09/08/2014 1:20PM

Fornatale: McIntosh dominates on NHCQualify.com

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Carl McIntosh of St. Simon’s Island, Ga., ran away with Sunday’s contest on NHCQualify.com. He put up a total of $130.80, nearly $30 better than the second-place finisher. McIntosh was the winner of the inaugural “Play Along with the NHC” contest this past January and earned $7,500 in site credit which he has been using regularly this qualifying season.

McIntosh started strong, hitting a cap horse, Raglin River, in the contest’s second event, the seventh race from Belmont. Raglin River, who paid $112 to win but was limited to $42 for contest purposes, was returning to his preferred Belmont Park after two so-so efforts up at Saratoga. He stepped up in his third start off the layoff, coming from the back of the pack to get up a neck at the wire. The race conditions were fertile ones for a longshot – a full field turf sprint of statebreds with an overbet favorite, Leroy Jr., who finished off the board.

McIntosh added Notte d’Oro ($18) in Churchill’s ninth race, and topped up later with a pair of chalks – Ms. Zenergy ($6) in Churchill’s tenth and Master Blender ($7) in Gulfstream’s 10th. McIntosh won an expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas, where he’ll compete for his share of at least $2 million in the National Handicapping Championship at the Treasure Island next January.

Joining McIntosh is Vegas will be second place finisher Jim Goodman of Frankfort, Ky. Goodman, well known to tournament players as the contest director for Keeneland’s live-bankroll events, put up $101.70. He had a place horse early, then also had Notte d’Oro. He then got hot in the last third of the contest, hitting a pair of 6-1 shots – Forest Friends in Gulfstream’s ninth and Freudie Anne in Belmont’s 10th.

The third and final qualifier from Sunday’s contest is Lawrence Kahlden of St. Petersburg, Fla. Kahlden had the exact same three winners as Goodman. He finished with $96.30, less than $2 ahead of unlucky fourth-place finisher Eric Pineiro.

NHC qualifying action returns to NHCQualify on Saturday, Sept. 27.

Arroyo finishes big

Saturday’s BCQualify round 1 event saw a full field of 320 players competing for 32 spots into round 2, which will also be held on Sept. 27, concurrent with the NHCQualify.com event. From round 2, up to eight players will win seats plus expenses to the $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge to be held Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.

The overall top finisher was Roland Arroyo of Waddell, Az., who tallied an impressive $140.80. Arroyo got off to a slow start but became the horseplaying version of Zenyatta, storming home and blowing by them all. He hit the last three winners to the tune of $19.60 (Nicky’s Brown Miss in Kentucky Downs’s eighth), $85.60, limited to $42 for contest purposes (Holywell in Gulfstream’s 11th), and $19 (My Afleet in Kentucky Downs’s eighth). Nice picking, Mr. Arroyo.

There were many familiar names among the other players who advanced, including Jacqueline Sukanick, who sits among the current leaders on the NHC Tour, former NHC champ Rich Goodall and his wife, accomplished tournament player Sally Goodall, as well as BCQ regular Mike McIntyre. For the full order of finish, check out the scoreboard at http://www.bcqualify.com/leaderboard.aspx?cid=112&lower=1&upper=30.

Two-time former champ Patrick McGoey was unlucky on Saturday as he finished in 35th, less than $2 from qualifying. That’s okay, though. McGoey saves up his racing luck for when the big money is on the line.

There will be two more round 1 events held the next two Saturdays, Sept. 13 and Sept. 20. You can sign up to play at https://www.bcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx.