Updated on 09/16/2011 7:48AM

Well done, Beef: Bronx educator makes finals

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NEW HAVEN, Conn.. - Two weeks after Daily Racing Form and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association crowned a new Handicapper of the Year at the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas, the year-long contest began all over again for 2002 in last weekend's $100,000 Sports Haven Handicapping Challenge here.

The winner of the sixth annual Autotote-sponsored contest was Stuart Rubin of Bronx, N.Y., who pocketed first prize of $40,000 plus a trip to Las Vegas to compete in next year's National Handicapping Championship. Rubin defeated a field of 340 horseplayers who hailed from 17 different states and Canada.

Rubin is known simply by the nickname "Beef" by many grandstand regulars from Aqueduct to Gulfstream.

Rubin, a 48-year-old educational evaluator for the New York board of education, finished the two-day contest with a total of $10,320 based on 10 mythical $200 win, place, or show bets a day on the full cards from Aqueduct, Gulfstream, and Santa Anita.

Ranking among Rubin's top winners were $200 win bets on Running Today ($27) at Aqueduct and Meadowminer ($24.80) at Gulfstream on Saturday, and on Joy of Millbrook ($27.80) and Doubly Brite ($23.60) at Aqueduct on Sunday.

"I didn't bet anything under 5-1 in the contest," Rubin said.

Thomas Meeker Jr., 61, of New Haven, took second prize of $15,000 for compiling a bankroll of $10,010 and qualified for the National Handicapping Championship.

Also qualifying were third- and fourth-place finishers, Mike Hyde of Congers, N.Y. ($9,142), and Mark Hill of East Lyme, Conn. ($8,950), who won cash prizes of $9,000 and $7,000, respectively.