07/11/2014 9:55AM

Fornatale: Nearing halfway point of Public Handicapper Challenge


The Public Handicapper Challenge rolls on. This is the 11th week of the 27-week contest, so there is still plenty of opportunity for movement on the leaderboard as we approach the halfway point.

If the contest ended today, the two contestants who would win trips to the National Handicapping Championship would be the players who go by the names “hoedebeck” and “shankers.” Current overall leader “rigger136” is not a member of the NHC Tour and therefore is not eligible for the trip to Las Vegas. To view the overall standings, click here.

Remember, it’s never too late to join at Public Handicapper. While the Vegas trips might be tricky to come by for a player starting at this late date, Public Handicapper also awards a monthly prize as well as a weekly bonus (a 10-card Daily Racing Form past-performance plan) to any player who picks all four designated contest races correctly.

One player in particular has distinguished himself in this year’s Public Handicapper Challenge – PH editor “rodrickd.” He has picked 12 of 40 races correctly for a profit of $62.30 on those picks. The scoring system on Public Handicapper is different from any other contest. All bets are $2 win bets, and all players start with $2. When you make a pick and lose, $2 is deducted, so scores frequently go into the negative numbers. Your wins are added to your overall bankroll.

Rodrickd sits 15th in the overall standings for the NHC seats, but he is one of the editors on PH, meaning he competes in a mini-contest against his fellow editors. Rodrickd is running away with that competition, but given the strength of the field, things could get interesting there, especially if rodrickd gets leg-weary late.

He was quiet last weekend, taking a rare collar, but overall, he’s been tearing it up, picking a bunch of nice-priced winners and writing some excellent analyses as well, even if he does lapse into French on occasion. You can check out a complete record of his bets and read his analyses by clicking here.

This weekend PublicHandicapper will be featuring four races, three from the Million Preview Day at Arlington, and all on Saturday. They are:

The Fort Delaware, a $50,000, six-furlong stakes race (DEL 6, 3:30 p.m. Eastern)
The Grade 3 Stars and Stripes, a 12-furlong turf stakes (AP 8, 5:25)
The Grade 3 American Derby, a 9 1/2-furlong turf stakes for 3-year olds (AP 9, 5:55)
The Modesty Handicap, a 9 1/2-furlong turf stakes for fillies and mares (AP 10, 6:25)

Contestants should remember that all picks must be made by one hour before post time, and as always, PH members save 25 percent on DRF past performances and picks. Once you’re signed up for the current PH tournament, you can click here to select your plan.