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Jimmy Jordan Wins 11/20/10 Arlington Handicapping Contest at McHenry

Arlington Park Communications | 12/01/2010 #

                       Tom Cooper, Dave Service, Jim Luikaart, Rich Zipp Round Out McHenry Five 

The string of Locals finishing 1-2 in the handicapping contests was broken last Saturday, but not by much.  First-starter Dave Service decided to try the contest when the Fall, 2010, OTB Tour came to his McHenry “home” OTB, and he finished a respectable third.  His story is below.


Each OTB Tour stop features handicapping seminars and contests.  Each handicapping contest is free-standing and prizes are paid to the top five finishers each week.  The top finisher wins a trip to Las Vegas to compete in the February, 2011, Coast Casinos Horse Player World Series (HWS).


Here are the top finishers in the McHenry contest, plus their winning final balances.


                                                           1. Jimmy Jordan     $ 1,076.00

                                                           2. Tom Cooper             478.20

                                                           3.  Dave Service           291.00

                                                           4.  Jim Luikaart            259.00

                                                           5.  Rich Zipp                250.50


“I didn’t want to get too excited, but I thought I might have finished first,” responded Jimmy Jordan, when informed of his win.  “I knew that the last three weekly winners had totals around $300 so I figured I was in a good position with over a thousand dollars. 


“My way to victory certainly wasn’t anything complicated,” Jordan continued.  “I really liked Fortheloveofmoney in the fourth race so I bet all $50 to win on her, and she went off at 21-1 and paid $42 for $2.”


So, that’s it?  Be patient, lie in the weeds, then pounce?  “Well, no, that’s not the whole story,” Jordan chuckled.  “That was my second entry.  I had already blown out my first one.”


Jordan has been to the HWS.  “I didn’t do well in the HWS tournament but it was a great experience and I really enjoyed myself.  Like everyone else, I can’t wait to get back there, so I’m very excited about this second opportunity.  I believe I can do better next time, with experience.


“My thanks to Arlington,” Jordan volunteered, referring to Arlington offering more trips to the HWS than any other racetrack.  “I really enjoy these contests.  They are well thought out and just the right style.”


Tom Cooper’s approach was 180 degrees from that of Jordan.  “I fired away, all day,” Cooper admitted.  “I mean, I bet a bunch, and every race. 


“I mostly bet exactas, but not exclusively,” added Cooper.  “My biggest hit was in the fourth race where I had the exacta of Fortheloveofmoney to favorite Swift Action (1-1) that paid $131. 


“You could say it was two steps forward and one back all day,” offered Cooper, “just not enough forward to win.  But I made good money, I’m happy about that.”


He should be.  Adding second-place prize money of $100 to his $478 dollars mean Cooper ran his $50 starting bankroll up over 11 times. 


“It was a fun day for more than just the money won,” Cooper added.  “I enjoyed playing in these contests last summer when my schedule permitted, but this is the first time I’ve traveled from my home in Chicago to a parlor to play.  I can see now why others do it.  It’s fun to take a drive and check out a new place to play horses.  My next free Saturday is December 4 and you can be sure I’ll be at the new Waukegan OTB (the Sundance Saloon) to give it my best again.”


Now the Dave Service story.   “When I heard talk of the handicapping contest, I decided to give it a try,” he began.


“Since it was free to enter, and I was going to be betting at least $50 on Hawthorne races anyway, it made sense to sign up, so I did,” reasoned Service.


“I bet a bunch of goofy little stuff, especially the rolling daily doubles, Service explained.  “But what got me the bulk of my ending balance was hitting a 10-cent superfecta on a box bet that cost me $2.40.  Not bad.”  Not bad indeed.  It’s always good to make a little money do a lot of work.


Jim Luikaart almost scored twice in the top five, finishing fourth and sixth. 


“I liked Fortheloveofmoney in the fourth race so I bet on him, $5 win and place,” Luikaart began.  “I also made a $2 exacta box using her with Swift Action.”  Sounds like winning moves.


But wait.  “The only problem was, I put those bets, one each, on my two entries, not both on one card,” Luikaart lamented. 


“I also bet $10 win and place on Proud McKee (8-1) in the eighth race, and that boosted my one balance, but I had heard that the leader, and ultimately the winner, had a thousand dollars so I knew I was only chasing for a minor award,” concluded Luikaart.  “But I made money for the day, and Arlington will give me a little more, so I’m happy and ready to try again in the remaining contests.”


What would a handicapping contest story be without a section on Rich Zipp? 


“I hit the early daily double, a $5 ticket on Wistful Smile (9-2) to Indy Star (5-1), and that double paid $102 for $2,” Zipp recounted.


“It wasn’t enough to win, but it was enough to earn fifth place and some prize money,” he added.  “As I always say, if I finish in the top five, I’m doing something right, and my day will come where I finish on top.”


You have more chances to triple your money, or more, and even win the coveted trip to Las Vegas.  After traveling to Trackside South Beloit on November 27, it’s on to the new Waukegan Trackside in the Sundance Saloon on December 4.  The Tour concludes on December 11 with a stop at Trackside Arlington Park where contestants will have one more chance to score points for the consistency prize.


To see the complete order of finish for the McHenry contest, click here and scroll down to the Results story.


For a complete Fall contest schedule, click here.


For an overview of how the handicapping contest works, click here.


My FREE pre-race handicapping seminar starts approximately one hour before first post.  We will handicap the Hawthorne races with an analysis based on scratches and other late program changes, and with an emphasis on finding ‘contest’ horses and races. 


Questions?  Send them to me at

We want to send you to Vegas, but you must get in it to win it!  See you next Saturday!!  It just may be your turn to win!!!  You could be walking around lucky and not know it!!!!


M. Scott McMannis

 - Seminar and Contest Coordinator, Arlington Park

 - Expert Selections Handicapper,

 - Midwest Correspondent, The HorsePlayer Magazine - Owner/Publisher, Arlington and Hawthorne Trainer Patterns,      and The McMannis Speed & Trip Service Weekly Newsletter