Updated on 09/08/2016 10:00AM

Navy lieutenant Enborg qualifies for National Handicapping Championship


Edward Enborg is headed back to the National Handicapping Championship. Enborg, a 27-year-old lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Navy, finished best in a field of 298 entries in an NHCQualify event on DRF Tournaments on Monday. Enborg finished with $97.20, a total built with a mix of favorites and longshots.

“For contests where the format is such where everyone is required to bet on the same 12 races, I’m in the camp that likes to mix favorites in with longshots,” he told DRF back in 2014. “It’s nice to have the extra $10 or so towards the end from hitting a couple 2-1 horses early on.”

But the big winner for Enborg on Monday was the near-cap horse Doctor J Dub in Parx’s eighth race. He returned $63 win-place combined. Enborg added four additional collections along the way.

Joining Enborg in Vegas for the NHC will be Tanya Taylor and Kevin Jones. Taylor managed just two collections, but she made them count. Heading to the last race, her card was blank except for Doctor J Dub, but she was still in range. She went with Tisbury in Saratoga’s 11th and got just enough points ($22) to secure second with $85.

Third-place finisher Jones had a similar story. He hit Doctor J Dub but was stuck on $63 with three races to play. He caught the next two races with points on Royal Copy ($13.40) and Power Jam ($7.80) to finish up with $84.20 and an NHC spot.

On Sunday, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge took center stage on DRFT. In a sold out event of 115 entries, three players won in to the $10,000 buy-in live-bankroll event: Brian Johnson, Curtis Meyer, and Brian Chenvert.

Johnson was best with an incredible score of $200.40, nearly $50 better than second. He did so with six collections, five of them at big balloons, with So Heres the Thing ($45.80) in Del Mar’s first, Angry Moon ($45.60) in Saratoga’s ninth, Zip the Monkey ($36.20) in Del Mar’s second, Summers Back ($23.60) in Gulfstream’s 10th, and Touch of Bling ($42.20) in Saratoga’s 12th.

Meyer’s total of $152.80 was impressive in its own right. He managed four collections, including So Heres the Thing and Touch of Bling, but he also had Lucy N Ethel ($60.60), who wired them in the Prioress at Saratoga.

Chenvert’s total of $151.10 was clear of fourth by more than $17. He started with a bang, catching the biggest price in the sequence with the cap horse For Honor ($64) in Saratoga’s eighth. He added Angry Moon and chipped away with four other collections to earn his shot at BCBC glory.

Also on Sunday, Michael Ray won a seat to the Santa Anita Autumn Championship, where he will have a shot at a million-dollar bonus should he go on to win the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. Ray is no stranger to contest success. He plays partners with Chick Matties, father of Duke and Paul Matties. The Ray-Matties team won the first Horse Player World Series, starting a connection between the Matties clan and the contest world that remains strong to this day.

On Saturday, Gerald Seagall ($110.70) won a seat to Gulfstream’s Conquer the Crown event. Seagall who won by nearly $30, had four collections, including All Right.

Action returns to DRF Tournaments on Wednesday with a full slate of contest activity, including feeders, credit builders, and matchups, all leading to important qualifiers this weekend for the National Handicapping Championship, the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (two-stage), Gulfstream’s Conquer the Crown contest, and the Santa Anita Autumn Championship. Go to DRF Tournaments for full listings.