Larry David Becomes First-Ever NHC Tour Member to Earn Two Entries to $1.5 million Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship
Capitalizing on a new rule that—for the first time—permits NHC Tour members to earn a second entry to the $1.5 million Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC), Larry David of Santa Rosa, Calif., made history by earning his first berth to next January’s NHC on February 2 at NHCqualify.com, and then becoming the first “double qualifier” just eight days later on February 10 at Horsetourneys.com. The 49-year-old finished second in each contest, with the NHCqualify.com competition awarding NHC berths to its top five finishers and the Horsetourneys.com contest offering spots to its top four.
“That’s history,” said David of becoming the first NHC Tour member to earn a second berth to the same National Handicapping Championship. “No one can take that away from me.”
Interestingly, David is a relative newcomer to the NHC Tour, having only begun serious contest play in 2012 and having participated in his first NHC just last month at Treasure Island Las Vegas.
“I had spent a lot of time at publichandicapper.com and noticed that I was in the top five there in terms of winning percentage, and that gave me the confidence to focus on contest play,” said David, whose devotion to racing is evidenced by the distinctive tattoo on his back. (See attached photo.). “I saw a lot of the big-name contest players on that same list and so I figured, ‘Hey, maybe I’m just as good as they are.’”
David admits to some trepidation when thinking about playing two entries in next year’s three-day NHC. “I have very limited experience playing multiple entries in contests, and when I’ve played two or more, my results have not been very good,” he said. “I couldn’t seem to get my winners onto the same ticket. So I will need to have a great strategy when I get to the next NHC. I will also need to focus better the next time around. The last NHC was my first one and, while I wasn’t nervous, I was just having such a good time that I couldn’t seem to concentrate.”
With his two high finishes, David is currently the leader in the 2013 NHC Tour season with 4,200 points. The Daily Racing Form NHC Tour is a yearlong bonus series offering $175,000 in additional prize money and qualifying berths to the NHC, including 20 NHC seats given away to NHC members via free, online tournaments. Also, the top 150 Tour points leaders at the end of the year (up from 100 in 2012) will be guaranteed entry into the 2014 NHC. Once again in next January’s NHC Finals, the season-ending NHC Tour points leader will be eligible for a $2 million bonus should he or she capture the 2014 NHC.
NHC Tour membership is mandatory in order to earn an entry into the NHC Finals—the lucrative culmination of the year’s qualifying schedule. The recently concluded NHC 14 on January 25-26 saw Jim Benes of Countryside, Ill., emerge with the $750,000 grand prize and an Eclipse Award as Handicapper of the Year.
In its 15th year, the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers. There are no “buy-in” entries at the NHC. It is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino racebooks, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. The 14 NHC Champions since the event’s inception, in chronological order, are Steven Walker, Judy Wagner, Herman Miller, Steve Wolfson Jr., Kent Meyer, Jamie Michelson, Ron Rippey, Stanley Bavlish, Richard Goodall, John Conte, Brian Troop, John Doyle, Michael Beychok and Jim Benes.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horse racing interests consisting of leading thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers, horseplayers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA web site, NTRA.com.blog comments powered by Disqus