NHC Live Money Contest at Los Alamitos – Sept 14

NTRA NHC logoThe Los Alamitos Racing Association will offer cash prizes and as many as three seats to the 2020 National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas with a live money contest Saturday, Sept. 14 during the upcoming Los Angeles County Fair meet.

Cost to enter the tournament is $500. Of that amount, $100 will be placed in the contest prize pool with the remaining $400 going towards a live-money wagering card.

Contestants must enter prior to 1 p.m. – post time for the first race – Sept. 14.

Tournament races will include the entire Los Alamitos card with win, place, show, exacta, trifecta and daily double wagering permitted.

Each entry must wager at least $400 during the contest to be eligible for prizes and each entry must bet at least $50 on four races.

The player with the highest bankroll at the end of the day will be declared the winner and the player with the second highest bankroll the runner-up, The winner will receive 50% of the prize pool. The remaining payoffs: 20% (Second) 15% (Third), 7.5% (Fourth) and 7.5% (Most Money Wagered).

A total of three spots will be available to next year’s NHC provided there are at least 75 entrants. If fewer than 75, two berths will be on the line. The prize includes a $200 travel voucher and hotel accommodations.

The contest is the first of two during the LACF meet. The second is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21.

For questions, please contact larace@losalamitos.com or call 714-820-2690.

The Los Angeles County Fair meet will begin Friday, Sept. 6 and continue through Sunday, Sept. 22.

Stich Wins Again. 28yo Handicapper Takes Down Record Field at Monmouth Park

AGOS Founder Also Qualifies at Pick Your Prize Challenge Tournament

Patrick Stich of Chicago, IL turned his $1,000 starting bankroll into $6,150 to win Monmouth Park’s fourth annual $2,000 Pick Your Prize Handicapping Challenge on Saturday, June 1.

Stich bested a record field of 222 entries made up of players from 30 states and Canada.

Rich Nilsen qualifies for the 16th time

For finishing first, Stich received an automatic $14,000 and two picks from the Pick Your Prize board. In total, the board was composed of 22 NHC seats – the most of any online or on-track contest in history – as well as six full Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge seats and $86,000 in cash prizes. With his two picks, Stich selected the top cash prize of $12,000 and well as the prize of BCBC+$3,500. Including his bankroll, Stich walked away with $35,650 plus a seat in the $10,000 BCBC.

Early in the day, Stich started strong by hitting a $200 fourth race exacta at Gulfstream for $1,640. A $50 fifth race exacta at Gulfstream earned Stich another $2,475. A $600 win bet in the 11th race at Gulfstream had Stich with $5,050 going into the Monmouth Park finale – the final contest race. A winning $200 cold exacta returned $1,300 and landed Stich the title.

Saturday’s second-place finisher was Tim Yohler of Fishers, IN who finished with a bankroll of $5,843.60.

All Pick Your Prize players were required to bet at least $100 on a total of 10 races from Monmouth Park, Belmont and Gulfstream. At least five of those races needed to be Monmouth Park races. Bets could only be win, place, show, exacta or any combination thereof.

All players kept their final bankrolls. The Top 5 finishers received a guaranteed cash prize. The Top 7 finishers all received two picks from the prize board in order of finish. Finishers 8 through 27 received one pick.

Following is the full list of results from Saturday’s $2,000 Pick Your Prize Handicapping Challenge:

Finish Name Bankroll Prize
1st Patrick Stich $6,150 $29,500+BCBC
2nd Tim Yohler $5,843.60 $14,000+BCBC+NHC
3rd Ross Szlasa $5,253 $13,000+BCBC
4th Frank Fosbre $5,201.60 $10,000+BCBC
5th Mark Streiff $4,848.50 $5,000+BCBC+NHC
6th Rich Pawlowski $4,545.40 $2,000+NHC+BCBC
7th Andrew Gredesky $4,208 $5,500+NHC
8th Gary Wright $4,031 NHC
9th Nick Noce $3,788 NHC
10th Scott Carson $3,678 $4,000
11th Frank Gryboski $3,620 $3,000
12th Stephen McNatton $3,412.50 NHC
13th Tim Hughes $3,410.50 NHC
14th David Wolff $3,377.95 NHC
15th John Vail $3,207.50 NHC
16th Joe Regan $3,053 NHC
17th Roger Cettina $3,000.80 NHC
18th Sally Goodall $2,993.20 NHC
19th David Wolff $2,940 $3,000 (in lieu of a 2nd NHC seat)
20th Scott Carson $2,876 NHC
21st John Fisher $2,735 NHC
22nd Mike Mulvihill $2,724 NHC
23rd Rich Nilsen $2,667.25 NHC
24th Don Chung $2,604 NHC
25th Jose Raphael $2,466 NHC
26th Jeff Bussan $2,429.55 NHC

Nick Fazzolari Wins New Sunday Contest

For the first time, Monmouth Park also hosted a $300 NHC Qualifier on Sunday, June 2. The winner of that contest was Nick Fazzolari of Colts Neck, NJ who used a late all-in in the finale at Belmont to catapult to the lead and best the field of 179 entries. Fazzolari will be headed to the NHC along with second-place finisher Rich Pesce and third-place finisher Mark Odorisio.

