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OTB handicapping contests return for 2009
Daily Herald News Services
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Published: 2/2/2009 10:49 AM

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Arlington Park, which introduced its first live money handicapping contests in 2008, will again bring the contests to selected Illinois Trackside OTB locations during the spring of 2009 to be held in conjunction with handicapping seminars at each location conducted by Chicago Sun-Times handicapper M. Scott McMannis.

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.

The first of the eight scheduled contests is slated for Saturday, March 7 at Trackside Arlington Park, located at the corner of Euclid Ave. and Wilke Rd.

Players will compete for berths in Coast Casino's Horseplayer World Series to be held in the winter of 2010. The winner of each contest will earn a berth and an additional season-long "wild-card" berth will be awarded to the person with the best cumulative score over the eight contests who did not win an individual event in the series.

"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 more pools (Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, and multi-race wagers such as the Pick 3 and Pick 4) than in most other contests and have 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 and play a minimum of $10 per race. However, they may invest winnings into future wagers. For complete contest rules, visit Arlington Park's revamped Web site at www.arlingtonpark.com.

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 year and a half," said McMannis. "I have loved teaching about horse racing and handicapping in a variety of venues for more than 25 years and I am excited to continue these seminars in 2009 plus with the contest element, astute handicappers have a chance to not only win money but earn berths into major national handicapping contests."