01/06/2010 12:00AM

Husband and wife finish one-two in NHC Tour


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Bryan Wagner, an insurance executive from New Orleans, and his wife, Judy, finished one-two and earned a combined $137,500 in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship Tour, which wrapped up Dec. 27 at the Surfside Race Place NHC qualifier in Del Mar, Calif.

Wagner, 66, captured the tour title after finishing second with 1,383 points at the Surfside Race Place qualifying event. That brought his tour total to a winning 11,425 points. Judy Wagner finished second in a tie with Steve Hartshorn of Newport Beach, Calif., with 10,000 points. Both earned $37,500.

Both Wagners earned berths to the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship finals in Las Vegas on Jan. 29-30.

In 2001, Judy Wagner became the only woman to date to win the NHC finals.

The tour's other top-five point earners also gained a place at the NHC finals this year. They are Mike Labriola of Richmond, Calif., with 9,422 points, and Shawn Turner of Middletown, Md., with 9,275 points.

"With so many excellent tour players, I feel very fortunate to have finished at the top," Bryan Wagner said. "The excitement of this gets better every day. Those who know Judy know she is a fighter to the end. She did just that at Surfside until the last race. Seeing her move from fifth place to a tie for second made my victory even better.

"After Judy won NHC II, I thought I would forever be 'Mr. Judy Wagner,'" he added. "I hope the NTRA is as thrilled as I am that I can finally have my own identity and be a good ambassador for the horseplayer."