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Thompson, Engelhard & Carlson Top Arlington's Double-Triple Handicapping Contest

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/24/2010 #

Art Thompson of Chicago took home top prize of $500 and an expense-paid trip to the 2011 Horse Player World Series as the winner of Arlington Park's inaugural "Double-Triple" Two-Day Handicapping Tournament, held July 17-18.

The Double-Triple was free to enter but each contestant was required to establish a $300 live-money bankroll in order to compete. Everyone's contest account balance remained their property at all times. The objective was to run up the account balance higher than anyone else and walk away with the wagering winnings, added prize money, and an expense-paid trip to Las Vegas to compete in the February, 2011, Coast Casinos Horse Player World Series (HWS). The top three finishers won the coveted Las Vegas trip.

Thompson ran his $300 bankroll up to $6,023, most of which was earned on the second day of the contest as no contestant had a bankroll greater than $642.80 at the end of day one.

For Thompson an early miss may have made for a bigger score later.

"As time was running out leading up the third race," began Thompson, "I became increasingly interested in Uno Pecador. I even said to my friends, ‘This horse can be in there, and can even win the race, at a big price.'

"So, I made some exotic wagers at the last minute using Uno Pecador, but made a critical mistake," admitted Thompson. "I didn't bet Uno Pecador separately. I watched him win and pay $112.00 and none of my exotics hit.

"That's an error I learned long ago not to make," he continued. "If you like a long-odds horse enough to use in exotics, you must always bet him separately."

Thompson's fortunes improved as the contest wore on.

"When it got to the fifth race I again became interested in a long shot," revealed Thompson. "Actually, two good-priced horses. I originally liked Taylor Madison at 12-1 and made trifectas with her in all three positions.

"Then, the more I looked at the race, the more intrigued I became with Miss Twenty One at 16-1," Thompson continued. "So, I made trifectas with her as well, and a superfecta, and an exacta box, and bet her. I wasn't going to make the same mistake as earlier."

Thompson scored, big time, when Miss Twenty One won and paid $33.80. His trifecta with Taylor Madison in third hit, as did his trifecta with Miss Twenty One on top, for $889 per dollar.

The exacta returned $250 per $2, $625 for $5. But the most impact on Thompson's bankroll came from the $1 superfecta which returned $3,295. All in all, a $6,000-plus haul.

Finishing second in the contest, earning $350 plus an expense paid berth in the 2011 HWS, was Mark Englehard of Hainesville, Ill., while third prize of $250 plus an expense paid berth in the 2011 HWS went to Paul Carlson of Lake in the Hills, Ill. Engelhard's final bankroll was $4,839.30 while Carlson's final tally was $1,593.

The Double-Triple paid prize money down to 10th place. The top ten finishers and their totals were: Art Thompson ($6,023); Mark Engelhard ($4,989.30); Paul Carlson ($1,593); Tom Cooper ($680); Andrew Brunks ($582); Frank Garcia ($425.08); Kenneth Maier ($412.21); Henry Wessel ($380.80); Mark Belling ($367.80); Stan Koper ($337).

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