04/20/2015 1:23PM

Fornatale: Dramedy plays out for top two finishers


Three players won their way into the National Handicapping Championship on Saturday via NHCQualify.com, the official qualifying site for the NHC. At the 2015 NHC, $2.3 million in prize money was awarded and that number is expected to be in the same vicinity or even higher for 2016.

The overall winner in Saturday’s qualifier was Tony Kite, a retired politician from Princeton, N.J. Kite, 60, is an NHC veteran, and he earned his way back to Vegas by backing six of the 12 winners in the sequence, including Dramedy at $63.60 to win (30-1 on the tote but limited to $42 for contest purposes) in the Elkhorn at Keeneland, Call Me West ($21.20) in Hawthorne’s eighth, and Lyla Della ($17.80) in the anchor leg, Santa Anita’s eighth.

Second-place finisher Chris Larmey is a familiar name to most contest players. Larmey, a 49-year old engineer from Kennewick, Wash., is a multiple NHC qualifier and also the head of the NTRA Players’ Committee. Larmey also hit Dramedy but then had a dry spell. He pulled the contest out of the fire with an impressive late run, backing three of the four last winners at prices: Call Me West, Queen of the Sand ($15.80) in Santa Anita’s seventh, and Lyla Della in the final contest event.

For third-place finisher Tim Moline, contest playing is a family affair: He, his brother, and his mother have all qualified for the NHC at various times. Moline backed six of the 12 winners himself, highlighted by a mid-contest run where he had five of six, bookended by Dramedy and Queen of the Sand.

There were a couple of notable results from an NHC Tour perspective this weekend as well. Two players in the top five finished high up and will improve their scores, cutting the gap between them and current leader Jonathon Kinchen. In the Saturday NHCQ contest, Tour second Roger Cettina ran fourth. And in a different online qualifier on Sunday, Ryan Flanders, fifth on the Tour going into the weekend, was second, earning more points and becoming a serious danger as well.




1 Tony Kite $153.80
2 Chris Larmey $142.20
3 Tim Moline $140.60
4 Roger Cettina $125.80

Top three receive berths to the 2016 National Handicapping Championship, plus a $500 travel allowance.

Saturday DRFQualify.com May Santa Anita Qualifier

1          Anthony Grey      $148.80

2          Tim Moline           140.60

Each received a $4,000 entry to the May Santa Anita contest plus a $500 bankroll.


BCQualify.com Low-Takeout Credit Builder              

1 Evan Barshack $103.30
2 Edwin Schweinfurth $88.60
3 Russell Lopez $81.60
4 John Kolodzej $80.40
5 Walter Shaffer $76.80

A total of $7,550 in site credit was distributed to the top 16 finishers, with $1,900 to first, $1,350 to second, $900 to third, $700 to fourth, and $500 to fifth. For a full list, go to BCQualify.com [live link].

Sunday DRFQualify.com September Gulfstream Qualifier

1          Kevin Cox                             $122.10

2          Scott Barshack     90.50

Both receive their $3,000 entries to the Sept. 19 Gulfstream Qualifier plus a $500 travel allowance.