Gramm Wins BCBC over Kinchen. Donnelly Third.

Economics Professor and Race Horse Owner from Memphis, TN, Marshall Gramm, crushed the exacta in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to capture racing’s most lucrative live-money tournament this past weekend.  TV personality Jonathan Kinchen was second, while arguably the best contest handicapper in 2020, Dylan Donnelly was third.  This trio each turned their $7,500 bankrolls into over $100,000 by the conclusion of the weekend.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2020) – Making the biggest wagering score of his life, Marshall Gramm, an economics professor at Rhodes College and a racehorse owner from Memphis, Tenn., nailed a cold exacta with Authentic and Improbable for $170,250 in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) to propel him to victory last Saturday in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

The 12th annual Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, Thoroughbred racing’s biggest live-money tournament, held Nov. 6-7, featured 430 top horseplayers wagering on the two-day card of the 37th Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington.

Marshall Gramm BCBC winner

Photo courtesy of Carlos Guerrero

Gramm, 47, finished with a total score of 170,250 points. Combined with his first-place prize of $322,500, Gramm had total winnings of $492,750. That put him ahead of second-place finisher Jonathon Kinchen, NYRA/Fox Sports television handicapper and analyst. Kinchen compiled 161,025.20 points, and combined with his second-place prize of $215,000, he had total winnings of $376,025.20. Dylan Donnelly, from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., finished third with 136,200 points and $118,250 in prize money, for total winnings of $254,450.

In this year’s BCBC, each player was required to fund a $2,500 buy-in and a $7,500 betting bankroll ($10,000 total). All buy-in monies were applied to the prize pool, making the total prize pool $1,075,000. Players made real wagers (win, place, show, exacta, trifecta and daily double) with their $7,500 bankroll on 22 races over the two days and kept all monies earned from their wagering.

A big sports fan who grew up in Washington, D.C, Gramm loved “numbers and statistics,” and learned the handicapping game by reading books from noted racing journalist and author Andrew Beyer.

Gramm has played in the BCBC five of the last six years, registering his best finish in 2018, taking fifth place. He has been teaching economics at Rhodes College since 2000 and currently chairs the department. Gramm has taught a course at Rhodes called Economics of Racetrack Wagering Markets, which he describes as a class on “decision making, price discovery and probability.” Along with Clay Sanders, he is also co-managing partner of Ten Strike Racing, a stable that has won 338 races, including stakes winners Dot Matrix, Long on Value and Warrior’s Charge.

The biggest moment in recent Memphis horse racing history happened at this year’s Breeders’ Cup – local coverage of Gramm’s victory and the TN connection

Gramm experienced a range of emotions when he learned that he had won the tournament. “When I hit (the exacta), I was thrilled, my biggest score ever. You know you’ve had a great day, but it was nerve-racking, and a relief, and I will always be able to say that I am a BCBC Champion.”

In this year’s BCBC, Gramm was in contention throughout. On Friday, he cashed a $600 daily-double wager on Vequist in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), followed by Aunt Pearl (IRE) capturing the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). Those bets earned him $17,350 and he closed out the first day of competition in seventh place.

On Saturday, Gramm went “all in” on Monomoy Girl winning the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), wagering his $18,165 bankroll and more than doubling his money. After hitting on a minimum show bet in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), Gramm went into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic in 11th place with $36,930. In the climactic race of the World Championships, he made six individual exacta wagers using Authentic, Improbable and Tom’s d’Etat. Gramm wagered $7,500 on the Authentic-Improbable combination and won the tournament.

