Racing & Wagering

Arlington Handicapping Challenge Begins May 8

| Churchill Downs Communications | 05/07/2010 #

In 2008 Arlington Park launched a special promotion tailored to bring handicapping seminars and contests to Arlington's OTB parlors in the Greater Chicagoland area.  The OTB Tour, as the promotion was titled, was an instant success.

"The Tour was well-received initially, but it wasn't a flash in the pan," explained Ken Kiehn, Arlington's Vive President of Sales, Marketing, and Guest Services.  "Fan participation in the seminars and handicapping contests has grown with each Tour, and our recently-completed spring, 2010, Tour continued to set new records, up as much as 45% over last year.  That's why we are moving forward."

Each stop on the Tour features a free, pre-race handicapping seminar conducted by M. Scott McMannis, for 30 years a handicapping educator known locally and nationally.  McMannis then hosts a free handicapping contest during the afternoon where the top five finishers win prizes.  The first-place finisher wins an expense-paid trip, valued at more than $2,200, to Las Vegas to compete in the February, 2011, Coast Casinos Horseplayer World Series (HWS) where the top prize will be an estimated $250,000.00. 

In all, nine trips to the HWS were awarded to last spring's top finishers.  Fans representing Arlington at the 2011 HWS, by virtue of winning a spring Tour handicapping contest, are Jim Benes, Paul Georgian, David Shaw, Linda Shaw, Dave Sellner, Mike Mahon, Derek Strom, Paul Hoffman, and Laura Skamser.

Attention now swings to the recently-opened Arlington summer meet where the first in the series of Arlington Handicapping Challenge (AHC) seminars and contests is this Saturday, May 8.  With handicapping seminars/contests scheduled for every other weekend, Arlington will be awarding 10 more trips to the HWS during the current live race meet.  Contest registration is at the Member Services Center.  For more information go to  Email questions to McMannis at

"That's 19 trips to the HWS accounted for by the spring and summer series of handicapping contests," explained McMannis, who was appointed Handicapping Seminar & Contest Coordinator at the beginning of this year.  "Additionally, next fall, there will be another OTB Tour where an additional nine trips to the HWS will be at stake.  That means, in 2010, Arlington is awarding 31 trips to Las Vegas for the two national, capstone handicapping tournaments, more than any other racetrack."

Arlington's fall OTB Tour will begin on Saturday, October 2, and will feature stops at most Arlington OTB parlors on successive Saturdays, with the exception of the first Saturday in November which is part of Breeders' Cup Weekend.  The complete schedule, including dates and locations, will be announced soon.