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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (12/8/12)

Contact: Ron Uchman
(708) 780-3700

Michael B Diederich: Vegas bound

If you happened to check the results of the Hawthorne NTRA Super Qualifier last month, you saw the name Michael B Diederich atop the list. I was able to contact the 30-year-old, via phone, the other day and get the lowdown on his terrific victory.

Michael described himself more as a “weekend kind of guy” than a frequent track goer but he is no stranger to handicapping contests and he has won a couple of them in the past.

“It’s been about six or seven years since my last big win,” said Diederich, “though, with the possibility of a huge payoff in Las Vegas, this has the potential to be my biggest win ever.”

Asked about his strategy, Michael gave the answer that is so common to good tournament players.

“I look for value.

“It all depends on what kind of contest it is,” he continued. “These live money contests are more my style. My strategy fits them better. I play all exotics so I’m always looking for overlays. I would find it very challenging to try to win one of these contests betting win-place.

“It really depends on what the board dictates. I don’t have a preferred bet. But, I don’t wager unless I believe that the value is there. If I find an Exacta that I feel is severely undervalued, that’s my bet. I do a lot of part wheels. I play a lot of numbers.

“I’m not really into favorites but if I see an Exacta that I feel should pay $12 and it’s paying $20, that’s my bet, multiple times. Most of my Exactas pay more. The bet that won me the tournament was an Exacta with a $380 payoff.”

Looking over the results for the top players, you notice that for the most part, the top players had one big day out of the two. For example, Diederich won $4,455 on Day 1 and only $396.40 on day two. He answered in the affirmative when asked if his big day affected the way he played on Day 2.

“Of course! I crushed them the first day. I won the last three races at Hawthorne and turned my $100 into about $4,500. On the second day, I was pretty much watching my closest competitors and just making a few small bets. The person that was closest to me actually passed me briefly on the second day but I got back in front in the next race. I had a pretty sizeable lead going into the last race and the guys closest behind me were already done for the day. So I just sat pat.”

It turned out to be the right strategy. Michael Diederich finished the tournament with $4,851.40. His closest competitor finished with $4,104.00, $747 behind. Both of them, as well as eight others from this contest are going to Vegas (two of the top 10 finishers earned trips in other contests, another finished in the top 10 twice) but Michael earned the top prize of $10,000.

Live racing at Hawthorne takes place four days a week and concludes Sunday, December 30. Live racing will be conducted every Thursday-Sunday. First post daily is 2:10 pm. Hawthorne Race Course is located in Stickney IL at 3501 S. Laramie Ave. For information on live racing or groups at Hawthorne Race Course, contact Hawthorne at 708-780-3700 or visit Hawthorne online at

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