“Marshall is a dear friend and I am very happy for him. The BCBC is the Masters of handicapping contests. It’s not all about the money, it’s about the title. I wanted to win, but there are about three people in the world I am ok running second to, and Marshall is one of them.” ~ Runner-up Kinchen stated.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions at Keeneland, most of the BCBC tournament play was conducted online at, the official Breeders’ Cup wagering partner, and NYRA Bets. The BCBC was also conducted at designated satellite locations at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, Calif., and at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

Online qualifying for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge begins this Sunday, Nov. 15 on A guaranteed 2021 BCBC berth will be awarded to the winner of the contest, which has a $500 entry fee and a low 1 per 23 ratio. Players can up for Sunday’s contest here.


The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, was held on Nov. 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, and featured a total of $31 million in purses and awards. The event was televised live by the NBC Sports Group.

Source: Breeders’ Cup (edited press release)

What the Dates for the 2021 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC)?


NTRA Releases Update on the 2021 National Horseplayers Championship

Thank you for your patience over these last several months as we have attempted to deal with the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. With the health and safety of our participants, guests and team members our highest priority, we have decided to delay the 2021 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) until the summer of 2021. The new date for the NHC will be August 27-29, 2021 at Bally’s.
The new August date is nearly 200 days later than the originally scheduled NHC slated for February 12-14. Although we all are aware that planning for many future events during the coronavirus pandemic has been difficult and unpredictable, we are hopeful that the delay will allow ample opportunity for us to host a successful live event that has become an annual celebration of the horseplayer. Rest assured that Bally’s and the NTRA will be doing everything within our power to ensure the safest environment possible next August. Precautions related to COVID-19 will be finalized and announced as we get closer to the new date and will be based on the most up-to-date local, state and federal guidance. Bally’s and many other Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas already are back open and operating and we appreciate our partners at Bally’s working with us to secure this new date for the 2021 NHC.
Importantly, the change in date for the 2021 NHC will have no bearing on the current 2020-21 NHC Tour which remains set to conclude on its regularly scheduled date of January 23, 2021. Thus, the only individuals who will be impacted by this 2021 NHC date change will be those individuals who have qualified for the 2021 NHC. We anticipate that the 2022 NHC will revert to its traditional February date.
Further details on the new NHC date will be forthcoming in the near future. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Thank you.
Keith Chamblin

NTRA Statement on the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC)

NTRA NHC logoSource: NTRA and the NHC Players Committee

August 4, 2020
The health, safety and well being of our guests and employees, as well as everyone else involved, is our utmost consideration as we ponder a return to Bally’s Las Vegas for the 2021 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). We understand that some of you are anxious to know what impact COVID-19 may have on an event that has become a mainstay on the Thoroughbred racing calendar and an annual goal for many horseplayers each winter since 2000. Even though we are still nearly 200 days away from our event, and our hope is to host a record-setting event at Bally’s Las Vegas in 2021, be assured that we fully recognize that a pandemic that has impacted virtually every facet of our daily lives may very well impact the 2021 NHC.
We are working with our colleagues at Bally’s on a number of contingencies to address what obviously is an ever-changing and fluid situation. Everything is on the table. Our goal is to determine a path forward and communicate plans for the 2021 NHC by early November, if not sooner. In the meantime, the NHC Tour, with a heavier than usual dose of online opportunities predicated by current events, continues through January 23. An estimated 350 NHC berths remain up for grabs as we move toward what is shaping up to be the richest NHC in history. Stay tuned for further updates and, as always, thank you for your ongoing support of the NHC.
Stay safe,
Keith Chamblin
Chief Operating Officer

NHC Tour $10,000 Summer Challenge Begins Friday

NTRA NHC logoLEXINGTON, Ky. (May, 2020) – The second NHC Tour $10,000 Summer Challenge, a bonus challenge that rewards participants who accumulate the most NHC Tour points on over a three-month period, will kick off Friday, May 29. The NHC Summer Challenge will consist of 40 direct qualifiers into the 2021 $3,000,000-estimated National Horseplayers Championship as well as low-priced feeders starting at $15. The top finisher in the Challenge will win $4,000, with second through fifth-place dividing the remaining prize pool (2nd- $2,500; 3rd- $2,000; 4th – $1,000; and 5th – $500). The Summer Challenge leaderboard will be updated weekly on

