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James Rush Wins the July 28, 2012, AHC Handicapping Contest

Arlington Park Communications | 03/24/2014 #

Mark Engelhard and Paul Yaffee Round Out the Top Three

For Jim Rush it was a day of successive successes.  “It was a day to dream of,” he characterized.

“I looked at several tracks and decided Arlington was offering the best prospects,” Rush began.  “My attention was drawn to races two through five where I felt I could really narrow down the number of contenders.

‘So I decided to play a string of rolling Daily Doubles and Pick Threes,” continued Rush.  “I bet $3 Doubles on races 2-3, 3-4, 4-5, and 5-6, and I bet $3 Pick Threes on races 2-3-4, 3-4-5, and 4-5-6.

“The strategy really worked,” Rush understated.  “I hit all of the Doubles ($66, $43, $84, and $50 for $2) and all of the Pick Threes ($177, $115, and $148 for $1).”

Rush effectively had the contest won about midway through that skein, but he wasn’t done.

“I continued to try to capitalize on my handicapping of those races by betting the early Pick Four (races 2-5),” Rush continued.  “I hit that, too.  It paid $455 for 50 cents and I had it for a dollar.  That’s when I came to you (this correspondent) for help because my Pick Four hit resulted in a signer and I didn’t know how to handle that within the confines of the contest.”

All told, Rush’s stellar handicapping and money management amassed a winning total of $2,413.60.  “And, I almost didn’t enter the contest,” he admitted.  “I wasn’t aware there was a contest until I met up with my friend who asked me if I entered.  I dashed to the Starting Gate Theater and signed up.  I’m certainly glad I was meeting my friend that day!”

Rush is a relative newcomer to the handicapping contests.  “This is only the third one I’ve entered, and I’m really excited about the prospect of winning my way to a Las Vegas tournament,” he concluded.

Apparently the third time is the charm…at least for Jim Rush.     

His first-place finish earns Rush a paid entry, worth $1,000, into the November 24 Twin Spires On-Line Handicapping Championship (TSOHC).  Should he finish in the top 20 in the TSOHC, Rush will win a paid trip to Las Vegas to compete in the January, 2013, DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC).  Should he finish in the next 80 he will be going to the February, 2013, Coast Casinos Horseplayer World Series (HWS).  The odds of him winning his way to Las Vegas are 7-2 since the TSOHC is capped at 350 contestants.  The two national tourneys offer top prizes of approximately $750,000 and $300,000, respectively.

Our second- and third-place finishers from last Saturday still can earn their way into the TSOHC.  Second-finisher Mark Engelhard earns a berth into the next monthly Twin Spires contest which feeds into the TSOHC, and third-finisher Paul Yaffee will compete in a weekly Twin Spires contest to keep his chances of a TSOHC berth alive.

For Engelhard it was a one-bet hit.  “I was particularly interested in the eighth race,” he began.  “It was a race for cheap claimers going seven furlongs and it looked to me like Noventa was far and away the one to beat.

“But it looked the same to most everyone else since she was bet down to 2-5 favoritism,” continued Engelhard.  “So I examined the others in the race, looking for a viable longshot.

“Since the race was seven furlongs, I was paying particular attention to whether a horse had some staying power, since so many looked to have been struggling late in six-furlong races,” Engelhard explained.  “I landed on Dash Away for my second horse.

“I made a $10 straight exacta and Dash Away finished second at 29-1,” Engelhard revealed.  “The exacta paid $50 for $2 which meant I got back $250 which was the bulk of my $431.10 total.  The remainder came from other bets I collected along the way, especially your best bet of the day which you gave out in your pre-race seminar, Ratatat who won at 7-2 - nice price for a best bet.

“It’s a good feeling to have done so well,” admitted Engelhard.  “I’ve been in one of those inevitable little dry spells lately, so turning my bankroll over by four times, plus winning a $200 entry, really feels good.

“I’ve played in a number of Arlington contests, including the ones at the OTB’s, when my schedule has permitted,” concluded Engelhard.  “I’ll be back in this summer series, going for the top prize.”

Paul Yaffee is still recovering from his bad beat.  “Remember when I came around to see you (this correspondent) in the Starting Gate Theater near the end of the day last Saturday, and I bemoaned the fact I had missed the Pick Five, and should have had it if I had used that one missing horse?  I’m still a little stung by that,” he revealed.

However, Yaffee still had a good day, and only missed second place by less than $14.

“I did hit the late Pick Four, and the last race Trifecta,” said Yaffee, as he expanded his day.  “I invested $12 in the Pick Four and the 50-cent payout was $199.

“The last race Trifecta was even better,” continued Yaffee.  “I invested $18 in that wager and the 50-cent payout was $218.  So there’s my total of $417.65.”

Yaffee will be back to compete.  “You know me, Scott, I play in these contests as often as I can.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be back in action this coming Saturday,” he predicted.

To view the standings from last Saturday’s handicapping contest, click here.

For complete information on the 2012 AHC Summer Series of free handicapping seminars and contests, including dates and rules, click here and scroll down to the AHC story.

Your next chance to join us on-track is Saturday, August 4, in the Starting Gate Theater where we begin with my free handicapping seminar at noon then offer a free handicapping contest to award another three chances to work on winning your way to Las Vegas.

We want to send you to Las Vegas but you can’t win it unless you get in it! See you at Arlington!


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