06/10/2009 12:00AM

Former National Handicapping champion wins Horsemen's qualifier

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Horsemen's Park in Omaha, Neb., hosted a national qualifier for the 2010 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship over the final weekend of May. The finals will be held Jan. 29-30 at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas.

"According to some of the out-of-town players we had a lot of heavyweights here for the contest," said Horsemen's Park general manager Greg Hosch. "It was a two-day contest and the format paralleled the DRF/NTRA contest. So in addition to being a good tournament, it gives players a chance to play in a tournament with a format exactly like the finals in Las Vegas."

Hosch said the prize structure was based on participation by 40 players with a $250 buy in. They were overwhelmed when 150 entries were received, drawing players from all over the country for the $20,000 in prize money.

Kent Meyer of Sioux City, Iowa, the 2004 National Handicapping Championship winner, took home the top prize of $5,000 and a fees-paid trip to the finals in Las Vegas.

Also earning trips to the finals were Mark Stillmock of Omaha (second place, $2,500), and Tim Stupka of Sioux Falls, S.D. (third place, $2,000).

Melvin Moser of Lexington, Ky., a past qualifier and chairman of the NTRA Horseplayers Coalition, was fourth in the contest.