There will be three dates on the Summer Challenge schedule offering five NHC qualifiers at a 20% lower ratio than the traditional pricing offered on NHC contests held on

Friday, May 29 – $75 contest awarding a minimum of two NHC seats at a one berth per 115 entries ratio;

Saturday, July 4 (two contests) – $165 contest awarding a minimum of two NHC berths at a one per 52 entries ratio, and a $500 contest awarding at least one NHC berth at a one per 17 entries ratio; and

Monday, September 7 (two contests)- $75 contest awarding a minimum of two NHC berths at a one berth per 115 entries ratio, and a $500 contest awarding at least one NHC berth at a one per 17 entries ratio.

In addition to the $10,000 Summer Challenge prize, this year’s NHC Tour prize pool will award $340,000 in cash prizes and $15,000 to first-time NHC Tour members. The winner of the 2020 NHC Tour will be eligible for a $5,000,000 bonus if he or she were to win the 2021 NHC.

Participants must join the NHC Tour ($50) to be eligible for NHC Tour prizes and to be eligible to participate in the NHC. Tour Membership includes eligibility to participate in four free NHC Tour member contests in 2020. These contests are set for June 6, August 29, and September 26. There is also a free contest for first-time Tour members scheduled to be held on September 19. For more information on NHC Tour membership go to or contact Michele Ravencraft at

About the NHC
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. For more information on the NHC, visit

About the NTRA
The NTRA, based in Lexington, Ky., is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance;; the Eclipse Awards; the National Horseplayers Championship; NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program; and Horse PAC®, a federal political action committee. NTRA press releases appear on, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (

Goldsmith Finds Gold at NHC

Hot Streak Propels California Handicapper to Victory in National Horseplayers ChampionshipLAS VEGAS, Nevada (February 9, 2020) – Like so many before him, Thomas Goldsmith arrived in Las Vegas this week looking for trouble.

Unlike most who find themselves in the midst of drama on the famous strip, the resident of Montgomery, CA was able to emerge from a heated battle with his life undoubtedly changed for the better.

The 21st edition of the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) Presented by Racetrack Television Network, Caesars Entertainment and Bally’s featured a little bit of everything in its 10-person Final Table contest to decide who earns the $800,000 first-place prize and Eclipse Award as Horseplayer of the Year. As the seventh and final mandatory race went official Sunday evening, it was the 57-year-old Goldsmith – playing in the NHC for just the second time – who managed to prevail with a total mythical bankroll of $404.10.

Goldsmith toppled a NHC field that had 694 entries and 564 individual players to record the second highest total ever behind only Ray Arsenault’s winning bankroll of $407.70 in 2017. Fittingly enough, Goldsmith had to turn back Arsenault himself, as well a Final Table that included NHC Hall of Famer Trey Stiles, upstart Ashley Taylor, and Day 2 leader John Vail to claim by far the biggest triumph of his horseplayer career.

“I’m just like in shock,” said Goldsmith, who couldn’t even bring himself to stand in middle stage during the Final Table proceedings. “This is it. I’m never going to top this, right? $800,000? How am I going to top that?

“I was just trying to find something that’s going to win, like anything else. I’m not a numbers guy. I look for horses that are in trouble…whatever. Bad break. Excuse trips. Bad trips. And in this place you’ve got to bet long shots. Most of these are horses I’m not going to easily play. It’s hard. You’ve got to find winners at all different race tracks.”

Video: Goldsmith talks about his NHC win:

A longtime handicapper, Goldsmith says he “dabbles” in different types of tournaments and he qualified for this year’s NHC by finishing second in a live money contest at Lone Star Park – on his birthday weekend no less – July 13. After a tepid start on Day 1 of the NHC when he finished with a bankroll of $69, Goldsmith’s plan of taking some swings on less obvious picks began paying off in massive fashion during Day 2 of the tournament.

