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Mike Siano Wins October 5, 2013, Trackside Aurora Contest for Vegas Trip

Arlington Park Communications | 03/24/2014 #

Mike Mikulan and Paul Georgian Take Second and Third

 Mike Siano just might hold the distinction of having traveled to more Arlington handicapping contests than anyone else.  Trackside Waukegan?  No problem.  Trackside Rockford?  Perfect attendance.  Trackside Quad Cities?  He’ll see you there.

So the jaunt to The Foundry in Aurora, Arlington’s latest addition to its stable of OTB parlors, would not deter Siano.  And Siano is glad it didn’t because he finished first and won the coveted, expense-paid, trip to Las Vegas next March to play in Boyd Casino’s Horse Player World Series (HPWS).  That gives him a shot at the estimated $300,000 first prize.

One bet was all it took.  “I played two entries in the contest, and on one of them I hit a superfecta at Parx,” Siano explained.  “It was a signer and that accounted for my winning total of $704.01.

“I won my way to Vegas for the HPWS a couple of years ago, and I’ve wanted to get back there ever since,” admitted Siano.  “It’s quite an experience.” 

Siano will be returning to the HPWS, again, at Arlington’s expense.  His prize package includes a $1,000 entry into the HPWS, a travel voucher, and hotel accommodations at The Orleans, site of the national tournament.  In addition to the first prize of approximately $300,000, the HPWS paid prize money down through the 40th finisher in the last tournament.

Mike Mikulan, contrary to Siano, played in his first Arlington OTB handicapping contest.  “The Foundry is my home OTB,” began Mikulan.  “I arrived later in the afternoon and could tell something special was going on, what with all the unfamiliar faces and the young lady (Arlington’s Brittany Habbick) at the table at the entrance. 

“I inquired and learned that a handicapping contest was underway,” Mikulan continued.  “I entered because it was free, I enjoy that sort of thing, and I knew I would be betting at least $100 anyway.  Why not?”

Why not indeed.  While it may be a long shot, fans should think of it as a free shot at $300,000, plus anything earned along the way.

Mikulan ran his initial $100 bankroll into $555.00, good enough for second place and prize money of $250, for a total of about $800 on the day. 

“I was “on” that day,” Mikulan explained.  “I didn’t have big hits, but I did have a couple of $10 daily doubles, and some win bets.  Fortunately, it all accumulated into something good.”

Like Siano, Mikulan also has been to the HPWS.  “That was a long time ago, I think the first year they held it,” he recounted.  “As we were sitting there in the race book, I turned to my wife and said with a smile, ‘I feel like I’m in heaven.’

“This second-place finish has me fired up again,” Mikulan concluded.  “I’m going to play in more Arlington handicapping contests and win my way back to Vegas!”    

Paul Georgian is no stranger to Arlington handicapping contests, or to Las Vegas national tournaments.  While he only finished third in The Foundry contest, Georgian will take it.  “I was just having a grind-it-out kind of day,” he began.  “My total ($186.55) is no big deal.  In fact, I’m kind of surprised that it was good for third.

“But I’ll take it,” Georgian admitted.  “It’s a profit for the day, and my $100 prize money stakes me to the next Arlington handicapping contest.”

That next Arlington handicapping seminar/contest is on November 16, at Arlington’s Trackside Hodgkins parlor.  That will be Arlington’s last scheduled HPWS qualifier contest of the season, so make plans now.

The contest is free to enter.  Participants must establish a $100 bankroll.  Registration is from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  You can bet any Thoroughbred race, anywhere, with a post time after 11:00 AM and before 6:30 PM Chicago time.

I will conduct a pre-races handicapping seminar at approximately one hour before Hawthorne’s first post of 2:10 PM.  The seminar is free and you do not need to be in the contest to sit in.  We will be in the banquet room all day.

To learn more about Trackside Hodgkins, including a map and directions, click here, scroll down, and click on Trackside Hodgkins.

For more information on the contest, click here.  To go directly to the rules, click here.

To view the final standings for the October 5 contest, click here.

Questions?  Email me at and I’ll get right back to you.

We want to send you to Las Vegas, but you must get in it to win it!

I’ll see you in Hodgkins on November 16.


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