Leamington Raceway track announcer Nathan Bain took home the crown in the $500 Hiawatha Horse Park Youth Handicapping Challenge as the contest concluded with the final card of the meet on Saturday, September 18.
Bain took the lead on the first day of the contest and he never looked back. He finished the contest with 944 points, beating rival Ontario Racing handicapper Nicholas "Ace" Barnsdale, who amassed 861 points. Scoring was based on a 10-5-3 points system awarded for the handicappers’ top choices finishing first, second or third. There was also a five-point bonus awarded for winning Best Bets.
The contest – for which the $300 first prize and $200 second prize was supplied by Hiawatha Horse Park – ran for the entire meet. Bain said he appreciated the opportunity to participate: “Thank you to Hiawatha Horse Park for running this challenge. Promoting youth in our industry is very important. Myself and Nick had a lot of fun handicapping the races this season and that’s what matters the most.”
Barnsdale, who finished behind Bain in a similar contest held during the Leamington Raceway meet last year, was hoping for a better result, but was also happy to compete. “I'm disappointed to lose again, but the contest was a lot of fun,” he said. “I appreciate Hiawatha sponsoring it, and I hope to do it again — and win — in the future."
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