Backstopped by a fistful of long shot plays coming through – including having 21-1 shot Admiralty Pier in the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Downs Stakes – Goldsmith climbed up to sixth overall after Saturday with a total of $272.70. When he began the Final Table in fourth place, that strategy continued to pay off as he had three winners and a 24-1 shot, second-place finisher through his first five plays.

“It didn’t ever change. I wasn’t going to play any first-time starters,” Goldsmith said. “I was looking for horses with trouble. Looking for horses that go to the lead on the turf. And basically that’s it. I wasn’t going to play any long layoff horses.

“Some of it is just searching for and looking…because you’re not going to win this thing betting a chalk. I was feeling good (after cashing the first three at the Final Table) but I was still sweating.”

Holding onto a $19.80 lead over Vail heading into the seventh and final mandatory race – the eighth at Santa Anita Park – Goldsmith finally let himself begin to celebrate as none of his challengers picked either of the top two finishers.

“About halfway down the stretch I said ‘Yes’, and I put my head down,” said Goldsmith, who manages a trucking company. “I got lucky for two, three days. Two big days I got lucky. Those days come.”

Vail finished second with a bankroll of $384.30 to take the $250,000 runner-up prize, closing to within $2 of Goldsmith after the fourth mandatory race only to have the eventual champ draw clear once more when Goldsmith scored with 9-2 shot Misty Blue in the ninth at Oaklawn Park.

“It absolutely is the best second I’ve ever had,” said Vail of Lyndhurst, NJ. “The whole tournament, it was a great tournament. I enjoyed the last three days, and I’m very happy with where I finished. I actually didn’t have any big, big plays today. I had a couple of winners, a few seconds, nothing big to get me along to first place. But I’m very happy with second place.”

Video: Vail talks about his NHC experience:

Though Arsenault fell short of becoming the first two-time NHC winner, he did post the second highest finish for a past champion when he landed in third with $362.

“It would have been nice to have won it twice. Everybody says they’d have like to have seen a repeater,” Arsenault said. “Today, I wasn’t really prepared. I did well with the horses that I won with. I was happy as heck to get to the Final Table and to be second going in. I got no complaints. It was fantastic. To win it would have been special.”

Video: Former champion Arsenault finishes third:

Taylor, who was playing in her first NHC, completed her stellar run with a fourth-place total of $350.40. Hall of Famer Trey Stiles made his first Final Table in 18 NHC appearances and did himself proud with a fifth-place bankroll of $334.90.

“It was just awesome to get here,” Stiles said. “I’ve wanted to make a Final Table, I’ve never made a Final Table before. I’ve come close and so I was just so happy to make it that far. I certainly wanted to win but this has been awesome. I have no regrets with my plays, it’s just been awesome.

“I just did the same stuff the whole time. It got me here, but it just wasn’t quite enough today. But (Goldsmith) was on fire. There was no catching him today.”

Ralph Magnetti ($334), Eric Bialek ($333.30), Christopher Podratz ($312.40), Michael Odorisio ($312.20), and Mike Goodrich ($296.20) rounded out the top ten.

The 2020 NHC finals awarded cash to the 10 percent overall from a total purse of $2,997,500. Of that total, $50,000 went to the top 20 in today’s Consolation Tournament, which was won by former turf writer Dick Jerardi.

NHC entrants were required to place mythical $2 Win and Place wagers – eight on mandatory races that everyone played and 10 on any of the other races from eight designated racetracks across the country – during the first two days of the tournament. Day 1 bankrolls carried into Day 2 and the top 10 percent of the field after Day 2 continued to the Semifinal round Sunday.

Draft Kings was the exclusive sponsor of the NHC Final Table. Official Partners of the 2020 NHC include STATS Race LensTVG, Daily Racing Form, Insurance Office of America (IOA), Racetrack Television Network (RTN), Runhappy, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, and NYRA Bets.

