05/12/2014 11:54AM

Fornatale: 2013 NHC Tour money men make noise on BCQualify.com


On the 2013 NHC Tour, two names dominated the leaderboard more than any others: Brent Sumja of San Anselmo, CA and Mark Streiff of San Pedro, CA. Sumja and Streiff reminded their fellow contest players why their names are to be feared in any contests they enter in Sunday’s BCQualify.com Round 1 contest, as they each earned two berths in the Round 2 contest to be held on Sunday, May 25th.

Both men have had quiet 2014 seasons to this point. Streiff ranks 86th on the leaderboard and Sumja, the 2014 overall tour champ who hasn’t been playing regularly this year, stands at 353rd. Now that they’re getting warmed up, look for the names Streiff and Sumja on a leaderboard near you.

Other notable names finishing in the top 10% and qualifying for a place in Round 2 include former NHC champ Judy Wagner of New Orleans, LA, and, perhaps the player to fear most of all, Patrick McGoey of Metairie, LA. McGoey, of course, has won the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge twice, in 2011 and 2012, both times by going all-in in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. In 2011, he parlayed a $100 buy in on BCQualify.com into $270,600.

Scores were very solid overall. Winner Michelle Hartsell of Tuscon, AZ, picked seven winners, including Mah Jong Madness in the first contest event at Belmont who paid $20.20 to win. She put the contest away by racking up three wins in a row in the seventh, eighth, and ninth contest events, all at square prices (Eriugena, $16, Tiz’naz $17.60, and World is Watching $16.30). Her final score of $133.60 represented 2.78 her initial bankroll of $48.

The top 27 finishers advance to Round 2. The last entry to make the cut was one of Streiff’s, which finished with $78.10. That’s 1.6 times initial bankroll, but still enough to land in the top 10% and advance.

For a complete leaderboard, and to see who everyone in the contest played, go to http://www.bcqualify.com/leaderboard.aspx?cid=97.

:: Click here to purchase a copy of “The Winning Contest Player” by Peter Thomas Fornatale


Short prices were abundant in Saturday’s NHCQualify.com contest, which sent the top four finishers to seats at the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. The cards of all four qualifying players looked very similar, with a nice price in the first contest race followed by a procession of chalk. Each of the top four tabbed at least 5 other winners, the longest of which paid only $7.20 to win (Private Tale in Belmont’s 8th race). Scores overall were extremely low, with the players needing only 1.5 times their initial bankrolls of $48 to make the grade.

The four qualifiers were Daniel Zucker of Seattle Washington, who picked seven winners overall for $78.40, Nathaniel Gines of Alhambra, CA (6 winners, $78.20), George Chute of Dedham, MA (6 winners, $73.30), and Anthony Kite of Princeton, NJ (6 winners, $72.50).

The one longshot to come in during the sequence was C C’s Pride in Belmont’s 5th race. The race was originally carded as a wide-open looking turf sprint, but the rain came and washed it on to the main track, with only six staying horses staying in. Your Move, a 3/5 shot, popped the gate and took off, leading by 5 lengths in the stretch. C C’s Pride, a 4-year old filly by Successful Appeal, was last throughout, but she kept plugging away and she passed them all to win. She was moving up in class but showed good recent form and had run well on wet tracks before. She paid $20.60 to win.

For the full leaderboard, go to http://www.nhcqualify.com/leaderboard.aspx.