Monmouth Park’s next handicapping contest is a $300 Monmouth/Woodbine event ($150 entry fee, $150 bankroll) on Saturday, June 29, which will award three NHC seats . Woodbine’s historic Queen’s Plate will be carded on June 29.

$10,000 Summer Challenge from Racetrack Television Network (RTN)

NTRA NHC logoRTN $10,000 Summer Challenge

The RTN $10,000 Summer Challenge will be a bonus challenge that consists of NHC Tour points accumulated over a 3-month period on HorsePlayers.com. The challenge will kick-off on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27 with a $125 HorsePlayers.com contest and conclude on Saturday, August 31. The top three finishers of the challenge will be awarded $10,000 in cash prizes (1st- $5,000, 2nd- $3,000, 3rd- $1,000).

RTN is offering new subscribers five free days of video live streaming and unlimited race replays. To register for your five free days go to www.rtn.tv and enter promo code TRYRTN. There will be an additional $1,000 bonus awarded to the highest finisher who is a current RTN subscriber or a new subscriber who registers for the five free day promotion.

In addition to the RTN $10,000 Summer Challenge prize, this year’s NHC Tour prize pool will award $325,000 in cash prizes to the overall NHC Tour Leader Board finishers and $15,000 to first-time NHC Tour members. The winner of the 2019 NHC Tour will be eligible for a $5 million bonus if he or she were to win the 2020 NHC.

You must be a NHC Tour member to compete for NHC Tour prizes and to be eligible to participate in the NHC in Las Vegas. There are three more free NHC Tour contests in 2019. These contests are set for June 1, August 2-3, and September 28. For more information on NHC Tour membership go to www.nhctour.com.

About Racetrack Television Network
Racetrack Television Network (“RTN”) is an 80-channel subscription package that caters to horsemen, bettors and racing fans worldwide by delivering every simulcast from North American and select international tracks to televisions, computers, and mobile devices (including iPhones, iPads, Android phones and Android tablets). The television package is available via satellite provider DISH Network, while the online and mobile packages are available directly from RTN at www.rtn.tv. RTN offers the largest simulcast menu in the pari-mutuel industry-either commercially or residentially.

About the National Horseplayers Championship
In its 21st year, the NHC is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. There are no bye-ins to the NHC. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. The 2020 NHC will be held at Ballys, Las Vegas February 6-9, 2020. For more information on the NHC, visit NTRA.com/nhc.

Episode 1 of the Horseplayers Invitational from Hawthorne Race Course

“I’m gonna win,” states NHC Tour Champion David Gutfreund.

28 minute show – 2019 Horseplayers Invitational from Hawthorne Race Course – featuring several veteran contest players: Chris Larmey, Jonathan Kinchen, Paul Weizer, Frank Mustari, Justin Dew of Lone Speed, the Shurmans and many more great contest players.

Ren Carothers and Jim Miller host.

Longtime Tournament Vet Rick Broth Wins 2019 KDBC

Broth Scores $147k Win with DQ

Frustrated after he didn’t win a single one of his Kentucky Derby bets, Rick Broth left Churchill Downs in a hurry on Saturday evening.

The construction sales manager had just pulled onto I-65 South when a friend called to tell him that he might want to turn around.

For the first time in 145 runnings of the Kentucky Derby, the horse that crossed the finish line first did not actually win the race. Minutes after Broth left the track, racing stewards ruled that first-place Maximum Security impeded the run of a rival horse, resulting in his disqualification and in second-place Country House being declared the winner.

Here is a link to the official 2019 KDBC Leaderboard

For Broth, that stunning reversal was the difference between driving home to Atlanta with empty pockets and returning to the track to collect a life-altering payday. Not only did he win more than $47,000 wagering on Country House as a 65-1 long shot, he also won another $100,000 in prize money as the winner of the Kentucky Derby Betting Championship.

“I went from being the biggest loser that ever lived to a great story,” Broth said. “I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I’ve been taken down 100 times at the track for big money, so to be put up is just unbelievable.”

