The Harness Racing FanZone, sponsored by the United States Trotting Association and key partners, is proud to announce the winners of the “30 out of 30” Grand Circuit Challenge, which provided fans the opportunity to win up to $1 million in prizes by picking the winners of 30 top races during the 2014 racing season.
With more than 700 participants playing over a 22-week period, the contest generated strong interest and visibility for the sport through a simple sign-up process at HarnessRacingAmbassadors.com. Although no one was able to pick all 30 winners and win the $1 million, the following contestants were awarded cash prizes for picking the most winners:
First Prize and share of $10,000: Roxanne D. Salles and Eric Mattox
Second Prize and share of $5,000: Mike Kidwell, Barry Pon, Chris Dziengiel
Third Prize and share of $2,500: Mike Hawkins, Donald Shaw, Don Fisher, Rick Kalina.
The full leaderboard for the season can be found athttp://www.harnessracingambassadors.com/polls_leaderboard.
“I joined the challenge because it was a fun way to compete and follow harness racing all year,” said Mattox, of Wyoming, Mich. “All the big races had importance; not just for the owner, trainer and driver, but for me in the contest!”
For Salles, from Port Reading, N.J., the Grand Circuit Challenge added even more reason to cheer on her favorite horses.
“My favorite horse is Sweet Lou, who helped me by winning a few races in the contest, and it was nice to see ‘Lou’ win his last race so impressively,” she said.
The contest featured key Grand Circuit races, including the Breeders Crown, Hambletonian, and Little Brown Jug, at tracks across in North America, including Mohawk Racetrack, The Meadows, The Meadowlands, Hoosier Park, Northfield Park, Saratoga Raceway, The Red Mile, Scioto Downs, Balmoral Park, Dover Downs, and Yonkers Raceway. Past performances for each race were made available to entrants before each race for free thanks to TrackMaster.
“The Grand Circuit Challenge was an important effort to keep fans involved with the best of harness racing over a several-month period and, based on the results, it was a strong success,” said John Campbell, president of the Grand Circuit. “We hope to build upon this effort to continue to showcase the sport through online challenges that help fans get involved in even deeper participation in the races.”
To discover the next great harness racing contest and see behind the scenes at top tracks, participate in the optional Harness Racing Ambassador program and connect with other fans, earn rewards and share your experiences through social media.
About the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative
Launched in September 2013, the Harness Racing Social Media Initiative is a partnership among the United States Trotting Association, the social media consultancy, Converseon, and key industry groups to help drive marketing innovation and engagement with current and new fans for the sport. The initiative’s mission is to help support key racetracks, industry groups and help provide foundational support and a common, “best practice” framework by leveraging social technologies and platforms and strategies to positively brand the sport of harness racing and generate greater awareness, visibility and engagement with a new generation of fans. Key foundational elements of the initiative to date include the Harness Racing Ambassador Program and the www.HarnessRacingFanZone.com.