Robert McMasters, 44, of Milford, Ohio, captured the $16,600 grand prize in the 2014 World Harness Handicapping Championship on Saturday, April 19, at Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment.
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 Race 2 at the Meadowlands 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, Twinspires.com, and Standardbred Canada.
Top Ten Finishers:
Name Bankroll Prize Money
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 $2,075
Marino Scianlepore $1,560 $830
Ed Cevetello $916 $830
Walter Andrasi $768 $830
Vince Sitoski $663 $830
Gregg Christopher $632 $830