Big Bucks at Stakes in the 2020 NHC in Vegas

Hear AGOS Founder Rich Nilsen on the NHC Monster Podcast

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (February 6, 2020) – An estimated field of nearly 700 entries will compete for a record prize pool of some $2.95 million – and horse racing’s official title of “Horseplayer of the Year” – at this weekend’s 21st NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) Presented by Racetrack Television Network, Caesars Entertainment and Bally’s. The three-day tournament, Friday to Sunday at Bally’s Las Vegas, will offer a first-place prize of $800,000. Including complimentary travel and hotel, cash and awards total some $3.8 million.

The NHC field will be reduced to the top 10 percent of players after the first two days. The highest 10 cumulative scores after the Semi-final round will fill out the Draft Kings Final Table. Bankrolls amassed during Day 1, Day 2 and the Semi-final round will roll over to the Final Table, with the 10 finalists settling the NHC score in seven “mandatory” assigned races.

nhc final table vegasPlayers who do not make the Semi-final cut will still compete on Day 3, in a separate $50,000 Consolation tournament.

A full scoreboard will be updated regularly at, where fans and players can also find each day’s contest race menu and news updates.

“The NHC is a true celebration of the horseplayer—the individuals who fuel every aspect of the sport and business of Thoroughbred racing,” said NTRA Chief Operating Officer and NHC Tournament Director, Keith Chamblin. “We thank the many organizations who hosted NHC qualifiers throughout 2019 as well as our presenting sponsors and partners.”

At the Races with Steve Byk will broadcast live on SiriusXM satellite radio (Sirius 219; XM 201) from Bally’s and online at daily, Thursday to Monday, with NHC coverage slated for 2-8 p.m. ET (11 a.m.-5 p.m. PT) Friday-Sunday. Additional news and exclusive content will be shared on Twitter via the official NTRA account, @NTRA.

Defending NHC champion Scott Coles – who last month was honored with an Eclipse Award as the 2019 “Horseplayer of the Year”– heads this year’s field, which is comprised of an estimated 556 individuals (pending the outcome of Thursday’s Last Chance Contest). There are 148 rookies, representing some 25 percent of the field. There are 119 dual qualifiers going into Thursday’s Last Chance Contest at the Bally’s Event Center.

As the 2019 NHC winner, Coles received an automatic berth into this year’s tournament to defend the title he won last February when he prevailed in his first time playing in the NHC. Coles amassed a winning score of $367 over the three-day tournament from 53 mythical $2 Win and Place bets en route to becoming the tournament’s youngest ever winner at age 34. He will seek to become the first-ever two-time winner of the NHC, as will 10 other past winners that have qualified. The other qualifying champions are: Chris Littlemore (2018), Ray Arsenault (2017), Paul Matties, Jr. (2016), Jim Benes (2013), Michael Beychok (2012), Brian Troop (2010), Richard Goodall (2008), and Stanley Bavlish (2007), Jamie Michaelson, Jr. (2005) and Stephen Wolfson, Jr. (2003).

Top 100 Players in NHC Scoring History

Several players will compete for major bonuses tied to earlier accomplishments.

As the winner of the 2019 NHC Tour, David Snyder won $110,000 and an NHC berth. He also is eligible for a $5 million bonus if he goes on to win at the 2020 NHC finals.

Brad Anderson, the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC), is eligible for a $3 million BCBC/NHC Bonus if he takes down the NHC title.

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.

