05/22/2016 7:37AM

Fornatale: Former racecaller Vic Stauffer leads Santa Anita Preakness Challenge


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.