Arkansas Handicapper Captures Keeneland BCBC/NHC Challenge

Keeneland Green LogoSource: Keeneland

Christian Hellmers Runner-up Again

When 7-2 shot Allegheny Angel crossed the line in front of heavy favorite Honey Lake in Keeneland’s 9th race, a scream was heard all the way to Bradley, Arkansas as handicapper Don Allen captured the 2nd annual BCBC/NHC Challenge on Sunday.  The $3,000 ($2,000 live bankroll) buy-in tournament drew the maximum 70 entries, and will be featured on Esquire Network’s Horseplayers, the new TV series about the quest to qualify for the NHC.

Don moved from sixth to first, passing along the way two-time Breeders’ Cup Challenge runner-up Christian Hellmers of Del Mar, California; Christian finished second and will join Don and three others with fully paid berths to next month’s Breeders’ Cup Challenge and January’s $1.5 million National Handicapping Championship at Treasure Island in Las Vegas.  Joe Pettit of Charleston, South Carolina, George Chute of Dedham, Massachusetts, and Mark Deaton of Paris, Kentucky finished third, fourth, and fifth respectively.

In addition, 6th and 7th place finishers received paid entry fees to the Breeders’ Cup Challenge.  Following are the names of the winners and their bankroll winnings:

Don Allen                            $8,312.30

Christian Hellmers          $7,896.00

Joe Pettit                            $6,087.20

George Chute                    $5,977.30

Mark Deaton                      $5,494.00

Dan Riddell                        $5,027.70

Louis Licata                       $4,462.00

Steve Wolfson, Sr.           $2,948.20

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is an 18-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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