2004 World Series of Handicapping is upon us

November 28, 2004|by LARRY YANOS

The 2004 World Series of Handicapping Winter Classic will be held Dec. 11 at the Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pa.

Followers of Charles Town Races & Slots are encouraged to compete.

According to WSH Winter Classic spokesman Fred Lipkin, the contest will be based on the live thoroughbred cards run that night at Penn National and Charles Town.

"Folks can compete at any Penn National Gaming property in Pennsylvania, the closest to Charles Town being Chambersburg," Lipkin said. "The entry fee is $100 and contestants will then pay an additional $100 on Dec. 11 to activate their individual wagering accounts. They keep all the winnings in that account at the end of the contest."

The entry deadline for the contest is Dec. 6. No checks will be accepted at registration or the night of racing, only cash or money orders.


Penn National will give a free Smarty Jones sports cap with each entry and there is no limit on the amount of entries for any person.

Entry forms and complete rules are available at all Penn National Gaming locations in Pennsylvania, at the Penn National Web site ( or by calling 717-469-3270 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Lipkin said prizes will be paid to the top 10 finishers of the contest, with 50 percent of the pool going to the WSH Winter Classic winner.

"Payouts will be based on the actual number of players," Lipkin said. "Win, place, show, exacta and trifecta wagers will be permitted for the contest and all players must make a minimum $10 bet on at least 10 of the races run at the two tracks that night.

"Charles Town will run 12 live races that night and Penn National nine. That means folks in the Charles Town area could bet only the Charles Town races if they so desire."

There is no maximum amount on bets, just so you have enough money in the account.

Wagers may be divided among more than one type of bet in a race as long as the total reaches the minimum of $10.

"Rick Scott won the last contest of this type with a final bankroll of $397," Lipkin said. "He won $3,700 for winning the contest, so he took home over $4,000."

2005 Charles Town dates approved by Commission

The West Virginia State Racing Commission met on Tuesday in Morgantown, W.Va., and the 2005 live racing dates for Charles Town were approved.

The minimum state requirements for the two horse racing tracks and two dog tracks is 210 live racing dates, and that's the number Charles Town selected.

"That has been our strategy for a number of years," Charles Town Director of Racing Richard "Dickie" Moore said. "We apply for 210 and then seek additional dates later in the year. Horsemen were in agreement with this proposal."

Moore says management and horsemen must work out the 2005 schedule.

"No decision has been made yet concerning the live racing dates for early in the year," Moore said. "We hope to reach an agreement with the horsemen soon."

The format in December will include the standing Wednesday through Sunday schedule as well as some Monday and Tuesday events and a special New Year's Eve card.

The additional dates: Dec. 14; Dec. 20-21; and Dec. 28.

"They will all be 12-race cards," Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association Executive Director Don Combs said.

Fogelsonger, Dominguez travel to California

Maryland-based jockeys Ryan Fogelsonger and Ramon Dominguez, the top two riders in the Maryland colony, were in California this weekend.

Foglesonger and Dominguez competed at Friday's Grade III $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express Handicap.

Dominguez was aboard 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Cajun Beat for the first time, while Fogelsonger rode Worldwind Romance for Team Gill. They teamed up for a victory in the Cherokee Run Stakes at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 14.

It was the third straight victory for the duo this fall after victories in a minor stakes race at The Meadowlands in October and an allowance score at Pimlico in September.

Dominguez stayed at Hollywood Park on Saturday to ride and will be back in Baltimore today. Fogelsonger had eight mounts on Saturday's nine-race card at Pimlico.

The pair feasted on the Thanksgiving day card, combining to win six of the nine races.

Pony Tales

Charles Town is now sending its live racing signal to Las Vegas.

"There aren't many thoroughbred racetracks running at night this time of year, so we should do OK," said Moore.

ยท Penn National has received approval from the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission to conduct 203 nights of live thoroughbred racing next year.

The 2004 campaign will conclude with an evening program on Dec. 30.

The 2005 season begins Jan. 5. The track will continue its regular schedule of racing every Wednesday through Saturday night at 7:25 p.m.

There are four special racing days on the 2005 calendar. Live racing cards will follow the Kentucky Derby on May 7, the Preakness Stakes on May 21 and the Belmont Stakes on June 11 at approximately 6:35 p.m.

The $14 million Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships is scheduled for Oct. 29. The Breeders' Cup races will begin at 1 p.m. and again be immediately followed by Penn National's live program.

Larry Yanos is sports editor of The Daily Mail. He covers horse racing for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at

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