01/30/2012 2:29PM

Three horseplayers earn berths to 2013 National Handicapping Championship

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LAS VEGAS – Three horseplayers joined NHC 13 winner Michael Beychok in earning berths into next year's Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in a qualifying tournament held Sunday at Treasure Island Hotel & Casino.

Wager to Win IV had an entry fee of $200 and drew a field of 209, mostly from the record 480 handicappers that competed in NHC 13 on Friday and Saturday. The tournament, which paid back 100 percent of entry fees in prize money, was supposed to have two NHC 14 berths up for grabs but they were so happy with the turnout that they awarded three spots. Contestants made eight mythical $2 win-and-place bets with four mandatory races and four optional plays.

Dick Mueller of White Bear Lake, Minn., compiled a score of $83.30 to win the first-place prize of $20,900. He was followed by Joe Jarvie of Renton, Wash., with a score of $78.80 for prize money of $8,360 and Mark Deaton of Somerville, Ohio, who scored $77.30 to collect $6,270. In addition to their spots in the finals, those three will also received airfare and hotel accommodations.

Ira Schwartz of Sunny Isles, Fla., just missed qualifying with a score of $75.40 but received fourth-place money of $4,180. Robert Rubin of Stuart, Fla., was fifth at $55.80 to collect $2,090.