06/30/2004 12:00AM

Churchill awards NHC berths


Jean Lee earned $5,000 and a spot in the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship by winning the finals of the Churchill Downs spring meet handicapping contest on Wednesday.

Lee, of Louisville, finished in a dead heat with William Lenzi, also of Louisville, but was declared the winner by tiebreaker. Lee and Lenzi finished with $73.20 bankrolls after making $2 win and place wagers on races 3 through 8 on the Wednesday program.

The narrow defeat was not all that traumatic for Lenzi, since he earned $2,500 and the second of two berths in the National Handicapping Championship. Another eight contestants divvied up $2,500, with Brenda Kuhn of Prospect, Ky., faring best by finishing third. A total of 125 contestants participated in the finals.

A date has not been finalized for the National Handicapping Championship, which is held in Las Vegas and is sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Daily Racing Form. The contest usually is held in January.