10/18/2014 8:01PM

Levitt finishes atop All-In contest standings


In Saturday’s All-In contest at NHCQualify.com, where all picks had to be in before post time of the first race, five players won their way in to the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas. The most familiar name was Peter Behr, the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge champion from London, Ontario, but the overall winner was Alan Levitt of Baltimore.

Levitt tallied $118 total, 2.46 times the initial bankroll of $48 for the 12-race, $2 win-place contest, close to the average winning score in contest using this format. Levitt only had three winners in the sequence, led by Effinex in the Empire Classic at Belmont. Effinex, going out with first-time blinkers for trainer Jimmy Jerkens, paid $37.20 to win and $12.80 to place for a total of 50 contest points. Levitt added short-priced favorite Boozer ($3.40) in Santa Anita’s third race, but sealed the deal in the anchor leg when he came up with Backstreet Lisa ($21.60) in Santa Anita’s sixth.

Behr ended up third overall with $109.90. His success came mostly on the front end. He had the first three winners in the sequence and that was enough. He scratched into Princess Violet ($4.70) in Belmont’s seventh, and then added Toni’s Hollyday ($21) in Keeneland’s sixth, as well as Effinex. From there, he added Discreet Marq ($3.60), scratched into Boozer, and caught the place points on Sweet Whiskey ($8.60 to place) in the Raven Run at Keeneland.

Vince Carco of Elkhorn, Wis., finished second with $114. Carco flat-out whiffed in the last two-thirds of the contest, going 0 for 8 on the way in, but that didn’t matter because he had Effinex, and cap-horse Sweet Nkosi in Keeneland’s seventh. Sweet Nkosi, a 5-year-old bay mare trained by Ryan D. Walsh, paid a whopping $77.60 to win, but that was limited to $42 for contest purposes.

Joining the top three in Las Vegas will be fourth-place finisher Jeannie King ($109.20) of Valencia, Calif. and Anthony DeCaspers ($107) of Forest Park, Ill. King, like Behr, had the first three winners, and added place points in the last three races on Zippinaroundtown ($7.60 to place) in Santa Anita’s fourth,  Bourne Hot ($6.20) in Santa Anita’s sixth, and Paulina’s Love in Santa Anita’s sixth ($6.20 to place).

DeCaspers had four winners overall. He had Toni’s Hollyday in the second event and Backstreet Lisa in the anchor leg. But the key for him was hitting his own personal rolling double with Taris ($16) in the Raven Run at Keeneland and Moonlight Song ($10.60) in Belmont’s 10th race.

There will be another chance to qualify for the NHC next Saturday. To purchase tickets, go to: https://www.nhcqualify.com/buy_advanced.aspx