James McMahan $10k Handicapping Contest Winner
1st Place - James McMahan
2nd Place - Jim Kuvallis
3rd Place - Loren Carlson
James McMahan has been a long time horseplayer and Portland Meadows customer, and Sunday afternoon turned out to be his best day at the track. McMahan was a contestant in Portland Meadows’ $10,000 Handicapping Contest and took home the $6,000 top prize after he had the highest contest bankroll and won the contest.
The contest covered Races 3 through 8 on the Sunday, September 30, 2012 Portland Meadows card of racing. Contestants were required to make one $2 Win, Place, and Show wager ($6 total) on a horse in each contest race. This was a real money contest and the contestant with the largest bankroll after Race 8 would be deemed the winner and so on.
McMahan turned his beginning balance of $36 into $75.90 and he felt that the first leg was very key to his success. McMahan picked 0 for 28 maiden Warren’s a Legend at 7/2 in a field of five in Race 3.
“That really got us going,” said McMahan. “I really thought he had a chance because we’d watched him run and I didn’t think there was that much in the race. There was no sense in betting a horse at 3/5, so I went with the price horse.”
McMahan had the maximum of two entries in the contest and sought out the help of friend Darren Wittcke, who also is a long time handicapper to go over the races with him.
“We talked on the phone,” said McMahan. “Darren’s a great handicapper and I value his opinion, so as the day went on, we talked about each race and who I should bet.”
Race 7 was very important for McMahan as well. The field of ten provided not only great wagering value, but in his eyes a very vulnerable favorite in odds on Who’s Laughing.
“The seventh race was key,” said McMahan. “I didn’t like the favorite and put two different horses in with my two entries, the three (Delavega) and the four (Noballstwostrikes). It was a wide open race we thought and luckily the four won at 12/1 and the three finished second so we got a good place prices.”
Noballstwostrikes returned $27.60 and $11.80 and catapulted him to the top of the field, passing Jim Kuvallis who had been on top going into the 7th race. The 8th race came in with favored Indy Time taking it home, which McMahan was happy to see.
“We were lucky that the two favorites came in that last race because it made it virtually impossible for anyone to catch me at the top, plus I figured many of the players in the top five were going for prices trying to catch up,” said McMahan whose other entry in the contest did not finish in the top 3.
McMahan finished with a final score $75.90 and collected a $6,000 payday for his efforts. His score put him $16.10 ahead of Jim Kuvallis who finished second and picked up $3,000 for his $59.80 score. Loren Carlson finished third with a tally of $52.90 and won $1,000.