NHC players qualified via contests hosted by 45 racetracks, casino race books, handicapping contest websites, Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) outlets, simulcast distribution networks, horse owner associations and other Thoroughbred racing organizations. The NHC2020 qualifier hosts were:

Aqueduct, Arlington Park, At the Races with Steve Byk, Bally’s Las Vegas, Belmont Park, Breeders’ Cup, Canterbury Park, Capital OTB, Century Bets, Colonial Downs, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Fair Grounds, Fonner Park, Gulfstream Park, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Harrah’s Hoosier Park, Hawthorne Race Course, Hollywood Casino at Penn National,,, Indiana Grand, Keeneland, Laurel Park, Little Red Feather Racing, Lone Star Park, Los Alamitos Race Course, Meadowlands, Mohegan Sun, Monmouth Park, New Zealand Racing, NYRA Bets, S. Florida HBPA, Sam Houston Race Park, Santa Anita Park, Saratoga Bets, STATS Race Lens, Saratoga Race Course, Tampa Bay Downs, The BIG One, Treasure Island, TVG, Woodbine Entertainment Group and

The tournament format for the NHC is meant to be the best possible test of overall handicapping ability. Players attempt to earn the highest possible bankroll based on mythical $2 Win-and-Place wagers. Assigned “mandatory” races – eight per day on Day 1 and Day 2 and seven at the Final Table – will be announced at least 36 hours prior to each contest day (Wednesday evening for Friday, Thursday evening for Saturday, Friday evening for Sunday) on Twitter (@NTRA) and

The remaining 10 races on Day 1 and Day 2 and all 10 plays in the Semifinal round will be optional wagers on races at one of eight designated NHC tournament tracks: Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, Oaklawn Park, Santa Anita Park and Tampa Bay Downs.

On Saturday, the NTRA also will host an invitation-only online tournament, the 6th Annual Runhappy/NTRA NHC Charity Challenge presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka. A field of approximately 60 will compete for the $5,000 charitable prize with $2,500 set to be donated in the winner’s name to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and the other $2,500 going to the winner’s charity of choice.

Draft Kings is the exclusive sponsor of the NHC Final Table. Official Partners of the 2020 NHC include STATS Race LensTVG, Daily Racing Form, Insurance Office of America (IOA), and NYRA Bets.

Veteran Player David Synder Wins 2019 NHC Tour

Source: NTRA

LEXINGTON, Ky. (January 27, 2020) – David Snyder has a philosophy when it comes to the realm of handicapping, one he has held tight to while navigating the changing landscape of tournament play the last two decades.

“I think what you will hear every veteran say is never change your style. Even when things aren’t going your way, don’t let it change your strategy because if you do, you’re playing Whack-a-Mole,” Snyder said. “Everything works for everyone some of the time. But you have to play in order to win and you have to stick to your strategy in order to – over time – benefit from your strategy when it starts to heat up.”

Snyder’s commitment to his particular style made an honest man out of him over the past year as his sustained consistency allowed the Mission Viejo, CA resident to earn 20,772 points and claim the 2019 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) Tour title in a three-way race to the finish.

The top trio of finishers on the Tour were separated by just 600 points with runner-up Bob Engelhard notching 20,384 points while third-place finisher Christy Moore finished with 20,172. Bolstered by two tournament wins on and regular high-level results, Snyder was able to earn the $110,000 first-place prize, a 2021 NHC seat, and the chance to play for an additional $5 million in bonuses at next month’s NTRA National Horseplayers Championship Presented by Racetrack Television Network, Caesars Las Vegas, and host site Bally’s Las Vegas on Feb. 7-9.

“You’ve heard the expression that even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while,” Snyder said of his Tour triumph. “Every strategy works once in a while. I’ve been at it for 20 years so I think first and foremost, you have to play or you can’t win. So I played pretty much every tournament I could. Just basically played every weekend.

“What was really working for me were those $75 tournaments where you can just throw it in and go to work. And if you were to look at HorsePlayers and look at my results, almost all my points came from those tournaments….and it finally added up at the end of the day. But just to reiterate, I’ve been playing for 20 years. There have been plenty of years where I did pretty well but there was nothing to show for it. So I think to some extent I’m kind of fortunate it turned out the way it did.”

