berg - $1,705.50 - $2,075
Marino Scianlepore - $1,560 - $830
Ed Cevetello - $916 - $830
Walter Andrasi - $768 - $830
Vince Sitoski - $663 - $830
Gregg Christopher - $632.50 - $830

(With files from the Meadowlands)

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