05/24/2005 11:00PM

Winner rides Giacomo all the way


Ron White had been following Giacomo throughout the Kentucky Derby preps and had used the colt as his selection in three races for Canterbury Park's Road to Kentucky Handicapping Tournament: the Sham Stakes, the San Felipe, and the Santa Anita Derby.

White stuck with Giacomo in the Kentucky Derby and it paid off. The colt's 50-1 Derby triumph vaulted White from 38th place to 1st in the 13-week tournament, which concluded May 7. White, from Saint Louis Park, Minn., won the $2,500 first prize and qualified for the seventh Daily Racing Form/National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship on January 27-28, 2006. The contest will have a record $500,000 purse.

Entrants in the Road to Kentucky tournament were required to make mythical $20 across-the-board wagers at designated racetracks each week, with points for Derby prep races being doubled and points for the Derby tripled. White's faith in Giacomo was rewarded with 3,594 points, helping him to finish with a tournament total of 13,632 points, 312 ahead of runner-up Dan Centini.

Canterbury will send six qualifiers to the National Handicapping Championship. The track's next qualifying contest is scheduled for Aug. 13-14.

Kolc tops at Horseman's Park

Dick Kolc of Omaha, Neb., topped a field of about 75 finalists to win the Spring Champions contest at Horseman's Park on May 14.

Kolc, 65, finished the Champions contest with 64 points, based on selections in 20 races from Churchill Downs and Hollywood Park. Players were awarded five points for each winning horse selected and two points for each second-place horse.

The Spring Champions field comprised the top 10 finishers from each of seven smaller qualifying tournaments held earlier in the year.

Horsemen's Park, which races just four days a year but has a state-of-the-art simulcast pavilion, is the home base of the first DRF/NTRA Handicapper of the Year, Steven Walker of Lincoln, Neb. Walker qualified for the national finals in a Horseman's Park contest in 1999 en route to winning the inaugural NHC in January 2000.

Brisnet assembles team of winners

Brisnet.com will be sending the winners of its three April online contests to the NHC. On three consecutive Saturdays, players in the contests were required to make mythical $2 win-and-place bets on 10 pre-selected races.

Tim Catlett, from Hedgesville, W. Va., won the first tournament on April 9, picking five winners to finish with a bankroll of $173. Leo Haukkala of Port Hadlock, Wash., won the April 16 tournament by picking seven winners to finish with a $102 bankroll. Mike Rogers of Tulsa, Okla., won the final week of the tournament, on April 23, picking seven winners for a bankroll of $144.60.

Stars at Royal River Racing OTB

Despite its remote location, the Royal River Racing OTB Midwest Classic in Sioux Falls, S.D., always attracts an all-star field of horseplayers. This year's tournament, on June 4, may be the toughest yet. Four of the first six DRF/NTRA champions are already registered for the tournament: Judy Wagner (2001), Steve Wolfson Jr. (2003), Kent Meyer (2004), and James Michelson Jr. (2005).

As of Tuesday, there was still room for 30 more players in the prestigious tournament, which costs $250 to enter and offers three DRF/NTRA qualifying berths. Players are allowed to buy up to two entries each.

To register, call Ray Henry at (605) 997-5388.

Monmouth contest offers NHC spot

Monmouth Park's "Survival at the Shore" online contest begins this Saturday and will offer one DRF/NTRA qualifying spot to the grand-prize winner.

The object of the free contest is to pick at least one in-the-money finisher in three preselected races on each day of the Monmouth meet, from May 28 through Sept. 5. The surviving player whose selections accumulate the highest bankroll based on mythical $2 across-the-board wagers is the grand-prize winner.

Additional prizes, including cash, airline tickets, and flat-screen televisions, will be awarded to the player with the largest number of winning selections and the most days going 3 for 3. This year, weekly prizes also will be awarded for the highest bankroll.

To play, go to www.monmouthpark.com.