Overall NHC Tour standings are determined by totaling a player’s top seven scores from eligible qualifying contests, which must include at least one live, on-site event.

Click here for full NHC Tour Leaderboard

This year marks the tenth time Snyder has qualified for the NHC and the fourth time he will go in as a dual qualifier, having previously earned two seats in 2014, 2016, and 2019. His best NHC finish came in 2014 when he cashed for $4,800 after finishing 42nd – and he views his overall tournament history through a good-natured perspective.

“If you look at my (NHC) results, I suck – me and a lot of other people,” Snyder cracked. “I remember the first one we played at Bally’s, my buddy and I, I think we came in last and second to last out of everybody. I think that the differences when you play every weekend and you stick to your strategy, you’ll have weekends where your strategy doesn’t work and you just go, oh well, no big deal …and you don’t think twice about it. But when you only go to the NHC once a year, logically, for your strategy to be spot on that exact weekend is like winning the lottery.”

A self-described ‘math guy’ who utilizes the sheets rather than pouring over the Daily Racing Form, Snyder said one of the biggest challenges in his quest to earn the $800,000 first-place NHC prize is adapting his style to the tournament’s format. NHC entrants are required to place mythical $2 Win and Place wagers, a much more simplistic approach than Snyder is comfortable with.

“I’m an exotics guy, so the hardest thing for me is I never bet win or place, ever,” Snyder said. “I go for the immediate gratification of an exacta or a trifecta or a super. And the interesting about the contest when you’re playing mythical is, you’re thinking points, you’re not really thinking dollars.”

The top five overall Tour leaders were rounded out by fourth-place Tour finisher Nick Fazzolari (19,780 points) and Ken Jordan with 19,463 points. Total prize money for the Tour was $325,000 with $52,000 going to the runner-up, $27,500 to third, $20,000 to fourth, and $15,000 to fifth.

Before the days on online contests, Snyder recalls himself and his fellow horseplayers having to participate in tournaments the old fashioned way by physically traveling across the country to different sites. That level of dedication is what helped shape the Tour, and Snyder’s own perseverance is what ultimately put him in his current enviable position.

“I think that’s what the Tour is, it’s a group of people who are committed and they’ll do whatever it takes. It takes that kind of commitment,” Snyder said. “I didn’t know it was going to take me 20 years. I’m just going to play my strategy and if it’s my turn, it’ll be my turn. If not, I’m still going to have a nice time.”

Draft Kings is the exclusive sponsor of the NHC Final Table. Official Partners of the 2020 NHC include Daily Racing Form, TVG, and NYRA Bets.

Veteran Touranment Player Streiff Scores at Del Mar

Source: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Mark Streiff of Mission Viejo, CA scored big in race 9 of the Del Mar Fall Challenge to vault to the lead. Streiff, back to back winner in the Fall Challenge, won an assortment of last race wagers including exacta, trifecta and finished a double. Mike Rosenthal from Las Vegas finished a close second with a final bankroll of $18,014.

In addition to Streiff’s $18,705 in bankroll winnings, he receives $25,000 in cash and a $10,000 BCBC entry. Rosenthal earns an $8,000 entry to the 2020 Del Mar Summer Challenge and $10,000 cash prize. Day one leader Roger McDow, first until the very last race, finished third. McDow also receives a Del Mar Summer entry, $3,000 cash in addition to the $2,500 bonus as day one winner.

Del Mar Fall Challenge Format

The Challenge buy-in was $5,000 with $3,500 going to the player bankroll and $1,500 to the prize pool.

Fourth and fifth place finishers Brandon Moran and Don Chung receive entries to the $2.8 million 2020 National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas.
1 Mark Streiff $18,705.50
2 Mike Rosenthal 2 $18,014.40
3 Roger McDow $14,307.50
4 Brandon Moran 2 $12,852
5 Don Chung $10,199
6 Gene Cahalan $9,450.60

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 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.