Stories like Broth’s serve as a reminder how much money changed hands on Saturday night when the Kentucky Derby ended in controversy. Maximum Security’s disputed disqualification cost bettors who backed him millions of dollars in lost winnings…

What Wager won this year’s Keeneland’s Grade One Gamble?

Faron McCubbins Closes with a Rush to Capture Keeneland’s Grade One GambleFaron McCubbin Wins Another Big Tournament

Overcoming inclement weather and late changes to the contest landscape, Faron McCubbins of Mount Washington, KY hammered the 9th race at Keeneland with an $800 exacta on 8-10 that paid $28,560, resulting in an incredible final bankroll of $31,560 that bested 180 other contestants in the Grade One Gamble. For his efforts Faron takes home $35,000 in prize money, a fully paid Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge berth at Santa Anita worth $10,000, and an entry into the 2020 National Horseplayers Championship at Bally’s Las Vegas.

The day began with steady rain that caused all races to be taken off the turf; multiple scratches resulted in decimated fields. Contest management added 3 races from Gulfstream and 2 races from Aqueduct to the contest menu, and the changes resulted in a very competitive contest that was decided at the wire.

Long- time leader Dan Slattery of Bethesda, MD, who cashed for $19,000 on Gulfstream’s 4th race, was passed late by the huge play of McCubbins, but took home his bankroll of $18,449.80 plus $18,000, a fully paid BCBC spot and an NHC entry.

2020 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) Returning to Bally’s

Entertainment have signed a multi-year agreement to move the event to Bally’s Las Vegas. The 21st edition of the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), presented by Racetrack Television Network, Caesars Entertainment and Bally’s, will be held February 7-9, 2020.
Bally’s, which completed a $125 million renovation in 2018, previously hosted the NHC from 2003-2007.
“Caesars Entertainment is a world-wide leader in gaming, entertainment and customer service. We look forward to working with them as we return the NHC to the newly renovated Bally’s in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip,” said Keith Chamblin, Chief Operating Officer of the NTRA and NHC Tournament Director.
The 2020 NHC will take place in the Bally’s Events Center, a 40,000 square foot space that will nearly double the NHC’s footprint while being transitioned into the world’s largest race book.
“The NTRA National Horseplayers Championship is the premiere handicapping tournament in all of thoroughbred racing. We look forward to hosting this tournament at Bally’s Las Vegas inside our world-class Events Center, along with showcasing our recently renovated room product,” said Jim Korona, Vice President of Casino Marketing with Caesars Entertainment.

Bally's Casino Las VegasBally’s Las Vegas

Bally’s Las Vegas is located on the center of the world-renowned Las Vegas Strip, across from Caesars Palace and next to Paris Las Vegas. The 44-acre resort consists of two 26-story hotel towers including the Jubilee Tower and offers more than 2,800 guestrooms, including 244 suites. Bally’s Las Vegas features highly acclaimed restaurants including BLT Steak and Sea Thai, as well as the famous Sterling Brunch, a relaxing pool oasis, a lavish spa and casino space featuring a poker room, 1,500 slot machines and a first-class Race & Sports Book known for its stadium-style seating and abundance of high-definition television screens. Nitro Circus Theater will house the first-ever Nitro Circus stage show featuring spectacular feats and unbelievable stunts in an intimate theater setting. Bally’s Las Vegas is operated by a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR). For more information, please visit ballyslasvegas.com or the Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas media room. Find Bally’s Las Vegas on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram.
source: NTRA

NHC Veteran Joe Scanio Seeks Gotham Score

The Gotham Challenge takes place this Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack and online for the first time via NYRA Bets. Entries for the $500 live-bank contest close Thursday night at 5 p.m. One of the players looking forward to competing is Joe Scanio.

Scanio is an old-school New York horseplayer. How old school? He describes himself as being from the Fred Capossela-era. He used to hitchhike from his home in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn – where he still resides today.

“First, you’d get a ride from the Verrazano Bridge to Flatbush, and from there you’d get another guy to take you to Lefferts Boulevard,” he happily recalled.

His horseplayer “origin story” is a twist on a theme. Unlike so many in his generation, he did not have an older relative who introduced him to the track.

“No one in my family was into the horses,” he admitted. “I broke the mold. I like to kid that I got my Associate’s Degree at Aqueduct, my Bachelor’s at Belmont, and my PhD at Saratoga.”

His first experience came one day when he cut school to hang out at a Bay Ridge pool room – as one did back in the day. There he met a couple of older guys who took him along to the races.

“I bet on a horse named Mountain Crest,” said Scanio. “You always remember your first horse. And the worst thing that could have happened, happened.”

Mountain Crest was an easy winner and Scanio’s $2 bet across the board multiplied in value.

