News - Videos - Blogs

Paul Hoffman Wins June 6, 2012, AHC Handicapping Contest

Arlington Park Communications | 03/24/2014 #

Robert Albanese, Rich Zipp Round Out The Orland Hills Three

Does the name Paul Hoffman sound familiar to you?  It should, since Hoffman finished second in the previous AHC handicapping contest held on May 26.  He was co-featured on my blog story detailing that contest (click here for story).

Hoffman will also be remembered for being sent four times by the racetrack to Las Vegas to compete in the two major annual handicapping tournaments held there in January and February.  Not only does Hoffman stand out for his repeated success, but for the fact that he usually wins his contest with win bets, sometimes exacta bets.  For the fans that think a contestant must hit a superfecta, pick four, or the like to do well in handicapping contests, Hoffman should be an inspiration.  He was that to Hilton Gordon who finished first in the May 26 contest. 

Hoffman, who lives in Schaumburg, thought nothing of traveling to Arlington’s new parlor in Orland Hills, located in Sam’s Triple Crown.  “I’m a serious contest player,” Hoffman admitted.  “I am intent on winning my way back to Las Vegas and having the track pay for it.  I’m convinced that I will represent the track well by doing well in either national tournament.  

“I made the second-to-first move once before,” Hoffman reminded.  “I was pretty much exclusively a win bettor at that time.

“It wasn’t until more recently that I’ve added exactas to my game plan,” explained Hoffman.  “Frankly, I think contest players tend to improve their handicapping and betting by playing in these live-money contests.  I know I have, and if I have, others have and will.  Therefore, I’m looking to elevate my contest bankroll with exactas in order to remain competitive.”

“My winning hit came in the second race from Arlington,” Hoffman revealed.  “I made a $77 exacta bet, Gentle Moment over the favored entry, and it returned $19.20 for $2.  That’s what got me to my total of $739.20.”

His first-place finish earns Hoffman 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, Hoffman 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 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 Robert Albanese earns a berth into the next monthly Twin Spires contest which feeds into the TSOHC, and third-finisher Rich Zipp will compete in a weekly Twin Spires contest to keep his chances of a TSOHC berth alive.

Robert Albanese also likes to travel, and to play in contests.  “I love to be at Arlington where the live action is, but a handicapping contest will get me to a parlor,” he explained.  “It’s more than just the contest, it’s to have some variety in my horseracing surroundings.  I’m glad I went to Sam’s in Orland Hills.  It’s new, fresh, and very nice.

“It’s gratifying to come in second in the contest, and I’m happy with my contest total of $310.70. But I also had one of those days we all dream about,” Albanese admitted. “Every horseplayer has probably seen the movie Let It Ride. That was my day last Saturday.

“Among my bigger scores were the pick five at Monmouth plus two pick fours, one at Belmont and one at Churchill,” Albanese continued. “Then add in a couple of win bets at Hollywood and Arlington.

“The thing is, in the interest of keeping things straight, I reserve my contest betting card for Arlington races only,” revealed Albanese. “If I had been making all of last Saturday’s bets on my contest card, I would have run away and hid from the field like Secretariat in the Belmont. But I’m OK with it.”

For Rich Zipp the story was all daily doubles.  “I started out with the early double at Arlington and finished with the late Arlington double,” revealed Zipp.  “The early double was the Wayne Catalano first starter (Bluegrass Dan) to the Ingrid Mason horse (Gentle Moment) in the second race, and that paid $20.  My $3 ticket gave a little boost to my bankroll.

“I then looked east to Monmouth Park where a liked a 15-1 shot and part-wheeled him in the double with the first two favorites in the next race,” Zipp continued.  “That hit and the double paid over $90.

“I then made my last double bet at Arlington for a small final boost to my bankroll,” concluded Zipp.  “There’s my $137.20 final total.”

Zipp is a serious contest player.  “I’ve been to the NHC and the HWS several times and I still can’t wait to get back there,” he admitted.  “I am constantly monitoring what contests are available and deciding which one to play in next.  “I’ve cashed at the big contests before, and I’m convinced I can again.”  

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, click here and scroll down to the AHC story.

our next chance to join us on-track is Saturday, June 23, 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