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Dave Sellner Wins Trackside Hodgkins December 15, 2012, Handicapping Contest

Arlington Park Communications | 03/24/2014 #

Rodney Browder, Tom Kassel, Walter Papciak Round Out the Top Four

How does one manage to hit a final bankroll of exactly $1,000.00?  Dave Sellner knows. 

“My horseplayer friends and I are still chuckling over it,” Sellner began with an impish grin.  “It’s one of those things that should happen about, well, once in a thousand times.

“With the rain and resulting wet track at Hawthorne, I shifted my attention to Aqueduct,” continued Sellner.  “The first three races called for a pick three, with a single in the middle.  So, I made a $20 ticket, 2x1x2, which cost $80.  Then I made a couple of saver bets which also served to get me up to the $100 requirement. 

“The pick three hit, and paid just over $100 per dollar,” Sellner further explained.  “As the math would have it, the surcharge reduced that payout to exactly $100 per dollar, which meant my ticket was worth exactly $1,000!

“I sat on that bankroll for a long time, deliberating what to do,” Sellner admitted.  “Then I decided to take my chances that my total would be enough to win it, and it was.”

His first-place finish earns Sellner a paid entry, worth $1,500, into the February, 2013, Coast Casino’s Horseplayer World Series (HWS) to be held at The Orleans Resort in Las Vegas.  Sellner will also receive a travel voucher worth $350.  If he so chooses, Sellner can accept $1,500 cash in lieu of the Vegas trip. 

Top prize in the HWS is estimated to be $270,000.  In last February’s HWS, prize money was paid down to 60th place. 

Finishing second behind Sellner was Rodney Browder of Homewood.

“Last summer I started making the long trip to Arlington just to attend your seminars and play in your handicapping contests,” began Browder.  “I particularly like the real-money format because it matches the way I play the races.

“I’m not much of a single-horse bettor any more, although that’s what accounted for most of my final bankroll in this contest,” Browder revealed.  “I’m looking for value, a chance to score big with a small outlay.

“In the contest last Saturday I was slow to find a spot to make a move, but I did like a horse in one of the middle races at Laurel,” continued Browder.  “Like I said, I’m not usually a win bettor but this horse was 14-1 with a legitimate chance so I bet $30 win and place on him.  He finished second and paid $9-plus to place, so I added to my bankroll.

“I collected two more small win bets and upped my bankroll, so I felt ready to go for a bigger score which is what I ultimately want to do in a contest,” Browder declared, “but I couldn’t score on a couple of trifectas or superfectas that I played.

“However, my final bankroll ($175.60) represented a profit for the day, which is always a good thing, and the prize money ($250) makes it a much better day,” concluded Browder.  “I must add that the Hodgkins parlor is the best I’ve been to and I’m looking forward to going there more often.”

Tom Kassel was surprised.  “I can’t believe my total ($159.60) was good enough for third place,” he declared.  “I certainly didn’t walk out of Hodgkins (OTB) thinking anything other than I was glad I showed a profit for the day.

“I’m primarily a pick-three player,” Kassel explained.  “That’s my strength, over time. However, it was a $3 exacta box that pulled me out for the day and the contest,” he admitted.  “I was down to my last $20 on my bankroll, it was late in the day, and I saw a long shot that I liked, so I boxed it with two other horses and it hit.”    

Walter Papciak played one time in an Arlington live-meet contest a couple of years ago.  “My horseplayer buddy, Larry Madura, pointed out to me that your contest was coming to our OTB and suggested we play in it,” Papciak explained. 

“My major score was the trifecta in the second race at Woodbine,” said Papciak.  “I got back $186 and that was my high point for the day.  I actually oscillated above and below $100, finishing with $156.40.  Add the $50 prize money to that and my two entries in the contest are paid for.”

Papciak will be back.  “I’m glad Larry suggested we get in the contest because we really enjoyed ourselves.  The contest atmosphere spices up the afternoon because you are concentrating more and trying harder to make money, and that’s good.  We are anxious to join your OTB Tour next spring and go to different Arlington OTB’s on Saturdays.”

To view the final standings from the Trackside Hodgkins contest, click here

We are working on developing the Arlington handicapping seminar and contest schedule for 2013.  Once the spring schedule is known, a detailed story will be forthcoming on my McMannis Blog, on Arlington web site (, which you can visit periodically by clicking here

Have a happy holiday season, and I am looking forward to seeing all of you in 2013.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, email me at  Use this same email address to ask to be placed on my email list so you will be kept informed about all handicapping seminars and contests.


M. Scott McMannis

  • Handicapping Seminar and Contest Host, Arlington Park
  • Midwest Correspondent, The HorsePlayer Magazine
  • Owner and Publisher, The McMannis Speed Figure & Trip Note Service Newsletter,
  •      Arlington Trainer Patterns, and
  •           Hawthorne Trainer Patterns