03/24/2009 11:00PM

Fonner handicapping challenge set


Handicappers can brush up on their competitive nature this Sunday when the second installment of Fonner Park's Handicapping Contest is held, featuring the day's live racing card.

The contest is limited to the first 60 paid entries and requires a $25 entry fee, plus a $100 bankroll that will be deposited to the player's account through the mutuel system. Contestants are free to choose the amount they wish to wager from their bankroll on any race and in any pool offered on Fonner Park's card.

Wagers are placed through designated windows and tracked in the tote system, with updated standings posted immediately after each race is declared official. The standings will be posted on select in-house television channels throughout the building.

Players keep their final bankroll, and the contest distributes the entry fees to the top five finishers on a 60-20-12-5-3 percent scale of the total entry fees collected, creating a potential winner's share of $900 if all 60 slots are filled. Registration is at the Fonner keno counter through Sunday.

The first contest, held March 8, drew 39 participants, with Tom Gardner of Newlinville, Kan., taking home the $585 winner's share plus his final wagering bankroll of more than $180.

Todd Otto, assistant general manager and Fonner keno general manager, said interest in this weekend's contest appears to be running ahead of the first contest.

* A trio of riders from the top 10 in the standings will be sitting out this weekend with suspensions. Damon Leeds, Armando Martinez, and Luis Ranilla each were handed three-day suspensions for riding infractions over the past two weekends.

Jesus Ponce owns a 29-24 advantage over Leeds heading into this weekend's racing, and the 21-year-old rider from Panama should have ample opportunity to expand his lead.