The Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest this past Saturday began with favorites winning the first two races. There would be just one more betting choice victorious on the 12-race program as winning prices ranged from $13.80 to $50.80 in the other nine events. Contest entrant Alberto Dabu found several of those longshots and recorded a season best single-day score of 3,294 points, 1,388 better than second-place finisher Halleck Peterson.
Week 5 of the free-to-enter handicapping contest is Saturday featuring the Fair Grounds 13-race extravaganza plus an added double-point Kentucky Derby prep race, the El Camino Real from Golden Gate Fields. The prep race at Fair Grounds, the Grade 2 Risen Star at 1 1/8 miles, was so popular at the entry box that it will be run in two divisions as the final races on the card. For contest players that means three double-point races.
Post time at Fair Grounds, and entry deadline for R2K contest, is Noon.
Sleepy Eyes Todd, a two-time winner at Canterbury in 2019 for trainer Miguel Silva, is entered in the Grade 3 Mineshaft on Saturday. After leaving CBY, Sleepy Eyes Todd ran second in the Oklahoma Derby and then won a $100,000 stake at Remington Park. Silva gave him a shot on turf in the Connally at Sam Houston but he faded to last after setting early fractions. Back on the dirt now at Fair Grounds, he should be able to use his tactical speed more efficiently.
In other handicapping contest news…..
None of the five horse players that qualified at Canterbury for last weekend’s $2.8 million National Horseplayers Championship finished in the money in the three-day event at Bally’s Las Vegas. The margin of victory or defeat is razor thin with many woulda-coulda stories to be told. Like many contests of the win-place variety, longshot winners must be found. For an interesting read on contest strategy, this recently posted story could guide you and then perhaps apply the strategy to your play in handicapping contests. An NHC entry is up for grabs as the Grand Prize in R2K.
Saturday is the $100 Horse Player World Series Satellite Contest which will send the winner to Las Vegas to play in HPWS at The Orleans. The format allows for 10 mythical $2 Win Place wagers to be made on a horse in 10 races of choice from the opening bell until 5:30 p.m.
Qualifying for the 2021 NHC is underway at Canterbury with the $10 Spring Tune-Up Super Satellites. Rules can be found here. Each week several players will qualify for the April 11 Satellite with the top six in that contest winning entry to either the Dog Days of Summer Contest or the Ultimate NHC Qualifier and a chance to get to the NHC 2021. Super satellites are offered Thursday through Saturday.
Monday, Feb. 17 is Presidents’ Day and a full slate of racing from around the country offered in the Canterbury Park Race Book including at Oaklawn Park where three stakes are carded: the Bayakoa (Gr. 3), Razorback Handicap (Gr. 3), and the Southwest, a grade Kentucky Derby prep race. Oaklawn begins at 1:30 p.m.