04/28/2014 11:38AM

Weekend recap for NHCQualify, BCQualify and Public Handicapper


Favorites ruled in Saturday’s NHCQualify.com contest, where four players won entry into the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas, to be held in January of 2015 at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. Of the twelve contest races, five were won by favorites and another three went to the second choices. There were no cap horses (prices are "capped" at 20/1 for contest purposes). One race, the 4th at Santa Anita, was won by the longest shot on the board. But even that runner, Dancingtothestars, only paid $13.80 because the field had scratched down to four runners. The resulting scores were very low -- this was the first time since January that the winner didn’t make it three figures. It’s very rare to see qualifying scores that don’t even equal two times the initial contest bankroll of $48 ($2 win and place over twelve races).

Jeff Arthur of Chesapeake, Virginia won the contest with a score of $89.30. He tabbed five of the shorter priced winners in the first two-thirds of the contest, but what won him the day was his selection of Top Kisser in Santa Anita’s 7th race, who paid $21.80, by far the longest price in Saturday’s sequence of races.

Brendan Fay of Wilmington, Delaware finished second with $87.20. Fay avoided the early chalk but got on the board with Dancingtothestars in Santa Anita’s 4th race. Then he made a strong run, picking Top Kisser as well. But those two winners still weren’t quite enough. He secured his NHC seat by selecting the winner of the 10th at Hawthorne, Sacred Range, who returned $17.80.

Also winning trips to Las Vegas to play in the NHC were Keith Fenton of Fort Worth, Texas ($82.20) and David Murphy of Novato, California ($81.40).

Sunday’s BCQualify.com was another story in terms of scores. The winner, Steven Turner of Las Vegas, Nevada, finished with $159.00, an impressive 3.3 times the initial bankroll of $48. He picked two cap horses in the twelve-race sequence, Magic Lily, in the contest’s first event, the 6th at Gulfstream Park, and Kela’s Assault, in the seventh contest race, in Hawthorne’s 6th race. He rounded out his total with Ifoundmy Mojo ($14.80) in Hawthorne’s 7th.

Greg Bone of Dallas, Texas was second with a total score of $133.10. He had three winners on the card, the aforementioned Kela’s Assault, Commander Cloud in Santa Anita’s 4th ($27.40), and Dancing Rock in Hawthorne’s 8th ($15.20), along with two place horses.

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

The third and final Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry went to Michael Sussman of Park City, Utah. He didn’t have a winner for the first six races but then got on a roll with three winners in a row (Kela’s Assault, Commander Cloud and Ifoundmy Mojo). But his most interesting pick was in the contest’s last race – Phaniebdancing, an even-money shot in Hawthorne’s 9th. In theory, Sussman wasn’t vulnerable to the favorite – that is, even if Phaniebdancing won, Sussman would have still held his spot as long as his closest pursuers didn’t get enough place points to move past him. But Sussman chose to play the favorite anyway and it’s a good thing for him that he did. The fourth place finisher, William Shurman, played the 12-1 place horse, Julmae, and would have qualified over Sussman but for the extra points Sussman gained on Phaniebdancing.

In other contest news, the 2014 Public Handicapper Prep contest is now in the books. User Roscoe21 came up with Pepper’s Crown, a 46-1 shot in the San Francisco mile to win the $1,000 first prize and a 3-month unlimited subscription for enhanced Formulator past performances.

Here is a list of the top ten finishers:

1 roscoe21  (12/48)  $157.20 
2 S Tanwongprasert (10/50)  $155.20 
3 Groveland Horses (10/51)  $153.20 
4 mpierson  (13/52)  $144.00 
5 karol e   (13/48)  $138.40 
6 bigrtex NHC Tour (11/50)  $137.60 
7 g-bird   (11/37)  $137.20 
8 gcp123   (10/52)  $136.20 
9 mattglass78  (10/48)  $135.00 
10 Rick Makins  (9/48)  $131.00 

The number in parentheses is (Wins/Starts)

Remember, the 2014 Public Handicapper Challenge starts this weekend. Check back in this space tomorrow for a full explanation of how the contest works. Signup in available at https://www.publichandicapper.com/signup.cfm.


Ian GW More than 1 year ago
Peter. I just joined the NTRA. I wanted to know did I place myself at a huge disadvantage since I just joined? I read I could play the tourney on May 2 through DRF Public Handicapper. As for the NHC, they have points. So it would probably be impossible to catch up? Can I play the online contests only and if I lead on one of them contests is that good enough to earn a seat or do you just get points. No way I can travel around the US. I just want to know really whats the best way to qualify now that I'm a member for a seat? BTW I read on DRF site the rules and whoever put the info a few days ago I congratulate. It was easy to understand without making my head spin. Nobody wants to read rules that look the directions from the back of a credit card statement. So that made me convert. Maybe on to something there. Make it simple and they will come.
Peter Fornatale More than 1 year ago
I don't think it's too big of a disadvantage, Ian. Remember only your top five scores count for the NHC Tour. It would definitely help the cause if you can try to get a live score as well however. As for the best chance to qualify, it's hard to say and depends on a number of factors, but finishing in the Top 150 on the Tour is definitely one smart way to get it done.
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
OK. Thank you. I have a feeling this year may be a trial and error for me. But that is ok too.
Ross Bennett More than 1 year ago
It's awesome to be mentioned on drf.com and win public handicapper prep! Thanks Peter!
Peter Fornatale More than 1 year ago
I'm glad you liked the piece! Nice hit in the San Francisco Mile.
Ross Bennett More than 1 year ago
I won $1000 and got mentioned on drf.com. What a weekend!
Michael Foster More than 1 year ago
Love the weekend recap! Kela's Assault was my first cap horse in a bc or nhcqualify contest and let me get close enough to have a shot at an entry. Missed by a few spots but had fun trying and I liked my decisions.
Peter Fornatale More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the kind words, Michael! Nice hit on Kela's Assault and I love your attitude. If you focus on decisions and not outcomes like you say, you've taken a HUGE and difficult step towards being a winning player in the long run. Good stuff!