“I said, forget school, what do I need that for? I want to come here every day.”

Scanio has been active since the earliest days of NYRA’s contests in the tent in the backyard at Belmont. He might not have learned racing from a family member but he has passed on the bug to a future generation. His niece and protege, Stephanie Davis, won one of the first NYRA contests and continues to be an active participant.

“She’s great because she doesn’t get emotionally bent out of shape like a lot of everyday gamblers,” he said. “She stays calm and collected and makes better decisions than I do when it comes to contests.”

He estimates that he’s qualified for the National Horseplayers’ Championship 14 times and figures six of them have come on the NYRA circuit. He’s been to one NHC Final Table, and he and Davis both made the semi-finals in 2018.

Scanio has followed all the changes in NYRA contests through big transitions, from mythical money fixed-odds to real-money live-bankroll, and now the advent of online play.

“I think it’s a good idea and it should help increase participation a lot,” he said. “I’ll always go in person when I can. I have to work weekends sometimes and this is a benefit to me to play online those days but I’d always prefer to go because that’s really where the fun of it all is.”

Speaking of work, Scanio’s had an interesting and varied career. He started off in direct sales, and now works selling timeshares in New York. He’s also been an actor, and is currently working on a comedic screenplay – Crime Share – based on his experiences in his day job. But his real passion is for racing.

In fact, Saturday night, after the Gotham Challenge is over, he plans on heading across the river to play in a harness racing contest at the Meadowlands.

“The last time I did a doubleheader, it was Aqueduct-Roosevelt Raceway but I was a lot younger then,” he joked. “This time around we’ll see if I have the energy to survive.”

RULES OVERVIEW

Winning players on Saturday will receive cash as well as the opportunity to qualify for a seat to the two-day 2019 Belmont Stakes Challenge on June 7-8 or one of two seats to the National Horseplayers Championship in February 2020.

Tournament races include those races run live at Aqueduct Racetrack, Gulfstream Park, and Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday, March 9, 2019. The final tourney race will be the nightcap at Aqueduct. Permitted wagers include Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta, Quinella, and Daily Double wagers. Rules require players to wager a minimum of $25 per race on a minimum of ten 10 races. Players can go all in at any time.

In order to enter and play online, contestants must be registered NYRA Bets account holders. New NYRA Bets members are currently eligible to receive a bet $200 get $200 bonus.

Full rules for the Gotham Challenge are available at this link.

Source: NYRA

Industry Profile: Handicapper Marshall Gramm, Memphis Rhodes Professor

The Rhodes professor has become one of world’s best at betting the horses

He grew up in Washington, D.C., poring over the horse racing odds that appeared in The Washington Post sports section. Then he went to Rice University in Houston, got his Ph.D. from Texas A&M, got hired by Rhodes College 19 years ago and never left Memphis.

After initially researching “bank regulation boring stuff,” he decided to turn his habit into his job. He began to use horse racing data to look at betting markets as a proxy for financial markets and pricing.

He’s also a co-founder and part-owner of Ten Strike Racing, a 10-year-old syndicate named after the 1884 winner of the Tennessee Stakes held in Memphis.

He owns about …

Industry Profile: Handicapper Jonathan Kinchen

“I think the biggest sucker play in racing is handicapping for 45 minutes, and then spending three minutes deciding how to bet it. So often, players will get home from work, handicap to 11, wake up and handicap, go to the track and then construct their Pick 5 ticket at the window. I think you should spend as much time constructing your ticket as handicapping, if not more.”

LAS VEGAS, NV.–Jonathon Kinchen is maybe the closest thing the handicapping world has to a rock star. In little more than four years, Kinchen has gone from an unknown real estate investor with little tournament experience to a commentator on Fox Sports’ Saturday at the Races. He’s arguably the most recognizable and popular player at the NHC, and it’s easy to see why. Kinchen’s young (for a horseplayer), he can pull off the odd tropical shirt, and his sleeved left arm is covered in tattoos of Barbaro, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. His Tweets are often clever, and even his Twitter handle–@UTBigHair, a nod to his alma mater–is above average.

At root, though, the 36-year-old Kinchen is simply a good horse player. He remains the only player in NHC history to have both of his entries qualify for The Final Table, and in 2015 he won the NHC Tour, a testing year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned events.

You’d be familiar with Kinchen’s introduction to handicapping. He grew up in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, and his father often brought him along on trips to Lone Star Park.

“He’s a horrible bettor,” Kinchen laughed. “He doesn’t look at the Form; he’s the guy standing in line in front of you looking back at the TV screen, betting our address. But I saw a lot of guys with computers and papers doing it seriously, and I figured that if I was going to come with him, I should at least figure what it’s all about.”