06/22/2006 11:00PM

Kanter romps in Praire Meadows qualifer

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Mayer Kanter of Sioux City, IA outlasted 65 other horseplayers in the Prairie Meadows handicapping tournament on June 17. The tournament specified a registration fee of $100 and a buy-in of $400. Kanter earned a whopping $3,350 following his victory. Sue Ashby finished in the runner-up spot with $1,340 while Tom Reed of Northbrook, IL finished third with $1,005. All three have now qualified for the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship at Bally's Las Vegas on January 26-27, 2007.

Each entrant in the Prairie Meadows contest was required to place at least one wager during the tournament. "I wasn't in the lead until the last couple of races," said Kanter, an attorney and former racehorse owner. "I did win one race at Prairie Meadows, got lucky, and went to the lead."

Ashby, a homemaker from Des Moines, IA, is a newcomer to the tournament scene. This was her first handicapping contest since having come into the sport in the early spring of this year. Ashby's technique involves studying the Prairie Meadows live program together with other simulcast programs from other tracks.

Reed, an attorney and religion teacher, was one of the pacesetters in the tournament. "I was in the lead for a long time," said Reed. "I was real nervouw. I didn't want to make bets and start losing, but I knew people would start coming up and catching me. And, they did. My strategy was to sit and stop making bets - just sit at the table, and try to relax, which I didn't."