Prior to this week, Brandon Valvo had a tenuous lead in HANA Harness' Grand Circuit Handicapping Shoot-Out Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Gaming, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs as two handicappers were within $50 of him.
What a difference a week makes. Thanks to Valvo's week-leading profit of $1,103.50 (overall lead of $1,983.50), he has a solid lead of $1,310.50 over his nearest competitor over this past week's three-leg stretch of the contest; his most successful leg of the weekend being the Molson Pace at Western Fair District. While Valvo may have been nervous with State Treasurer's rocky start in the race, he was rewarded on a $100 win ticket paying $245, a $30 exacta key ticket good for $117.50, and a $120 trifecta ticket grossing $741. While not as impressive Valvo also had winning days on Saturday's Somebeachsomewhere at Mohawk, and Sunday's Roll With Joe at Tioga Downs.
Another performance of note was Mark McKelvie's, whose $362.50 weekly net profit moved him from 5th place to 2nd, just $62.50 in front of Bob Zanakis.
Some other big hits from the handicappers this weekend were on the Molson Pace; Garnet Barnsdale's $250 place bet on State Treasurer which paid $400; Ray Garnett's $20 exacta box ($120 total) paid $235; Sally Hinckley's $2 trifecta box ($48) paid $148.20; Mark Mckelvie's $50 win and place ticket ($100) paid $202.50; Dennis O'Hara's $30 exacta box ($60) paid $352.50; Anne Stepien's $5 trifecta box ticket ($120) paid $370.50 and $1 superfecta box ($24) paid $251.70. On Saturday, Mark McKelvie scored a $372 trifecta with a $20 partial wheel ticket ($160) on the 1st division of the Somebeachsomewhere and a $385 payoff on a $50 straight exacta on the Yonkers Trot. Gordon Waterstone scored a $204 payoff with a $120 win ticket on the second division of the Somebeachsomewhere. On Sunday's Roll With Joe, Rusty Nash scored a $219 profit on a $15 partial trifecta wheel ($45).