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Ladislav Vorel Wins 11/13/10 Arlington Handicapping Contest at South Elgin

Arlington Park Communications | 05/02/2011 #

Locals Dominate Again;  Ron Aromi, Rich Zipp, Joe Russo, Ray Wachala Round Out Top Five 


How many times have I heard this answer, when our Tour arrives at an OTB and I ask the locals if they are going to enter the handicapping contest:  “Naw, not me.  Those guys that travel around to all the contests are too good.” 

Once again, the naysayers were proven wrong.  On October 16 locals Joe McCarthy and Gary Gallagher finished 1-2 in the handicapping contest at Trackside Chicago, also known as the Mud Bug.  McCarthy was playing in an Arlington handicapping contest for only the second time, Gallagher for his first time.

Last Saturday was “locals day” once again when Arlington Park’s Fall, 2010, OTB Tour moved to the Trackside South Elgin off-track betting facility.  There, locals Ladislav “Laddy” Vorel and Ronnie “The Painter” Aromi finished 1-2.

Each 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 last South Elgin contest, plus their winning final balances.


                                                           1. Ladislav Vorel       $293.11

                                                           2.  Ron Aromi            290.07

                                                           3.  Rich Zipp              251.50

                                                           4.  Joe Russo            152.51

                                                           5.  Ray Wachala        125.80


“I am so excited to win,” declared Vorel when informed of his accomplishment.  “I so want to go to Las Vegas and play in the big tournament.”


Vorel got off to a fast start by scoring in the first race.  “You (this correspondent) talked about Magic Bullet as a price horse, a contest horse, so I looked him over and decided that I agreed.  I boxed Magic Bullet (9-1) and AKA Lily’s Lad (7-1) in the exacta, and it hit for $198.  Thank you.


“Later in the day I figured I was behind,” Vorel relayed.  “But I was encouraged when I saw some people leaving early, since I figured they were not in the hunt or they would have stayed.  So I scrambled around with a couple of bets and raised my total by about $100.”


That was enough for Vorel to become another local to win a contest.


Not to be outdone by much, three dollars and four cents, to be exact, local Ron Aromi fought the good fight to finish second.  Known to many as The Painter, his main occupation before retiring, Aromi is anything but retired.  To those of us who have been in racing for some time, The Painter has a storied history.


But his story in the South Elgin contest is somewhat of a roller coaster.  “I was off to a fast start by hitting a couple of small, dime supers early in the card,” explained Aromi.  “I also mixed in a trifecta.


“By the mid-point of the card I had run up my contest account balance to $376, and was flying high,” Aromi continued.   “You must hear this all the time, but I should have stopped there.  That total would have won it, but I wanted to run up my balance even more, just to be sure, but I fell back to end under $300.  Oh, well, there’s always next week.”


Rich Zipp shows up in the top five again.  “As I’ve said before, if I’m in the top five, I must be doing something right,” Zipp revealed.  “If I just keep playing in these contests, my day will come.”


Zipp is a past, multiple, winner of contests that have sent him to Las Vegas.  “And I can’t wait to earn my way back again,” he declared.


The rolling daily doubles were Zipp’s forte in the South Elgin contest.  “I liked your Magic Bullet in the first race so I took a $5 double with him to the favorite, Cajun Diablo (7-5), in the second race.  That paid $67 for $2.


“In race seven I made a $10 double, Zuri’s Girl (2-1) to Abounding Aptitude (3-2) and that double paid $18,” Zipp added.  “That was it for me.”


Joe Russo is another past winner of the Vegas trip, as the handicapping contest first prize is generically referred to.  “And I’ll get back there again if I can put things together on one day,” he pointed out. 


“I hit a dime superfecta in the fourth race,” Russo offered, “and it paid about $162.  But I couldn’t add anything else all day, so I finished at about $150.


“But I can’t complain, I made money for the day and Arlington adds some prize money,” reflected Russo.  “All in all, it was a fun and rewarding afternoon.”


Ray Wachala again shows up in the top five, and has his version of a bad beat story.  “I wish I would loosen up a bit and bet more aggressively, or at least in larger amounts on my winners,” he lamented.  Don’t we all.


“I liked your Magic Bullet so I bet a dollar-box exacta with him and AKA Lily’s Ladd,” explained Wachala.  “At least I had the presence of mind to also bet $5 to win on him since he was longer odds.  I never want to lose a good-priced horse in gimmicks.”  Good advice.


“I hit nothing in the middle races so my contest account balance diminished, but I did hit in the last race,” Wachala explained.  “I had $3 win-place on Alabama Clay (14-1) to finish out the day and bring my balance back up.  I guess I shouldn’t complain if I tripled my money for the day.”   


You have several remaining chances to triple your money, or more, and even win the coveted trip to Las Vegas.  After traveling to Trackside McHenry on November 20, Arlington’s Fall, 2010, OTB Tour will stop at Trackside South Beloit on November 27, then 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 South Elgin 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!!!!      Scott 

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