01/26/2008 12:00AM

NHC Day 2 off and running

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LAS VEGAS - The second and final day of the ninth annual Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship is off and running Saturday at the Red Rock Resort.

A field of 277 contestants are competing for more than $1 million dollars in prize money ($1,017,700 to be exact) with the champion taking home $500,000 and the title of Handicapper of the Year.

Contestants make 15 mythical $2 win-and-place bets, eight of which are mandatory with the other seven being player’s choice from the seven contest tracks: Aqueduct, Tampa Bay, Gulfstream, Fair Grounds, Golden Gate, with Santa Anita and Oaklawn joining the mix after cancelling Friday. For contest purposes, payoffs are capped at $42 to win and $22 to place.

And there was a new leader early on Saturday. After the first two mandatory races by 11 a.m. Pacific time, Richard Goodall of Las Vegas had moved into the lead with a bankroll of $175.90. He had been second behind first-day leader David Neuburger of Forest Hill, N.Y., but moved ahead after Tampa Bay’s third race when he had Angle of Attack, which paid $18.60 to win and $8.40 to place.

After the second mandatory race, Aqueduct’s fourth that was won by 2-1 favorite Pygmalion, Goodall still had the lead at $175.90 with Neuburger holding on in second at $150.50, the same score he had after Day 1. Ann Goldstone, who was in 12th place entering the day, moved into third with a score of $148.70, one dollar ahead of Lorne Weiss of Thornhill, Ontario at $147.70.

In addition to playing for the big money, contestants will be competing for daily prize money that increases to $5,000 for the top score on Saturday, $3,000 for second, $2,000 for third and $1,500 for fourth.

The next update will come after the midway point of the day’s eight mandatory races, the fourth at Oaklawn, at approximately 4:30 p.m. Eastern/1:30 p.m. Pacific.