05/22/2016 7:37AM

Fornatale: Former racecaller Vic Stauffer leads Santa Anita Preakness Challenge

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Vic Stauffer, the leader after the first day of the Santa Anita Preakness Challenge, is familiar to racing fans from his days as a racecaller at Hollywood Park and other tracks, and he has become active in tournaments over the past several years. For winning Day 1, Stauffer receives an automatic berth into the $4,500 buy-in Santa Anita Gold Cup Betting Challenge.

Stauffer's total of $16,130 puts him squarely in the lead over Craig Siedler ($14,222), John Smith ($13,025), Kevin Costello ($9,264), and 2015 National Handicapping Championship Tour winner Jonathon Kinchen ($8,894).

Smith wins a $1,000 betting voucher for being in the lead after race 5 on Day 1 -- there will be a Day 2 race 5 bonus as well. The player who churns the most money over the two-day tournament will also get a Santa Anita Gold Cup Betting Challenge entry.

Rounding out the top 10 at the end of Day 1 are Tyler Whisman ($8,708), last year's Gold Cup contest winner Phil Bongiovanni ($7,598), this year's Horse Player World Series winner Dan Kaplan ($5,940), Louis Constan ($5,940), and 2010 NHC Tour winner Tom Noone ($5,127).

In all, 89 players are competing for a prize pool worth $160,000 in cash and seats at the Preakness Betting Challenge. The top six finishers will qualify for the chance to win their share of an expected $2.5 million at the National Handicapping Championship. The top three finishers will receive Breeders' Cup Betting Challenge entries. Additionally the contest winner will be eligible for a $1 million bonus should he or she go on to win the BCBC.

The prize money will be distributed as follows: $50,000 to first, $20,000 to second, $10,000 to third, $5,000 to fourth, and $3,000 to fifth.