(Jeffrey Hampton / Photo Courtesy of Horseshoe Indianapolis)

From the Horseshoe Indianapolis Media Team / Tammy Knox:

For the second year in a row, a player from the Caesars Racebook at Clarksville is the top handicapper in Road to Louisville, a 16-week handicapping contest extending to Kentucky Derby Day on the first Saturday in May. This year’s winner is Jeffrey Hampton of Salem, Ind., a frequent player at the facility in Clarksville, Ind.


Hampton bested a total of 454 individuals who played in the contest. His final tally of points over the 16-week contest was 1,261.48 ahead of second place finisher Tom Congalosi with 1,204.84 points. Hampton has developed his handicapping skills over several decades.

“My dad passed away in late 1968,” said Hampton. “Then I began to heal my heart by hanging with and going to the horse track with my Uncle Gerald Hampton. My love of horse racing began when my uncle took me for my first trip to Miles Park in 1969 in Louisville. My first bet was a horse named CapnJulius. It won and paid $15.60. So goes the story, I was hooked, and my love of horse racing did not stop there, I still love horse racing.”


Hampton also has some experience working directly with horses. He worked on the backstretch of a few local tracks from 1988 until 1995. He has fond memories of his time working around horses.


Points are based on selections made during Derby Prep races from mid-January until the Derby. More than $6,000 in prize money was awarded during the contest featuring weekly, monthly, and grand prize money in addition to the $30,000 option to purchase an Indiana yearling. The contest is provided through a partnership with Horseshoe Indianapolis and the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (ITOBA).


Hampton received $1,000 for the win. One thing Hampton did not do was the $30,000 Indiana horse option. That option went to second place finisher Tom Congalosi, a retired supply chain industry executive and current resident of Georgetown, Ky.


Congalosi follows in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Anthony Bradshaw, who won the 2022 Road to Louisville and the option for the ITOBA Fall Sale held at Horseshoe Indianapolis. Bradshaw purchased Jailhouse Justice from the sale for $8,000 with the remaining balance going toward expenses. Jailhouse Justice, who Bradshaw quickly nicknamed “JJ,” is currently part of the Anthony Granitz Stable and expected to make his racing debut in July.


“This contest has generated so much positive feedback and has grown in just two years,” said Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manager of Racing. “We came together with ITOBA (Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association) to offer a unique platform with the goal of introducing new owners into the sport. It has been a fun journey watching Tony (Bradshaw) go through the initial steps of horse ownership and we look forward to the same experience with Tom Congalosi.”


The 21st season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing extends through Friday, Nov. 17. Following live racing for Memorial Day Monday, May 29 at 12 p.m., live racing begins a Tuesday through Thursday schedule beginning May 30 with Saturday racing added in during the summer months. First post Tuesday and Wednesday is 2:30 p.m. with Thursday racing beginning at 2:10 p.m. The Summer Saturday Racing Series includes six all-Quarter Horse dates June 3, July 1, July 22, Aug. 12, Sept. 2, and Oct. 7 beginning at 10:45 a.m. Indiana’s featured event, the Grade 3 $300,000 Indiana Derby is set for Saturday, July 8 with a first post time of 12 p.m. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visit www.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis.