06/20/2006 11:00PM

NHC contest recaps

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Barbara Saveski and Gerry Daube are heading to Las Vegas after finishing 1-2 in the Tampa Bay Downs handicapping contest on April 1. Saveski, 72, a former public school principal, transformed her starting mythical bankroll from $1,000 into $4,696 to win the contest handily. Daube, 37, ended up with $3,165 in contest winnings to secure the runner-up spot. Saveski and Daube are both from the Tampa area, and defeated approximately 100 other competitors who registered for the track's qualifying rounds of the tournament.

Saveski drew away from the field after her $280 win bet on maiden Deb's Gone Shopping paid dividends. Deb's Gone Shopping returned $15.80 to win.

Daube's big score came with a $100 Win-Place wager on maiden Larry's Forty Two.

A once-a-week player at Tampa Bay Downs, Saveski said she relies on instinct based on watching the horses, trainers and jockeys prior to wagers.

Saveski's husband, Henry, finished third in the contest with only $79 fewer than Daube.

-Suk Tae Yoon earned a $25,000 check with his victory in the Battle of the Handicapping Stars contest at Santa Anita Park. Yoon won a $5,000 real money contest on Santa Anita races held on March 11 and 12. Players needed to wager at least $250 per race on eight races on March 11, and at least $500 per race on six races on March 12. Yoon's final bankroll was $21,450. Toby Turrell cashed a $5,000 check after his final total of $16,301 was good enough for second place. Sol Feingold finished third with $14,205. Thomas Owen placed fourth with $12,331. Mike Mayo ended up fifth with $11,171, and Louis Constan finished sixth with $9,760. All six players qualifed for the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas next January.

-Ruby Castillo, 64, collected a payoff of $11,040 with a victory in the Royal River Racing "Midwest Classic" qualifying event for the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship on June 3. Castillo, of Timpson, TX finished the contest with winnings of $126.40. Dennis Bicsak, 59, of West Palm Beach, FL finished second with $83.80 in winnings to collect the $5,520 second prize. Mack McClyment, 62, of Las Vegas, NV finished third with $78.60 in winnings. McClyment earned $3,450 in prize money, and will join Castillo and Bicsak in the 2007 NHC tournament.

-Canterbury Park's ninth annual $50,000 Road to Kentucky Handicapping Tournament sponsored by Jim Beam went to Dave Rasmussen of Minneapolis, MN. Rasmussen earned $2,000 in prize money for coming out on top in the 13-week tournament, which concluded on May 6. The free tournament required entrants to select horses at selected tracks each week. Points were awarded based on mythical $20 across-the-board wagers with Derby prep races awarding double points and the Derby itself earning triple points. Rasmussen previously qualified for the National Handicapping Championship in 2003, and won the Road to Kentucky contest by 146 points over Walter Bush III of Chanhassen, MN.

Canterbury Park will host a National Handicapping Championship qualifying event on Claiming Crown Day, Saturday, July 15. The Claiming Crown Ultimate Handicappers Open sponsored by NTRA will qualify three players, and will offer a guaranteed first prize of $50,000. Canterbury will also host a two player qualifier on August 12-13, and a three person qualifier on October 14.

-Robert Bauder nipped Ivan Chan and Dennis Waller to win the Stampede Park NHC qualifier held on June 3 and 4. Bauder finished the contest with $187.20 to earn $4,445 in prize money. Chan's total of $180.80 was a dime more than Wellar's final score. Both received $741. All three will head to Las Vegas for the National Handicapping Tournament at Bally's Las Vegas.