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Contact: David Zenner
22 YEAR OLD LEADS TEAM ARLINGTON TO LAS VEGAS FOR DRF/NTRA NATIONAL HANDICAPPING CHAMPIONSHIP
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (Nov. 13, 2001) -- Justin Marks, James Coffey, Tom Coffey and Lisa Motykowski qualified for the $212,000 Daily Racing Form (DRF)/National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) National Handicapping Championship at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Jan. 24-26, 2002. The quartet, who earned the top four positions in the Arlington contest finals held Nov. 10 at Trackside Arlington Park, also will represent Arlington Park and its Trackside off-track betting (OTB) facilities in the team portion of the national competition.
The DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship features a series of handicapping tournaments for horseracing fans in local markets. The four qualifiers from each local market compete individually for the $100,000 first prize as well as for the top award of $20,000 in the team competition.
Marks, from Poplar Grove, Ill., beat out 80 top local handicappers to earn first place in the Arlington finals with a bankroll of $217.50 amassed from mythical win and place wagers on 12 designated races from Churchill Downs, Calder Race Course and Hawthorne Race Course. In addition to the expense-paid trip to the national championships, Marks received first prize of $1,000. The 22-year-old factory worker is the grandson of Judy Gallentine of Sterling, Ill., an Arlington finalist in last year's contest.
James Coffey finished second in the local finals with a bankroll of $216.75 and received a second prize of $500. The 72-year-old retired Arlington Heights resident has been attending the races for more than 45 years after being introduced to the sport by his father. He claims his greatest handicapping thrill was hitting a Pick Six at Gulfstream Park several years ago.
Elgin, Ill. resident Tom Coffey (no relation to James) amassed a bankroll of $185.60, good enough for third place worth $250. The 46-year-old computer programmer was introduced to the sport by his father in 1974 at Arlington Park and has been a frequent visitor since.
Administrative assistant Lisa Motykowski rounds out Team Arlington. The 32-year-old resident of Streamwood, Ill. finished with a bankroll of $178.60 and received fourth prize of $250 as well as an expense-paid trip to Las Vegas for the national championships.
The four earned their way into the local finals by finishing in the top 10 positions at Arlington Park or in the top four positions at one of Arlington's Trackside OTB facilities during one of the preliminary rounds of the contest held on Sept. 29, Oct. 6, Oct. 13 and Oct. 20.
Arlington Park, the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill., will run a 107-day meet in 2002 from Wednesday, June 5 to Sunday, Oct. 27. Arlington Park, which merged with Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN) in September 2000, also operates five off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities -- "Trackside" Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Quad City Downs (East Moline), Chicago, Rockford and Waukegan. For further information on Arlington Park, visit our website at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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