Bob Steinhaus, a retired teacher at nearby Morton East High School who switched from playing thoroughbred races to harness racing, is the latest winner in Hawthorne’s Sunday Night Harness Open Tournament and is $1,000 richer.
Another Sunday contest is on tap tonight where only a $10 entry fee earns you a chance at more than $2,000 in cash and prizes to be awarded.
Steinhaus didn’t have any success on Sunday, July 14, the first time he entered Hawthorne’s handicapping contest but he learned from that experience and parlayed it into becoming the winner of a $1,000 check last Sunday.
Let’s have Bob tell you how he did it:
“It seems like the leaders the previous week (July 14) bet half their bankroll on the first race, and kept going from there, so I tried the same thing,: said Bob. “As it turned out, I picked and played the winner in all five races, betting the maximum (50% of bankroll) until the last race, when my friend Tom White (another former Morton teacher) talked me into betting more conservatively, to help insure cashing.
“On the last race, I bet approximately 25% of my bankroll, and then after my horse won, I had to sweat it out hoping the 2nd place contestant didn’t bet 50% of theirs on the same horse, in which case I would have been over-taken. The longest odds I bet the whole night was about 9/2, with two of the five winners being favorites, and two second choices. I was very fortunate that no long-shots placed, or my strategy would not have worked. In the tenth race, I picked Prime Xample A, just because she seemed to be the only speed in the race, she just held on, so once again, I was very lucky.
“Naturally, winning the contest only further engages me in the sport. I believe that handicapping harness horses is much less complicated than handicapping thoroughbreds,” continued Bob. “Harness races are typically always the same distance, on the same surface, and the horses from week to week seem to run in the same class races, and often against many of the same horse as the previous week. That doesn’t mean that handicapping them is easy, there are still a multitude of variables, but, I believe, far fewer than with thoroughbreds. I never realized this until I started going to the harness races about three years ago. I feel that I have a better chance of winning with the harness horses than with thoroughbreds.”
Check-in time for Sunday night’s handicapping contest is 6 p.m.
NOTES: James and Donna Crebs’ She’s So Hot established a new Hawthorne track record Wednesday night when she won her second consecutive leg of the Broadway Tax Series in 1:52.4, knocking four-fifths of a second off the old two-year-old pacing filly mark of 1:53.3 set by Loyal Opposition in 2002. Dave Magee drove the home bred Rick Schrock trainee to her three and one-half length victory in Wednesday’s sixth race . . One race later Dean Magee captured his 3,500th career victory when he guided Franco Clear Cut to a new lifetime mark of 1:54.1. Dean, 43, has driven the winners of over $22 million throughout his career, which began in Green Bay, WI . . . The Australian import Prime Xample is the 5-2 morning line favorite to extend her unbeaten streak at Hawthorne to five straight in tonight’s ninth race feature.