Updated on 09/15/2011 12:27PM

South Dakota man beats all-star invaders

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Harry Knott, one of the few local Sioux Falls, S.D., horseplayers entered in a field full of out-of-town invaders, went wire-to-wire to win first prize of $7,200 in the $18,000

Bettor Racing OTB Handicapping Contest held on June 16. In addition to prize money, Knott also qualified for the Daily Racing Form/ NTRA National Handicapping Championship III to be held in January 2002 in Las Vegas.

Knott won his first four bets of the contest on his way to a final bankroll of $177.80 based on 12 mythical $2 win and $2 place wagers on the races from Arlington, Belmont, Calder, Churchill, and Pimlico.

The Bettor Racing OTB Handicapping Contest is the brain-child of the OTB's owner, well-known handicapper and tournament player J. Randy Gallo. The contest routinely draws a select group of handicappers from all over the country looking to punch their tickets to the DRF / NTRA finals. This year's contest cost $250 to enter and drew a total of 72 entries from 50 different contestants hailing from 19 states.

The first four finishers at the Bettor Racing OTB all qualified for the DRF / NTRA National Handicapping Championship III. Knott won the contest by a margin of $44 over runner-up Maury Wolff ($133.80) of Alexandria, Va. Wolff is no stranger to this contest or to the national finals. He was the winner of the first Bettor Racing OTB Handicapping Contest back in 1999, and eventually went on to finish second and earn $30,000 in the inaugural National Championship. His runner-up finish in this contest was worth another $3,600.

Third-place finisher Robert Rahe of Omaha, Neb. ($125.60) earned $2,250 and also qualified for the National Championship, as did fourth-place finisher Dom Ippilito of Seal Beach, Calif., who earned $1,350 for a final contest bankroll of $109.20.

(Click here for complete coverage of the Daily Racing Form/ NTRA National Handicapping Championship III