10/27/2014 9:35AM

Fornatale: Four earn seats to NHC


Four players won their way into the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas on NHCQualify.com on Saturday.

A field of 259 players lined up for Saturday’s event. The winner was Wendy Long, of Surrey, British Columbia. Long scored $137.10 by backing six winners, including her own personal late double at Santa Anita with Eddie’s Turn ($19.40 to win) in the seventh race and Lexie Lou ($8.40) in the eighth race.

Her biggest winner was a cap horse in the fourth contest event, Belmont’s ninth race. American Creed paid $91 to win and $31 to place, but those numbers were limited to $42 to win and $22 to place for the purposes of the contest.

The second-place finisher was 2007 NHC champion Stanley Bavlish, of Las Vegas, who finished with $133.60. Bavlish backed four winners, including American Creed, Pick of the Litter ($16.60) in Keeneland’s ninth race, and My Italian Rule ($17.60) in Hawthorne’s ninth.

David Nelson, of Exton, Pa., ran third with $113.60 to earn a seat at the handicapping-contest world’s richest event. Nelson hit American Creed, backed up the capper with a mid-price in Santa Anita’s fourth, Susan B Good ($10.20), and added a couple of chalks – Sweet Luca ($6.80) in Hathorne’s eighth and Conquest Two Step ($4.60) in Santa Anita’s sixth.

Joining the top three in the desert will be John Farrar, of Willimantic, Conn. Farrar finished with $99.90, just $1.30 ahead of unlucky fifth-place finisher Jason Lane, of Saint Michael, Minn. Farrar backed seven winners, with his longest shot being Pick of the Litter. Most impressive of all was that he had the four winners after Pick of the Litter as well – Susan B Good, Corinthian’s Secret ($4.80) in Hawthorne’s seventh, Sweet Luca, and Conquest Two Step.

Contest action returns to NHCQualify.com on Nov. 8. To purchase an entry, go to: https://www.nhcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx.