Chicago Barn to Wire


Contact: Graham Ross
(847) 255-4300
Monday, September 4, 2000
84th Day


The second annual Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship - with its $100,000 grand prize plus priceless national recognition - returns to Arlington International Racecourse and its four OTB/ITW locations with the first of four preliminary rounds beginning Saturday, Sept. 9.

Arlington International Racecourse/Trackside, Mud Bug OTB, Arlington in Rockford OTB, Arlington in Waukegan OTB, and Quad Cities Betting Parlor will all serve as hosts for the four preliminary rounds of the contest which begins this Saturday and continues throughout the remaining Saturdays in September (9, 16, 23, 30).

Weekly winners will advance to a final round to be held at Arlington Trackside on Saturday, October 14.

Four lucky winners from the final-round competition will win all-expense paid trips to Las Vegas and compete for the $100,000 first prize and $200,000 in total prizes against top qualifying handicappers from across the country. The quartet also will compete as Team Arlington in the team competition.

The finals will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on January 12-13.

Last year, the first-ever Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship was an overwhelming success. More than 45,000 racing fans participated in qualifying events held across the country, with 160 finalists receiving all-expense paid trips to compete in the national championship last January.

Steve Walker from Horsemen's Park in Nebraska won the individual competition, netting a $100,000 first prize and the honor of being crowned Daily Racing Form/NTRA Handicapper of the Year at last January's Eclipse Awards in Beverly Hills, California.

For the local preliminary rounds this year, entries will be accepted at each location on the four designated Saturdays in September. Entry into the contest is free. Official rules are available at each participating location and on Arlington's website.

The format for the preliminary rounds is as follows: Each contestant will select a winner in each designated race from the following tracks: four races from Calder Race Course; four races from Arlington International Racecourse; and four races from Belmont Park. The specific race numbers are available at each individual location. Each entry will be graded and the contestants with the most winning selections from that day's designated races will advance to the final round at Arlington Trackside on October 14.

Ten preliminary-round winners from Arlington/Trackside and four from each OTB/ITW location will earn weekly prizes and entry into Arlington's final round. A total of up to 104 qualifiers will compete for the four entries into the national finals.


Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel has confirmed that Grade 1 Arlington Million winner Chester House has been retired from racing as the result of an undisclosed injury. Owner Juddmonte Farms is expected to issue a statement detailing plans for Chester House early next week.

Chester House, a five-year-old homebred, was a winner of six races from 21 starts and retires with career earnings of $1,944,545.


Stall Blankenese's Samum, trained by Andreas Schutz, continued his unbeaten record when winning the fifth leg of the Emirates World Series Racing Championship, the Group 1 Mercedes Benz Grosser Preis von Baden, at Baden-Baden Racecourse in Germany on Sunday.

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