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Pete Peltier Wins July 7, 2012, AHC Handicapping Contest
Henry Wessel and Scott Hipple Take Second and Third
“I did?” exclaimed Pete Peltier when this correspondent informed him of his win. “I like it,” he added.
Why the surprise? “I certainly didn’t think my total was good enough to win,” explained Peltier. “I’ve been reading your blog stories about the previous contests this summer and I felt that I needed more than $488 to finish first.”
Peltier is a value player. “I’m not one for chasing favorites,” he stated. “I look for horses with a chance of winning that are going off at odds higher than what they should be.” Always solid advice.
“I had a $10 win bet on a $30 horse at Woodbine which contributed to my bankroll,’ revealed Peltier. “But I had a bigger score in Arlington’s ninth race.
“Dale Bennett had two horses, uncoupled, in that race, and when I see that I study both horses closely to try and decipher the trainer’s intent,” explained Peltier. “I was actually getting interested in his Arctic Point when I realized Bennett had Eddie Perez aboard, and the Bennett/E. E. Perez team is 1-for-10 at the meet. Next I saw where Bennett’s Expresso had Edgar Perez up and the Bennett/E. Perez team is 3-for-5 at the meet. Advantage Expresso.
“Then John Dooley came on and announced that Expresso was now a gelding and that also influenced me to choose him, and my $20 win bet returned $340,” Peltier summarized.
Peltier has been in this position before. “Two years ago I won an Arlington handicapping contest and won a trip to Las Vegas to play in the Horse Player World Series,” he recounted. “It was a great experience. I was ninth after the first day but ended up 17th. I won some prize money for that, plus I had my expense-paid trip to Vegas, all from my free Arlington contest win! So naturally I want to go back to a national tourney.
“In fact, I don’t know why anyone who is going to bet $100 or more doesn’t get in these contests,” Peltier concluded.
His first-place finish earns Peltier 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, Peltier 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 odds of him winning his way to Las Vegas are 7-2 since the TSOHC is capped at 350 contestants. 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 Henry Wessel earns a berth into the next monthly Twin Spires contest which feeds into the TSOHC, and third-finisher Scott Hipple will compete in a weekly Twin Spires contest to keep his chances of a TSOHC berth alive.
For Wessel it was a one-bet hit. “I’m a pick four player, and that’s what I hit at Woodbine to account for my $262.07 total,” he began. “It was only a 20-cent ticket but I went four deep in the last leg and the winner was a longshot at 17-1.” That’s making a little money do a lot of work.
Wessel is a regular contest player. “I figure, I’m going to bet $100 anyway, why not do it in the confines of the contest and maybe get something extra if I do well,” he explained.
“That’s always been my approach and, as a result, I’ve won two Arlington contests in the past, the most recent in 2010,” Wessel continued. “So I’ve been to the HWS before and I’m looking forward to going again. We never know when it’s going to be ‘our day’ and I believe I can have a big day or two and do well in a national tournament just like I can in a local one.
“This year I have extra incentive because I qualified, last spring, for the 2013 NHC tournament, and I would love to also qualify for the HWS and just go to Las Vegas for a couple of weeks and play in both,” Wessel concluded.
Scott Hipple also expressed surprise at his finish position. “What? I did?” he exclaimed when I approached his table in The Rebel Enclave to give him the news. “It’s my first try in these handicapping contests and I finish in the top three?” he added.
What induced Hipple to enter the free contest? “As I walked into the track I looked up at the TV and there was your (this correspondent’s) picture on the screen with an announcement of the contests,” he began. “So I went to the Starting Gate Theater, found you and John (Lisowski), asked some questions, and signed up.
“I look for longshots with a certain improvement pattern that I like to see,” Hipple explained. “You don’t have to hit too often to do well.” As he illustrated last Saturday.
“There were a couple of horses, one at Monmouth and one at Woodbine, that I hit, and of course some others that I didn’t,” Hipple continued. “But I did have a couple of bucks on an $80 horse at Belmont, and that provided the bulk of my $155.30 final bankroll.
“This is very encouraging,” Hipple summarized. I’m glad I got into the contest, and you can be sure I’ll be in them in the future.”
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, including dates and rules, click here and scroll down to the AHC story.
Your next chance to join us on-track is Saturday, July 28, 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