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Robert Albanese Wins September 15, 2012, AHC Handicapping Contest

Arlington Park Communications | 03/24/2014 #

John Penn, Walter Lazuka Round Out Top Three

For Bob Albanese the most recent AHC (Arlington Handicapping Challenge) contest was the reverse of the June 2, 2012, contest where he finished second.  In that contest Albanese won bets right and left and declared, “I had one of those days we all dream about,” likening his day to that of the featured character in the movie Let It Ride.  You can read Bob’s June 2 story by clicking here.

Last Saturday went decidedly the other way for Albanese, until late in the day.

“By the ninth Arlington race I was down to my last $20 so I bet it all into that race,” began Albanese.  “As the horses crossed the finish line, I said to myself, ‘That’s it, I zeroed out.’

“Then the Inquiry light went up and I thought, ‘Maybe there’s hope,’” Albanese continued.  “When the TV monitors began playing the part of the race the stewards were investigating, I realized I was looking at something very bizarre, with sections of rail flying everywhere and horses and jockeys trying to navigate safely and not go down.”

NOTE:  See what the stewards reviewed by clicking here.

“Then the race was declared a No Contest and all wagers were refunded, so I was back to a $20 balance in my contest bankroll,” revealed Albanese.  “Talk about a second chance!”

It was a second chance Albanese would make the most of.

“I saw opportunity for daily doubles in the last two races, so I made two doubles in races ten and eleven,” Albanese continued.  “I hit the tenth race with The Best Option (2-1) and the eleventh race with Stig’s Deputy (12-1) and the double paid $83 for $2, and I had a $10 ticket.  There’s the bulk of my final bankroll of $488.40.”

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

John Penn almost sounded slightly remorseful, but that wasn’t the case after all.  “I sort of gave it away,” he began.  “I was up over $600 at one point and doing so well that I just kept pressing forward and gave some of it back. 

“I see by the posted results that $600 would have won the contest, but that’s OK, I’m happy with second,” Penn quickly added.  “After all, I had a good day.”

Penn broke sharply from the gate.  “I bet $40 to win on Kepi ($9.40 for $2),” he began.  “The race just seemed to set up for her, she loves the distance and the Arlington turf, and tries hard.

“I came back with the fifth-race trifecta,” Penn continued.  “I was big on Son Of A Tiger (7-1), so I used him with some horses and the tri paid $209 for 50 cents, and I had it for a dollar.

“Then it was the sixth race and I liked The Pizza Man ($9.00) so I had a $50 win bet on him,” Penn revealed.  “He just keeps improving, and I like a horse who is competitive, who looks another horse in the eye and just digs in.”

Then things changed.  “The turnaround came in the Pucker Up,” revealed Penn.  “I was big on Treasured Up and made a solid bet, but when she broke last, I knew I was likely done for.  She finished fourth, beaten by less than a length for it all, but that wasn’t good enough.

“But that’s horseracing and, as I said, I’m not complaining.  At $362.50 and a second-place finish, it was a good day,” concluded Penn.     

Walter Lazuka’s story parallels that of Albanese.

“I was down to my last $4,” began Lazuka.  “So I made a winning trifecta bet and won over $100 on that.

“After that boost, I managed to pick a couple of winners and climbed back to my final total of $244.75,” Lazuka explained.

“All in all, I consider it a good day,” reasoned Lazuka.  “I went from down $96 to up almost $250, or 2-1/2 times my beginning bankroll.  Plus, I finish third and win an entry into another contest.” 

To view the standings from last Saturday’s handicapping contest, click here.

The 2012 AHC handicapping seminar/contest series is completed, but the fun, and rewards, don’t stop there.  Arlington is offering a variety of handicapping contests during the fall.

The new fall fun actually begins on the upcoming two final Saturdays of our live meet and extends into the fall.  We have developed a new handicapping contest series titled The Eliminator.  It’s free, easy to play, and convenient:  you can play from any Arlington wagering facility.  Earn your share of $2,500 in prize money.  For more information, click here and scroll down.

Fans of Arlington’s popular OTB Tours will be glad to know there will be another Tour this fall.  We have dubbed this Tour the Holiday Handicapping Series in recognition of its dates coinciding with Thanksgiving and the lead up to Christmas.  Like past Tour contests, this fall’s contests will offer the coveted Las Vegas trip as first prize, but with a new twist:  The winner of each contest can opt for $1,500.  For more information, click here and scroll down.

Be reminded that Arlington is offering the Pigskins and Ponies Sunday handicapping contests where the player picks the winners of specific pro football games plus specific horse races.  For more information, click here.    

Stay tuned!  We are considering additional kinds of competitions designed to offer our customers more fun in their race day plus more opportunities win prizes and prize money.

We want to reward and award you with prizes and prize money, even send you to Las Vegas, but you can’t win it unless you get in it! See you at the contests!


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,
  •           Hawthorne Trainer Patterns