03/23/2015 11:59AM

Fornatale: Kinchen continues epic run


Week by week, the legend grows. Jonathon Kinchen struck again this past weekend – twice.

One contest veteran called it “the greatest weekend in NHC Tour history.” In an online contest Saturday, Kinchen earned what would have been his third qualification for next year’s National Handicapping Championship by finishing second. Then on Sunday, he did what he hadn’t yet been able to do this year: He got the outright win on NHCQualify.com, earning what would have been his fourth NHC qualification.

Kinchen continues to play in tour events despite already having the maximum number of two NHC qualifications because he is chasing the NHC Tour championship. The tour winner receives approximately $75,000 and the chance to play for a $2 million bonus at the NHC should he win the whole thing.

“It was a pretty crazy weekend,” Kinchen said. “I’ve had some really nice notes from people congratulating me. It’s been an awesome run, and I’m waiting for it to stop, and it keeps going.”

It’s wild enough to do so well in NHC Tour events on back-to-back days, but to do so in a year when he’s already broken out at the NHC and received four solid scores in NHC Tour events is truly unprecedented. Sunday’s win is significant because this year, NHC Tour wins are worth a 25 percent points bonus.

The NHC Tour counts a player’s six best tour scores for the year, assuming at least one comes from an onsite event. Kinchen has yet to accrue an onsite score this year, but he has an ambitious travel schedule planned. All eyes will be on him at the Keeneland live-bankroll contest April 12, his next planned live-contest appearance.

Kinchen’s win Sunday was good news for fifth-place finisher John Strichek, who would have had a tough beat if not for a double-qualified player getting into the top four, thus making him eligible for the Las Vegas seat. Joining Strichek and Kinchen in Vegas will be John Kolodzej, Ryan Flanders, and Stephanie Davis.

The key to the contest undoubtedly was Salsita, the $82.40 winner of Santa Anita’s sixth race. She paid the maximum $64 for contest purposes (win mutuels are capped at 20-1, place mutuels at 10-1).

“She was an interesting alternative in a race that I did not like,” said Kinchen. “The favorite was breaking from the rail going down the hill, which is not where you want to be. Salsita wasn’t my ‘A’ selection, but my ‘A’ selection, Always a Chance, was 3-1, and I did like Salsita too, and she was 41-1.”

For the full leaderboard, check out http://www.nhcqualify.com/leaderboard.aspx?cid=267.

Field set for Round 2 on BCQualify.com

On Saturday, 28 more players won their way into next weekend’s Round 2 BCQualify.com contest. A total of 83 players will compete for seven $10,000 seats, plus travel allowances, to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, the world’s biggest live-bankroll handicapping contest, to be held over the two days of the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland.

Saturday’s winner was Michael McIntyre, a BCBC veteran. McIntyre picked a cap horse, Serdynski, in the eighth race at Tampa Bay Downs, the first contest event, and added four more winners and three place horses from there.

Six players will have two entries in the Round 2 contest. John Gamane had two entries on the bubble going into the last race Saturday and snuck one in with the place points on heavy chalk Finnegans Wake in the San Luis Rey at Santa Anita to give him a second berth for next weekend.

Both Patrick Gianforte and Edward Enborg made it top 10 percent finishes two weeks in a row, securing second spots. In the previous two rounds, Garrett Skiba, Robert O’Shea, and Ken Seeman had already won two entries. They will all be at the top of the players-to-watch list Saturday.

For complete results, go to http://www.bcqualify.com/leaderboard.aspx.


Saturday BCQualify.com

Rank Name Total
1 Michael McIntyre $133.80
2 Tim Gasaway $128.00
3 James Harper III $126.80
4 Dana Reiss $124.20
5 Allen Harberg $120.60
6 Frederick Browne $108.40
7 Russ Axelrod $102.60
8 John Kolodzej $99.60
9 Ronald Odom $98.80
10 David Curry $98.40
11 Edward Enborg $96.80
12 Dan Wilde $92.40
13 Dennis Wellar $85.40
14 Jennifer Prince $85.00
15 Rick Broth $84.80
16 Brett Hatcher $84.40
17 Brian Troop $83.40
18 Kevin Kreiser $80.80
19 Michael Ray $80.40
20 Brian Herrity $77.80
21 Mike Elsass $74.00
22 Eugene Spruck $72.60
23 Bill Riehl $72.40
24 Sean Nolan $72.00
25 Douglas Draper $68.00
26 George Chute $67.80
27 John Gamane $67.80
28 Patrick Gianforte $67

All 28 receive berths to the Round 2 contest, where seven players will receive $10,000 seats for the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, along with travel allowances.

Saturday, DRFQualify.com

Rank Name Total Prize
1 David Snead $108.20 $1,700
2 Sam Sample $94.00 $850
3 Karin Brewer $93.60 $660
4 Dan Wilde $86.80 $525
5 Evan Barshack $83.00 $375
6 Lynn Ray $79.40 $280
7 Dave Bryant $78.40 $280
8 George Chute $77.80 $280
9 Steven Mell $75.00 $280
10 Michael Foster $74.20 $280
11 Edward Wright $72.80 $210
12 Wesley Kinman $71.40 $210
13 Tony Calabrese $71.20 $210
14 Ruth Snead $70.00 $210

Sunday, NHCQualify.com

Rank Name Total
1 Jonathon Kinchen* $107.40
2 John Kolodzej $103.70
3 Ryan Flanders $100
4 Stephanie Davis $98.80
5 John Strichek $98

* already double-qualified for NHC
Second- through fifth-place finishers win seats to the National Handicapping Championship, plus travel allowances.

