Will Lamkins has been playing the horses a long time. When he first began six decades ago who would ever have thought it possible to win a handicapping contest on a home computer. Then again, who would have conceived a home computer to be possible. There probably were not even handicapping contests to contemplate anyway. Will Lamkins not only played in Canterbury’s Northern Stars BCBC Big Ten Contest on Wednesday from his home in Hutch Springs Village, Arkansas, he won it.
“I only started in 1958,” Lamkins said with a laugh. “Arlington, Sportsmans, and Hawthorne. They had a $2 win window, a $2 place window, and a combination window where you could bet win, place and show at one window. Daily Racing Form was a quarter. I always bought that because I liked to figure things out.
“I was born and raised in Kentucky,” he said. “I’d never been to Churchill or Keeneland.
“I got out of the service in 1956 and went to Chicago to get a job because there was no work in Kentucky,” he said.
Some friends were going to the races and asked Will to go. “I’d never seen one of them. After going I realized I kind of liked this,” Lamkins said.
Wednesday’s contest was a live bankroll contest where players could wager to win, place and show and play exactas, trifectas and doubles on Canterbury’s 10-race card. Entrants could play at Canterbury or through TVG, Xpressbets or NYRAbets. The results were aggregated by Tim Schram and his crew of Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge fame.
There was a $100 entry fee that went to the prize pool and $200 live bankroll required. One player, based on best final bankroll, for each 30 entrants would win a $3,000 entry to the $120,000 BCBC Big Ten Tournament on Sept. 16 at Canterbury. The resulting bankroll is returned to each entrant of course. With 171 players, there were five winners to be determines with sixth place receiving $2,100 in cash.
“I started in race three. I left the first two alone,” Lamkins said. “I played the trifecta around the 1, 9 and 4.” He wagered $80 into that race and got back nothing. “I didn’t have a whole lot left.”
Lamkins lost a double in race 4 and an exacta and double in race 5.
On to Race 7, the Mystic Lake Mile.
“I liked the 9 (Hieronymus) and I liked the 1 (King of Miami) in the next race,” he said. “The 9 and 1 came in.” The result was $20 worth of doubles that returned $1,524.
“I took the 6 horse,” Lamkins said. “$100 double on that to the 8 [in race 10].” He got the 6 home and then played trifecta in the tenth and final race while still live with that $100 double.
“$10 trifecta with the 8,” he explained. “I played the 8 with the 4 with the 1,2,6.”
The final tally of Lamkins winning total was $3,171.90.
“I got a little luck. Horses I liked were in photos,” he said. “Lucked out pretty good.”
Lamkins had not planned to play the contest until he checked his email Tuesday. “Tim [Schram] sent me an email and I thought this would give me something to do. I took a look and thought ‘I like that card’ so I decided to give it a go.”
His first experience with Canterbury racing came a couple of years ago during a trip for a contest.
“I’d never really played Canterbury until I went to Kentucky Downs,” he said. “They had a contest and used a Canterbury race. I won and thought ‘I like that track.'”
Since then he has been playing Canterbury horses during the Oaklawn meet.
“I look for Canterbury horses that ship down to Oaklawn. They run well and they pay good.”
His Wednesday win puts him into the Sept. 16 contest where he will be betting a $2,000 live bankroll with a chance to win one of 10 BCBC entries. If he wins he may not go to the Breeders’ Cup in California but already has plans to be at Keeneland for the event in 2022.
“I love handicapping,” Lamkins said.” I like to, you might say, outsmart the professionals.”
Top Five win $3,000 entry to September 16 Contest
Will Lamkins $3,171.90
Christy Moore $1,978.80
Jay Lietzau $1,724
Andy Muhlada $1,630.40
Ray Davis $1,523.60
Sixth Place Prize wins $2,100
Eric Kurzhal $1,455.50