Racing & Wagering

Trackside Fall Handicapping Contests to Coincide with McMannis Handicapping Seminars

| Churchill Downs Communications | 09/15/2009 #

Arlington Park will again bring their popular live money handicapping contests to selected Illinois Trackside OTB locations during the fall of 2009 to be held in conjunction with handicapping seminars at each location conducted by HorsePlayer magazine correspondent M. Scott McMannis, whose daily Arlington selections appear in the Chicago Sun-Times.

All players need to do to participate is purchase a $50 contest wagering card at the Twin Spires Club Center at the designated location on day of each contest and play a minimum of five races from that day's card at Hawthorne Race Course. A new twist for the fall 2009 series allows contestants to have two entries by purchasing a second $50 contest wagering card. Each $50 card serves as the player's bankroll.

The first of 11 scheduled contests is slated for Saturday, Oct. 3 at Trackside Arlington Park, located at the corner of Euclid Ave. and Wilke Rd. There will be a contest each Saturday from Oct. 3 through Dec. 19 with the exception of Saturday, Nov. 7 (Breeders' Cup Day).

At eight of the contests (listed below), players will compete for berths in Coast Casino's Horseplayer World Series to be held in the winter of 2010. The winner of each of those eight contests will earn a berth into the World Series and an additional season-long "wild-card" berth will be awarded to the person with the best cumulative score over all 11 contests who did not win an individual event in the series. All 11 of the contests will offer cash prizes to its top finishers.

"We wanted to add additional opportunities for our everyday players to have a chance to win their way into the major Las Vegas handicapping tournaments," said Wesley Ward, manager of marketing and advertising for Arlington Park. "The Trackside Handicapping Contests are particularly attractive options since there is no entry fee into the contest as the $50 contest card players purchase is actually their live bankroll for the contest."

Each contest will be organic to a typical day at the track, meaning that players will have the flexibility to wager in any open pool (Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Super Hi-5 and multi-race wagers such as the Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 6 and Place Pick 9) than in most other contests and have the freedom to participate from any location within the designated Trackside OTB facility as there is no need for assigned contest wagering windows. However, all wagers must be made using the contest card at self service terminals only. However, they may invest winnings into future wagers. For complete contest rules, visit Arlington Park's Web site at

On each designated contest day, Chicago Sun-Times handicapper and HorsePlayer magazine Midwest correspondent M. Scott McMannis will conduct a handicapping seminar on that day's Hawthorne card beginning at Noon and will remain on hand to answer questions throughout the afternoon.

"I have enjoyed meeting racing fans from all over the area as I have toured the Trackside OTBs over the last two years," said McMannis. "I have loved teaching about horseracing and handicapping in a variety of venues for more than 25 years and I am excited to continue these seminars this fall plus with the contest element, astute handicappers have a chance to not only win money but earn berths into major national handicapping contests."

The complete schedule of contests and seminars follow:

Date Location
Saturday, Oct. 3 Trackside Arlington Park *
Saturday, Oct. 10 Trackside South Elgin *
Saturday, Oct. 17 Trackside Chicago *
Saturday, Oct. 24 Trackside McHenry *
Saturday, Oct. 31 Trackside Hodgkins*
Saturday, Nov. 14 Trackside Lockport *
Saturday, Nov. 21 Trackside Hodgkins *
Saturday, Nov. 28 Trackside South Beloit (cumulative points and cash prize only - no HPWS berth)
Saturday, Dec. 5 Trackside Rockford *
Saturday, Dec. 12 Trackside McHenry (cumulative points and cash prize only - no HPWS berth)
Saturday, Dec. 19 Trackside Arlington Park (cumulative points and cash prize only - no HPWS berth)