Sunday, DRFQualify.com

Rank Name Total Prize
1 Jason Avila $103.40 $1,500
2 David Peed $100.40 $750
3 James Collins $96.40 $600
4 John Kolodzej $96.20 $470
5 Fabian Sultan $96.00 $350
6 Terrence Severson $92.30 $270
7 Jonathon Kinchen $91.60 $270
8 Michael Foster $91.40 $270
9 Michael Solakis $91.40 $270
10 Michelle McSweeney $87.80 $270
11 Randy Davidson $87.10 $190
12 Steve Wolfson, Sr $87.00 $190

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


gary gristick More than 1 year ago
Kevin Cox More than 1 year ago
Wow, he's on fire. There'll be some catching up to do for many. You mentioned "In an online contest on Saturday." What contest was that ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kenny King More than 1 year ago
Pete, Why not just say Kinchen qualified in the HORSETOURNEYS NHC qualifier on Saturday and provide that link as well? It was an epic weekend for sure, you forgot to mention that Kinchen also cashed in the HORSETOURNEYS 50K live money event on Sunday using the same 41-1 bomb. For all contest players new and veteran alike you can find low takeout qualifiers and main events at HORSETOURNEYS.......the DRF sponsored events arent the only game in town. Ken King
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I work for Daily Racing Form, Ken, and it's my job to promote the home team. I don't mind you mentioning other sites in the comments though. This is meant to be a more free flowing conversation but it doesn't change what I can and can't cover in my articles.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Pete.Mr. Kinchen is on a roll of all rolls.Great to see a nice kid (i am 68) carry himself like a real gentelmen.Had he been a trainer everyone would say he is a cheater.He ought to sell his picks or get hired by a track or the DRF as the man .This old game needs all the nice guy's it can get.Keep up the good work both of you.
Utbighair More than 1 year ago
Thanks Mikey. I really appreciate your kind words.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only posted one of your many comments Steve because they were pretty redundant. As I've written many times, it's not an unfair advantage because it's bought and paid for, and doesn't hurt a single entry appreciably more in the long run than a different player buying in. I agree it's a bit of an optics problem but I can live with that. If it were such a big edge we'd see people having the biggest success in the biggest tourneys all having multiple entries and that's simply not the case. Here's what I've written about it: http://www.drf.com/blogs/ask-pete-how-can-i-compete-against-multiple-entries
Elizabeth Keppley Kreiser More than 1 year ago
It is an unfair advantage. Almost all the big players that can afford multiple entries do. Kinchen always has 2 entries in every tourney. He plays normal on one and bombs on other. Not saying he isn't good but I would love to see him play for real one afternoon and see how he does!!! It's not even handicapping it's more like who gets lucky on long shots. I like the pick and pray that way when long shot comes in you person liked it before they were down $50 to leader. Wait they still have two entries and bomb away with one. Eliminate the duel entries for every tournament and half these people wouldn't sniff winning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You obviously know nothing of how Johnathon plays his multi entries because that's not how he plays them at all. It's advantageous to play more than one ticket, because you increase your chances but it's not unfair to anyone else because a player buying a second entry is no more deleterious to a single entry's chance than two players buying two entries. It's all covered in the link I shared. If that's not good enough for you, maybe contests aren't for you. I can live with that.
Utbighair More than 1 year ago
Hey Elizabeth....thanks for following my play. I do often play multiple entries, but not always. I think it is important to realize that multiple entries help fuel this game and is not an advantage as it is available to everyone. Many choose not to use two entries and that is completely up to them. It's like being mad at someone for ordering and paying for a triple scoop ice cream cone because you decided to order one scoop. They made the choice to invest more in their ice cream and therefore have more ice cream to enjoy. They can even get multiple flavors…a little chocolate, cookies and cream, and maybe one of those crazy flavors. You had the option to order 3 scoops but made the choice to stick to one. Maybe next time you will order three or decide that ice cream is too expensive for you and make another choice. I like ice cream.... My best result to date was with one entry (http://www.nhcqualify.com/myresults.aspx?ccid=2175&cid=267&ticket=1). I have also had a ton of pick n pray success and really enjoy that format. Take a look at my previous 2nd place finish on NHCq (http://www.nhcqualify.com/myresults.aspx?ccid=2175&cid=262&ticket=2). I played 4 horses that were under 4-1 and 3 of those were under 2-1. Not to mention the $32 horse I used was in the middle of a 4 race win streak. I appreciate your opinion and love conversations about this kinda stuff, but your evaluation of my play is just not accurate. I think most players that really evaluate my play would agree that I am not really categorized as a “bomber”. We should play head2head sometime for a small wager….maybe ice cream?
Kenny King More than 1 year ago
You beat my a** with a couple of 4-1 shots in the Saturday qualifier....nice work
Matthew Hood More than 1 year ago
Nice reply Jonathon!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, he is way more polite than me! It's that good Texas upbringing I think.