08/07/2014 2:03PM

Fornatale: Fourth place gives Shurman a score


The results have been audited for the first half of the NHC Tour and are now official. The top five finishers -- Ken Seeman, Bill Wilbur, Jacqueline Sukanick, William Shurman, and Eric Moomey -- receive $10,000 each.

Players receive points for tournaments awarding NHC seats. The top four scores, one of which must be from a live venue event, count for the overall first-half standings. For the full year standings, six scores are counted.

Overall winner Ken Seeman’s biggest day in the first half came back on April 27, when he played in a live event at Monmouth Park while simultaneous finishing high up the standings in an online event.

Bill Wilbur had a lot of success earlier in the year on NHCQualify.com, scoring big in the Feb. 23 and March 16 events.

For Jacqueline Sukanick, Eric Moomey,  and Bill Shurman, the $10,000 came down to the last weekend of competition. Sukanick won the very last online competition available to knock overall tour leader Brett Wiener out of a spot. And Moomey’s fifth place finish in NHCQualify’s July 26 event was enough to get him in the money.

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The best story of all belongs to Bill Shurman. Due to a limited ability to travel this year, Shurman hadn’t played in a single live event in 2014. He realized that a good showing in the Del Mar live bankroll event would likely get him in the money. He led the tournament after Day 1 and ended up fourth at the end of Day 2. But that was worth an extra $10,000. “I’ve never been so happy to finish fourth,” he said.


There’s another Round 1 contest on BCQualify.com this Saturday. Entries cost $110 and the top 10 percent of finishers will move on to compete in Round 2 on Aug. 23, when a maximum of eight players will win a full $10,000 buy-in to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, to be held Friday, Oct. 31 and Saturday, Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.

Here are the races for Saturday’s contest:

3:53    Gulfstream 6
3:58     Saratoga 6
4:31    Saratoga 7
4:34    Monmouth 8
5:00    Del Mar 1
5:04    Saratoga 8
5:06    Monmouth 9
5:30    Gulfstream 9
5:37    Saratoga 9
5:38    Monmouth 10
6:00    Del Mar 3
6:10    Monmouth 11

The sequence is a little light on stakes compared to usual but it’s very competitive. Remember to advance to Round 2, you have to finish in the top 10 percent (as opposed to the usual top 2.5 percent). This means you can stick even more to horses that you like, regardless of price – though of course it’s good to have a few prices thrown in there.


On Sunday, Aug. 10, NHCQualify.com, the most popular site to qualify for the National Handicapping Challenge, is hosting a one-day event where entries cost $165 and up to five NHC seats will be awarded. 

Here are the races for Sunday’s NHCQ event. 

3:44    Saratoga 6
3:53    Gulfstream 6
4:00    Arlington 5
4:25    Gulfstream 7
4:36    Monmouth 8
4:52    Saratoga 8
4:57    Gulfstream 8
5:30    Arlington 8
5:40    Monmouth 10
6:00    Arlington 9
6:04    Saratoga 10
6:36    Saratoga 11