The Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Memorial kicks off the 2014 Grand Circuit Shoot Out Handicapping Contest sponsored by the Hambletonian Society, DRF Harness, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, Northfield Park, Tioga Downs, and Vernon Downs. This year the handicapping contest has been altered to allow handicappers to bet between $150 and $250 per day on the contest stakes races and consolations. The handicappers may bet one race or all the races on the contest slate for the day. With the new rules, handicappers will be free to play to their strengths.
There were a couple of pre-season rounds for handicappers to get their feet wet and let me tell you, there were some good hits during the two days. Whether novices or experienced, handicappers would do well to check out the contest site the morning of the contest dates to see what the fifteen handicappers have selected for their play. You may wish to bookmark the contest website to make it easier to follow the contest.
In Manitoba, the province and thoroughbred interests have reached an agreement which allows racing to continue at Assiniboia Downs with the help of VLTs. While the province has agreed to a 12 year VLT agreement, it features a tapering off scale where by years 11 and 12, the only revenue the MJC will get is through a standard siteholder agreement. Personally, this is the way all VLT agreements should be; supplement purses while giving stakeholders a chance to get their house in order. If racing succeeds, great. If it fails, they have no one to blame but themselves.