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Linda Shaw Wins 11/27/10 Arlington Handicapping Contest at South Beloit

Arlington Park Communications | 12/04/2010 #


Ed Hanna, Mike Fregeau, Steve Dellinger, Tom Hausheer Round Out South Beloit Five

The last name Shaw is likely familiar to anyone following the 2010 Arlington handicapping contests.  Last spring Dave Shaw finished on top at Trackside South Elgin with his first try in an Arlington OTB Tour handicapping contest.  The very next Saturday his wife, Linda, finished first at Trackside Waukegan in only her second try.  Score:  1-1.

Last Saturday the Fall, 2010, OTB Tour traveled to Trackside South Beloit where Linda Shaw broke the Shaw tie by finishing first.  "I'm even more excited than I was," exclaimed Linda Shaw.  "Now I'll have two entries in the Horseplayer World Series.  I just have a feeling it could be the year of the fillies."

Shaw's accomplishment came early in the contest.  "I saw an opportunity to use some price horses so as to possibly hit a nice-paying pick three," she explained.  "I liked Elk Rapids Native in the third race enough to single him, and worked backwards from there.  I used five horses in the first race, and again in the second, so my ticket was 5x5x1 or 25 combinations."

At $2 per combination, Shaw's approach was "all in" on the first pick three.  It worked.  She hit for $611.  "That payout constituted a "signer" so I did the paperwork then made some small bets to meet the contest requirements, but basically sat on my balance and let others try to overtake me," Shaw concluded.  

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 South Beloit contest, plus their winning final balances.

                                                          1. Linda Shaw           $ 610.40

                                                           2. Ed Hanna                 503.30

                                                           3. Mike Fregeau           278.10

                                                           4. Steve Dellinger        272.60

                                                           5. Tom Hausheer         251.10

For Ed Hanna the journey from Plainfield to South Beloit was worth it.  "I knew my odds were better since I would be playing against fewer people," Hanna began.  "The trip took a while.  In fact, I missed the first race but that worked out to be OK since I didn't get rolling until the fifth race.

"As I watched the early races I came to the conclusion that I wanted to concentrate on closers," continued Hanna.  "So, I got into action with the fifth race where I bet a pick three that hit.  That was Upsell (9-5) to Wildcat Gamble (3-5) to East Coaster (8-5) which paid $46 for $2.  It was a favorites pick three but it boosted my balance and gave me more money to work with.

"In the eighth race I bet a $5 1-6 exacta box, Baja Boy (7-2) and Liquidation (9-1), which paid $86 for $2," Hanna related.  "That boosted my balance to around $450.

"I finished off with the ninth race where I bet another $5 exacta box, Holy Thursday (3-1) and Proud McKee (3-1), which paid $35 for $2," concluded Hanna.  "That's how I accumulated $500-plus."

Hanna's total wasn't enough to win, but he's pleased.  "I had two entries and made money on both, so I can't complain.  Plus, I get another $100 from Arlington for finishing second with one entry. 

"Moreover, I believe my higher cumulative total is not out of the chase for the consistency prize," he summarized.  "I'm traveling from Plainfield to Waukegan for the December 4 contest, to shoot to win that contest, or at least add to my cumulative total.  Then I have one more shot on December 11 to add to my cumulative total."

Was it beginner's luck for Mike Fregeau?  Maybe. maybe not.

"Well, I am kind of a beginner, compared to the guys I know at TADS South Beloit that follow horseracing," Fregeau admitted.  "So I didn't just rush into playing the contest.

"Some guys at the bar were discussing the contest and making the point that, since it was free to enter, and they would be betting $50 anyway, why not get in?"  Fregeau continued.  "So, I did.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

"How did I win the bulk of my money?" responded Freqeau, repeating my question.

"One of my friends at the bar is Gary Leverton who owns American Blossom," Fregeau answered, "and he and the guys said that if the horse could run like he did previously at Hawthorne, he had a big shot.  So, I bet the horse $10 across the board and he won at 21-1.  Sometimes you only need one like that.

"I'm really excited about winning the money, finishing  third in the contest on my first try, and also getting a little extra prize money from Arlington," Fregeau concluded.  "In fact, Arlington's harness handicapping contest is coming to the South Beloit OTB next Saturday, and I can't wait to play in that one." 

Steve Dellinger performed a rare, but not unheard of, feat last Saturday.  He ended the day with both entries in the top five.  There was just one problem.  He neglected to play a minimum five races on one entry.

"I guess that can happen when you're rushed," offered Dellinger.  "I was busy all morning, so I arrived at the South Beloit OTB just before the first race.

"South Beloit is my home OTB so of course I have a number of friends there, which means socializing upon arrival," Dellinger continued.  "I had to scurry to get my bet in on the first race, Lady Of Greatness (4-1), who won to get me off to a good start.

"One of my OTB friends is Gary Leverton, who also frequents the South Beloit OTB, and he was there," Dellinger explained.  "Gary owns American Blossom who was entered in the fourth race and, well, I had to make a "friendly" wager on my friend's horse and leave.  She won at 21-1 and anchored pick threes for me.        

"I could only stay at the OTB for an hour but I made the most of it," summarized Dellinger.  "But I had an appointment with a filly of the two-legged variety so I had to depart.

"I'll be back to play another day, specifically this coming Saturday in Waukegan," promised Dellinger.  "I'm anxious to see the new Sundance Saloon OTB over there."  

Tom Hausheer consistently follows the OTB Tours, distance being no object.  "Every Saturday I have a free chance to turn $50, that I would be betting anyway, into a $2,500 working vacation to Las Vegas.  What an opportunity!"

Indeed.  Hausheer has turned that feat not once, but twice, playing in the 2009 and 2010 HWS.  "I take my wife, Patti, along;  that's the vacation part, and we stay a few extra days.  She enjoys the trip so much, I swear she keeps a bag packed," Hausheer quipped.

Back to last Saturday.  "I collected on four races," Hausheer offered.  "In the third race I hit the exacta (Elk Rapids Native and Blue Canoe) that paid $80.

"I had a 10-cent superfecta in race five, and collected about $60 on that, bringing my balance up to $176," Hausheer continued.  "In the sixth race I had another 10-cent super, good for another $46, bringing my balance to $210.

"In the ninth race I stepped up," chuckled Hausheer.  "I had a 20-cent super that brought my final balance to $251."

You have four more chances, two each Saturday, to win the coveted trip to Las Vegas.  After traveling to Trackside South Beloit, 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 try to score points for the consistency prize.

To see the complete order of finish for the South Beloit 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,

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