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Paul Hoffman Wins November 17, 2012, Rockford Parlor Handicapping Contest

Arlington Park Communications | 03/24/2014 #

Chuck Lindstrom, Dan Pavlik, Derek Strom Round Out Top Four

“I love the Rockford OTB even more now,” exclaimed Paul Hoffman when I called to interview him for this story.  Hoffman had just finished first in Arlington’s Fall, 2012, OTB Tour handicapping contest held on November 17 at Trackside Rockford inside Don Carter Lanes.

Flash back to Arlington’s Spring, 2010, OTB Tour and Hoffman also won the Rockford installment. 

At that time Hoffman was basically a win-only bettor and won that contest with two win bets, but he claims times have changed.  “My competition has gotten better,” Hoffman observed, “so I had to become more creative in order to find more opportunities of the higher-reward variety.    

“So, I expanded my thinking, my approach, to the next level, which, for me, is finding potential win bets  plus secondary contenders for a good-paying exacta,” Hoffman continued.  “I had success so I now go deeper and look for trifecta possibilities.”

It’s paying off, since Hoffman won the most-recent contest with a trifecta.  “It was the seventh race at Hawthorne,” he revealed.  “I did something out of the ordinary for most bettors:  I part-wheeled a horse in third in the trifecta. 

“It was Mike Campbell’s Abaco Storm, who seems to prefer second, and more so third, rather than winning,” Hoffman continued.  “I used four horses in the top spot, then seven horses to run second, over Abaco Storm in third. 

“The favorite, Trickeroy, won at 5-2, then it was Trust More at 11-1 followed by Abaco Storm at 17-1,” Hoffman recounted.  “The tri paid $606.20 for $2, so with my $4 ticket I collected $1,194 after the vigorish (the OTB surcharge of 2-1/2 per cent).  My ticket cost $96 so I added a couple of exacta savers in the same race in order to reach my minimum of $100 wagered.

“This is a banner year for me,” Hoffman concluded.  “Earlier this year I qualified for next January’s DRF/NTRA NHC, and now I’ve qualified for the World Series in February.

“I can’t say enough in praise of all that Arlington, and you (this correspondent), do for the fans with these handicapping seminars and contests.  They are great opportunities to get extra rewards for something we are doing because we love it, handicapping and wagering.”

His first-place finish earns Hoffman a paid entry, worth $1,500, into the February, 2013, Coast Casino’s Horseplayer World Series (HWS) to be held at The Orleans Resort in Las Vegas.  Hoffman will also receive a travel voucher worth $350.  If he so chooses, Hoffman can accept $1,500 cash in lieu of the Vegas trip. 

Top prize in the HWS is estimated to be $300,000.  In last February’s HWS, prize money was paid down to 60th place. 

Finishing second behind Hoffman was Chuck Lindstrom of Rockford who defended his home turf well. 

“I managed to hit an assortment of bets,” began Lindstrom.

“I bet a couple of horses individually, and I hit a couple of small exactas,” continued Lindstrom.  “But my biggest collection was a trifecta at Belmont that paid around $300.  That’s basically how I got to my total of $581.”

Like all horseplayers, Lindstrom had a bad-beat story.  “I liked the third race at Hawthorne and intended to bet a trifecta, but I didn’t get started in time and was shut out.  The tri paid almost $2,700.”

Lindstrom was realistic, however.  “I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve been shut out before.  I know it’s my responsibility to watch my time.  I won’t dwell on it.  After all, I turned $100 into $800 (winnings plus prize money), and that’s a good day in anyone’s book.

“In fact, we’re looking ahead, not back,” revealed Lindstrom.  “My horseplaying friend, Tim Budden, and I are coming into Arlington Trackside for the next contest.  It’s an easy drive from Rockford and one of us might qualify for Vegas.  At the very least, we’ll have a good time playing horses together.”

For Dan Pavlik success was also a comeback story.

“I had been playing Delta Downs and losing,” Pavlik admitted.  “I had been trying to beat favorites and trying to hit a pick four, but nothing worked.

“I was down to my last $30 when I started looking at Turf Paradise and saw a horse I really liked, so I investigated further,” continued Pavlik.  “I decided to work around that horse as a single, and spread out from there in a pick four.

“Unlike at Delta, I hit the Turf Paradise pick four, and it included a $27 horse,” Pavlik said, “and that’s how I won the bulk of my final balance of about $212. 

“Even though that balance wasn’t enough to win the contest, I did manage to finish ahead for the day, and that’s a good thing,” Pavlik reminded.  “Plus, my prize money of $100 stakes my bankroll for the next handicapping contest at Trackside Arlington on December first.  See you there!”

Derek Strom was pleased to make money and earn some prize cash, as well.  “I’ve been away from contest play for a while because of other requirements for my time,” Strom began.

“So, I was playing small ball for this Rockford contest, kind of easing my way back in,” explained Strom.  “Therefore, finishing fourth feels good.

“I was concentrating on Hawthorne and Delta Downs,” continued Strom.  “I hit a couple of small exactas at Hawthorne, the best one being in the fourth race where the Bluegrass Jim (9-1) to Knight After Night (6-5) exacta paid $43.90 for $1. 

“My other good hit for the day was the trifecta in the million-dollar Jackpot race at Delta where I keyed the nine-horse over the 1-4 and collected about $200,” Strom revealed.  “From there I tried to push my total higher but fell back a little.

“As I say, I’m pleased to have finally gotten back into action and managed to do as well as I did,” concluded Strom.  “I made a little money, the prize money more than covers my lunch and gas from Midlothian, and I really enjoyed myself.  You’ll see me at the Arlington Trackside contest next Saturday (December 1), and in Hodgkins two weeks (December 15) after that.”

Will you be joining Lindstrom, Pavlik, and Strom at Trackside Arlington Park?  You should because the handicapping seminar and contest are free, and you may win bonus money, even a trip to Vegas, for doing something you are going to do anyway:  handicap and wager! 

To learn all about the Fall, 2012, OTB Tour featuring free handicapping seminars and contests, click here to go to my McMannis Blog then scroll down and read Arlington’s Fall Trackside Parlor Tour Returns with Handicapping Seminars, Contests.

To view the final standings from the Rockford contest, click here

We want to send you to Las Vegas, and give you prize money, but you can’t win it unless you get in it!  You may be walking around lucky and not even know it!

See you at Arlington Trackside on Saturday, December 1, in the banquet room, first floor, west side.


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