11/11/2014 1:02PM

Pair win NHC seats on publichandicapper.com

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The Public Handicapper Challenge, a six-month marathon handicapping contest that lasts from Kentucky Oaks day through the two days of the Breeders’ Cup at publichandicapper.com, is now complete. Two contestants, Dan Camoro of Tiggard, Ore., and Traci Richards of Pembroke Pines, Fla., have won seats to the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.

Camoro, the overall winner, has qualified for the NHC three other times. He played 104 races (the Public Handicapper format allows you to pass races) and had 24 winners. His final ROI was a sparkling $140.30.

He was fairly consistent through the early part of the contest. Majestic Harbor ($30.80) in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita was a particularly important result. He also had a bit of luck, scratching into two winners along the way. But he really won the contest at the Breeders’ Cup, by picking both Bobby’s Kitten ($16.40) in the BC Mile and Texas Red ($29.80) in the BC Juvenile to vault himself to the top. In addition to his NHC seat, Camoro receives $1,500 plus one year of unlimited DRF PPs. For a full accounting of his plays, go to http://www.publichandicapper.com/record.cfm?PlayerID=31174.

Richards went 29 for 109, good enough for third overall in the contest with $137. She needed Bayern to stay up in the BC Classic, and when he did, Richards was set to travel to Vegas for the NHC. Other important winners for Richards included Zamquick($53) in Saratoga’s ninth race on Aug. 30 as well as a nice string of double-digit win mutuel horses throughout the contest. To see all of Richards’s plays, check out http://www.publichandicapper.com/record.cfm?PlayerID=11213.

Honorable mention goes to user rickryan, who finished second overall in the Public Handicapper Challenge but will not be going to Las Vegas, simply because he didn’t pony up the $50 to compete for the NHC Tour. He misses the chance to compete for his share of more than $2 million. It’s a shame because he had a great season of picking. He had 30 winners out of 93 picks for a total profit of $138.10. His biggest winner was Zamquick. He also had some nice prices in some of the biggest races of the year including Tonalist ($20.40) in the Belmont Stakes, Moreno ($22) in the Whitney, and Euro Charline ($23.60) in the Beverly D.

Public Handicapper also has a mini-contest between its editors – who provide picks and analyses every week. It was a tough year for the editors, only one of whom, Rodrick Dobson, posted an ROI in the black. He won the internal contest going away as a result.

The contest requires contestants to place one mythical $2 win bet in up to four selected races each weekend. The ROI is tracked in an unusual way for a handicapping contest. Losing bets are deducted from the initial $2, winning mutuels are added to the initial $2. That’s one reason the site is called public handicapper. The other is that players are encouraged to write their own analyses of the races they pick. It’s a chance to show off their skills and also a great way for newer players to learn about handicapping.

The next contest on Publichandicapper.com is the The Winter of Our Discontent, which starts in December and goes through January. There are no NHC seats for that one but there are prizes (they’ll be announced closer to the start) and it’s a good way to keep involved with the sport during the quiet, colder months. Check back at publichandicapper.com for updates and the chance to sign up.

For the complete leaderboard for the Public Handicapper Challenge, check out http://www.publichandicapper.com/standings.cfm.