02/16/2015 10:09AM

Fornatale: Kinchen stays red-hot in weekend contests


You can’t stop Jonathon Kinchen, you can only hope to contain him. Just six days after securing his first National Handicapping Championship qualification for 2016, Kinchen went one better by becoming the first double-qualified NHC Tour member for NHC 17, to be held next January at Treasure Island in Las Vegas.

Kinchen, who got his second NHC spot via NHCQualify.com, also finds himself alongside Roger Cettina atop the NHC Tour standings. The tour championship is the stated 2015 goal for Kinchen, who burst onto the scene at NHC 16, getting both of his entries into the final 10 at the 603-entry event.

Kinchen blanked in the first two contest events before connecting with a nice double – he had Rock City Roadhog in Oaklawn’s sixth race ($10.20) and backed Wedding Savior ($32.20) in the 10th at Tampa Bay Downs. From there, Kinchen thought the races looked a little chalky, and he played accordingly.

“I said to myself at the start of the contest that I was probably going to be playing a lot of favorites just because of how the races came up,” he said.

The 32-year-old Texan hit with three of four short-priced favorites following his big hit at Tampa. Going into the last race of the contest, he had an interesting decision to make. He could play a middle price or a longer price to protect his NHC spot or play the most likely winner to try to be the outright winner, knowing that overall winners receive an NHC Tour points bonus.

“I decided to go for the win,” he said. “Fortunately, I was still able to hold on for the spot.”

Kinchen played in a qualifier for the $100,000 Santa Anita Betting Challenge on the same set of races over on DRFQualify.com and was the outright winner there. He played the same picks on his best entry in each contest. He’ll have at least one $3,500 entry to the live-bankroll contest March 14-15, an important early-season stop on the NHC Tour.

Joining Kinchen in Vegas will be overall NHCQualify.com contest winner Lynn Ray, of Delmar, N.Y.; Edward Enborg, of Jacksonville, Fla.; and Stephen Diaz, of Malverne, N.Y. All three had Wedding Savior.

Enborg is an interesting player to follow. The 26-year-old lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Navy makes Kinchen look like an old man by comparison. Enborg won a spot in Gulfstream Park’s Raise Your Game Challenge on DRFQualify.com last month and now will be heading to Vegas for the second straight year.



Rank Name Total
1 Lynn Ray $128.80
2 Jonathon Kinchen $111.30
3 Edward Enborg $97.40
4 Stephen Diaz $92.60

All four receive seats plus hotel and a travel allowance to the 2016 National Handicapping Championship.


Rank Name Total
1 Jonathon Kinchen $111.30
2 Dave Bryant $106.80
3 Gwyn Houston $95.10

All three receive $3,500 seats plus a $500 travel allowance to the $100,000 Santa Anita Betting Challenge to be held March 14-15 at Santa Anita.



Rank Name Total
1 John Ukleja $150.40
2 David Snyder $113.20
3 Joseph Whitacre $101.80

All three receive $10,000 seats to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, plus a travel allowance.


Rank Name Total
1 Mark McGuire $115.00
2 Randall Cote $109.80
3 Alan Levitt $106.40
4 Roger Forget $106.00
5 Craig Siedler $94.40

All five receive $3,000 seats plus a travel allowance to the $100,000 Raise Your Game Handicapping Challenge at Gulfstream Park.

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