Louis Iskra will soon be off to the Santa Anita Derby.


Iskra’s handicapping talents landed him top honors in the Fraser Downs’ California Dreamin’ Handicapping contest – and the trip to the derby.


Iskra defeated eight other challengers in the final last Saturday at the Downs.


Iskra was in command from the gate and his total of $453 in earnings was good for a $33 winning margin over Ron Prosnick. Bill Wachowicz took third with $279 while Ronnie Goodey was fourth at $241.


An excited Iskra admitted he had been to Santa Anita Racetrack before the win was “very nice. It was very exciting and it is a nice competition. And,” he added, “I was lucky too.”


However, Louis, who lives in Surrey, is a regular patron of the Downs and he said, “I play most tracks.


“I follow most horses,” he said and, although he added he did not have a system or a secret, “I look at certain trainers, I look to see if they (the horses) are bred well, I check the jockeys and watch for the distance of the races.”


After a pause, he said, “I also use ratings and I look at the weight.”


His thoroughness has landed him and his wife Irene a three-day visit to California.


Other finalists were Bud Ketcheson, Maple Lam, Sarah Day, Ray Hall and David Porter.


The final this year had a slight twist. Each of the nine finalists had a live bankroll of $180 to wager. Six races from Santa Anita were selected and each contestant placed a $10 across the board wager on each of the races. The twist: if a contestant made money for the day, regardless if he or she was grand champion, they got to keep their proceeds.