A New Horse in Town!
Track conditions at Lancaster Downs on Saturday were slow,
but that didn't stop bettors from showing in an 80% increase
from 2004. Maybe it was too many crash and burn fallouts from
Win, Place and Show. Initial reports that the betting
windows would not be able to handle the draw were proved false
when additional windows were opened in the nick of time.
The field of 53 contestants was broken into nine tables and
the top two would advance from each. Table winners in the first
round were: Roy Gibson, Mike Richey, Greg Berry, Nathan Trent,
Debbie Guttermuth, Rebecca Hebner, Robert Hahn, Chuck Stapp,
and Jamie "Sandbagger" Tang, who was in last place
going into the third race at her table.
The hardest luck befell Phil Barcafer who brought two copies
of the game. He graciously broke opened the shrinkwrap copy
to allow everyone to play. While he finished first at his table,
he was tied with two other players. As fate would have it, Phil
was the odd man out, but he didn't even flinch coming out on
the short end of the draw. He even offered up his copies for
use in the second round. Obviously, Phil is a most worthy Sportsmanship
The semifinals featured three six-player tables, and the top
two would advance from each. Greg Berry was the victim of a
wild die that exposed his 2 bet in the first race. He recovered
to finish second at his table to advance. Also advancing were
table winners Roy Gibson, Andy Dolan, Rebecca Hebner, and placers
Tito Sierra and Phillip Shea.
The bettors in the final round were wound tighter than a clock
spring. In the first race, Earl Grey set the pace and held on
for the win, with Caramello placing and Red Fox with the show.
The Sahara Wind didn't blow that race, finishing in last. The
betting gave Andy Dolan a 200 quid lead over second place.
Caramello and Earl Grey switched positions in race 2, and
the pacesetter Nougat faded but held on to place. Albino came
up lame, getting lapped by the winner. Fortunately, the horses
are only cardboard and plastic, saving Brian Youse from any permanent
trauma. The bets were revealed, and Andy managed to hold onto
his slim lead.
The conventional wisdom put Earl Grey as a favorite, and all
players put some action on the long shot in the third race.
Caramello, however, fell out of favor with the bettors getting
no bets whatsoever. Wisdom held as Earl Grey not only set the
pace but also held on for a strong win. The handicapper's favorite,
Othello finally made a payout, placing, and Sahara Wind made
up for its miserable performance in race 1 by showing. Red Fox
ran a disaster of a race, finishing last.
When the bets were revealed it showed that only one player
favored the Earl with a 2 bet, and this was decisive, giving
Rebecca Hebner the win with 2500 pounds. Andy Dolan held on
for second with 2150 pounds, and Phillip Shea managed a third
place showing with 2000 pounds. Rounding out in order were Greg
Berry, Tito Sierra, and Roy Gibson.