10/06/2014 9:43AM

Fornatale: Four more reach NHC


Four more players qualified for the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas on Sunday on NHCQualify.com, but that might not be the biggest story to come out of the event.

The already double-qualified William Shurman ($86), of Danville, Calif., finished in fourth place among 268 entrants, giving him an NHC Tour score that could solidify his place at or near the top of the Tour standings. With the Tour points needing to be audited, we won’t know the specifics until later in the week.

What we do know is that David Wang ($103.30), of Las Vegas; Wayne Quan ($95.60), of Ottawa, Ontario; Edward Enborg ($91.80), of Jacksonville, Fla.; and Dane Moore ($83.80), of Pinole, Calif., will be joining Shurman out in Vegas for the NHC.

Lawn Ranger’s big win at Keeneland proved critical in the contest, with three of the top five finishers, including Shurman, coming up with the $27.40 upset winner of the Bourbon Stakes. The other price to roll in came in the contest’s final race, the seventh at Santa Anita, where Winning Vision scored at nearly 12-1. Enborg was the only one of the top five finishers to have Winning Vision.

Action returns to NHCQualify.com on Saturday. The buy-in is $165, and assuming full participation, five NHC spots will be on the line. You can sign up now via https://www.nhcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx.

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

• On Saturday at BCQualify.com, seven of the 224 players won full $10,000 berths to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge: Leslie Harris ($119.20), of Keller, Texas; Anthony Kite ($94.80), of Princeton, N.J.; Charles Davis ($94.80), of Seattle; Michael Birenbaum ($94.40), of Kettleby, Ontario; Alex Mangubat ($94), of San Diego; David Nelson ($91.80), of Exton, Pa.; and Michael Pirrung ($90.40) of Irvine, Calif.

Harris got off to a slow start, missing the first three races, but hit five of the remaining nine, with the biggest price being Mighty One in Belmont’s 10th race ($51.50 to win, but limited to $42 to win for contest purposes). Five of the top seven also benefited from Might One’s mighty run.

Mangubat got off to a scorching start, catching major place points in the first contest race with 56-1 shot Mongol Bull ($22 to place for contest purposes). He followed with two more winners in the second and third legs. Later on, 39-1 shot Daddy’s Kid in Belmont’s ninth race gave Mangubat another limit place horse ($22) and a place in the BCBC.

Nelson selected an impressive seven winners overall, including his own personal rolling double with Wise Dan ($3.80) at Keeneland and Sing Praises ($13.80) in Gulfstream’s 11th race.

• Out at Santa Anita this weekend, a competitive field of 40 gathered for the two-day Autumn Handicapping Challenge. Here’s a look at the unofficial final standings. We’ll have more coverage of this contest later this week.

1. Nick Cosato, $12,808.80
2. Duke Matties, $11,400.00
3. Gary Young, $7,077.60
4. Kevin Geraghty, $4,409.50
5. Tom Noone, $4,200.00
6. Randy Scholz, $3,933.30
7. Daniel Kaplan, $3,744.00
8. Toby Turrell, $2,726.50
9. Dave Conover, $2,500.90