Stickney, Ill.—This weekend Hawthorne Race Course, 3501 S. Laramie, will host a $50,000 Handicapping Challenge, an unprecedented opportunity for players to win a $25,000 grand prize without paying an entry fee. The free contest, which has never been offered at the race course before, will take place on December 13 and 14 during live racing which begins at 1:35PM each day.

The $50,000 Handicapping Challenge is a “real money” event wherein players wager their own dollars, keep their own earnings, and win bonus cash and prizes simply for playing the ponies. The contest simply rewards the players who earn the most money with their starting bankroll—$250 on Saturday and $250 on Sunday.

Guests will have to play at least what money they started with, but whatever they win, they will keep. The grand prize of $25,000 will go to the event champion and nine runners-up could win up to $25,000 in cash and prizes, including additional Horse Player World Series entries, LG flat panel TVs, Hawthorne merchandise and much more. The top finishers each day, based on their initial $250 of bets, will each win entry into the Horse Player World Series in Las Vegas.

“We’re very excited about this contest, and more importantly our patrons are, too,” said Tim Carey, president and general manager of Hawthorne Race Course. “It’s competitive, but you certainly don’t need to be an expert handicapper to play, especially since it’s free. Every handicapper in the Chicagoland area should play this contest. There’s nothing to lose and $50,000 in cash and prizes to win.”

The $50,000 Challenge is open to the public and players can register in person at Hawthorne’s Guest Services on the first floor grand stand until 3PM on Saturday. Contest reservations can also be made in advance by calling: 708-780-3736.

“We’re expecting about 100-150 players,” said contest director John Walsh. “So the odds are unbelievable that you’ll walk away with something, something in addition to what you earn on your bets. There is going to be a lot of money won at Hawthorne this weekend.”