It is time again, as it has been each year at Canterbury Park for more than two decades, to kick off the annual Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest. R2K, as it has come to be known, is a popular fixture on the calendar and helps winter-weary horse gamblers make it to spring by following the top 3-year-olds in the country as they vie for a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.
Saturday is the starting point for the free-to-enter 2021 R2K contest in the Canterbury Park Racebook. There will be 14 weekly events leading up to and including Derby Day. Each week produces five winners of cold, hard cash based on points accumulated through a method to be described shortly. Weekly scores accumulate, and the four lowest scores are deducted, to determine the best overall scores and more cash handed out.
In addition, the top three players each week and the eight best overall earn entry to an exclusive bonus contest on May 22 that will send the winner to the $3m National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas in the winter of 2022.
Each week there is a featured track. This Saturday is Gulfstream Park. More often than not there are bonus point races, the Derby prep races at that featured track and any other than might be offered. This week is the Holy Bull at Gulfstream and the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita. Those Derby prep races earn double points.
Here is how the scoring system works:
Entrants (players can enter once per week and cannot submit entries for others not present) select one horse in each race at the featured track and one horse in any additional bonus races. Entry cards will be distributed to entrants in the Racebook who then write the official program number of each selection in the designated slots. Entry cards need to be submitted before the start of the featured track.
Points will be awarded based on the official outcome of the races based on the amount of points that equals the total dollar amount of the official mutuel return on each selection based on a mythical $20 across-the-board wager. For example: Selection finishes first and the official mutuel results are as follows: $6.00 to win; $4.00 to place; $2.40 to show, the player will receive 124 points for that pick. If a selection finishes second and returns $15.00 to place and $8.80 to show, the player would receive 238 points. The maximum point payoffs per race for win, place, and show will be capped in the following manner. The maximum points possible for win will be 600 points, for place 400 points and for show 200 points. The bonus races are doubled for scoring purposes.
In an effort to keep everyone physically distanced the Mezzanine Level is open every Saturday. New this year is the ability to submit entries on the Friday before each contest. On Fridays the entry cards can be attained and submitted at the Club Level Information center during hours of operation. It is also possible to advance wager on the featured track on Fridays.
Mezz level will be staffed with tellers and a bartender. Betting machines are everywhere and seating is more than ample.
The contests are free to enter but there are minimum wagering requirements that allow winners to earn maximum prize money. Betting keeps the lights on and racing, after all, is a participation event and much more fun when money is at risk. Bet at least $20 each contest day or a combination of Friday and Saturday. That’s it. $20.
You can find all of the information here as well as well as the schedule through May 1.
Post time is 11:00 Saturday so entries must be in by then.