Melrose Park, IL --- A total of $12,000 in cash prizes is the big draw as Maywood Park and Illinois OTB present the first of six consecutive January handicapping contests this Friday (Jan. 3) at Maywood Park.
The top 15 spots are guaranteed nightly with each of the six contests paying out $2,000 in cash prizes. The first prize in each of the six contests will be $1,000.
The contests will be held the first three weekends of January. All three Friday contests, Jan. 3, 10 and 17 will be conducted at Maywood Park Racetrack. The three Saturday contests will be at three different Illinois OTB locations, Jan. 4 at Crestwood OTB, Jan. 11 at Lucky Magee’s OTB in Niles and the final contest will be offered on Jan. 18 at the Oak Brook Terrace OTB.
All six contests will be conducted with the Meadowlands as the host track. In the event The Big M is cancelled, a substitute racetrack will be offered for the contest. Entry is free with a $10 purchase which this Friday includes a simulcast program, a $6 food and beverage ticket and two free admissions to Maywood Park's live program.
The prize list for each of the six contests is identical with $2,000 in cash prizes guaranteed nightly. Tournament players that finish in spots 10 through 15 will receive $25, while players finishing in spots five through nine receive $50. The breakdown for the top four spots every night is fourth place -- $100, third place -- $200, second place -- $300 and the top prize nightly is $1,000.
Check in for each of the six contests will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Players will receive a mythical $2,000 bankroll and each of the tournament contestants will be given five designated races to make a mythical $200 win and place wager on a horse.
Chicago racing analyst Michael Antoniades thinks that the winter handicapping contests will be well received.
“We wanted to give our patrons something very special during our dark period. The level of racing at the Big M is extraordinary. Combine the great racing with the tournaments and $12,000 in cash prizes and we feel pretty confident that the buzz will certainly be in the buildings for the tournament, creating a very exciting atmosphere for our guests.”