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The Notebook October 17, 2013

NHC News

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DAILY RACING FORM / NTRA PLAYER SPOTLIGHT

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Name: Ryan Flanders

Resides: 
Carlsbad, Calif.

Occupation: 
Vitamin & Amino Acid distribution business

Qualifying Site: 
Horsetourneys.com

Favorite Track: Del Mar

Favorite Wager: Pick 4

How did you first get into horse racing? My stepfather, Michael Fromme, was a successful horse trainer at Agua Caliente for more than 30 years. I grew up mucking stalls in Tijuana from the time I was seven until about 12 - that was when I was old enough that my parents could leave me at home for the day and I didn't have to go anymore.

How many times have you previously qualified for the DRF/NTRA NHC? I am a first-time qualifier.

What is your best finish in a handicapping tournament, and what is your largest tournament payout? I finished first in an online tournament this year. I have never "cashed" in any sort of handicapping tournament.

What is your most memorable horse racing experience? On my 22nd birthday I was given a gift from my girlfriend, Lucia. It was a book. That same afternoon I was reading the sports section and I noticed a horse named, "Lucia's Book," running in a grass race at Hollywood Park. I told Lucia we had no choice - that horse "HAD" to win, and we were going to go to satellite wagering to bet on it. I had $30 in my wallet, but by the time I bought a racing form, program and admission for the both of us, I was left with $20. I quickly scanned the Daily Racing Form and noticed she was a 5-year-old first-timer going long on the grass - something West Coast trainers don't succeed at very often. She was 20-1 on the morning line. When "Lucia" came out onto the track, I noticed she was exactly the kind of first-timer I wanted no part in wagering on. She was outfitted with four wraps, blinkers and what looked like the largest shadow roll I had ever seen. Danny Sorenson was in the irons - a capable rider who I didn't mind betting, but not exactly the greatest going long on grass. I was not deterred. If she won I'd never forgive myself for not making a play. Confidence now lacking, I walked to the window and made my $20 win bet. And then the gate opened. Not surprisingly, she was way behind early, breaking slowly and void of early foot. "Oh well," I said out loud. Lucia asked me why I said that, and I began quickly giving her a lesson on why I thought this nag was done from the outset. By the time my horse racing 101 class had reached the far turn, Lucia's Book was rolling, quickly making up ground and weaving between a full field of strung out stoppers, and my girlfriend, knowing less than zero about horse racing says, "She's gonna win!" As a superstitious moron, as are 99% of all horse players, I cringed when I heard those words fly from her mouth. But this was one race where I truly couldn't lose - she rolled by every last horse in front of her and won handedly ... it was unbelievable ... despite the poor payoff (she went off at 9-to-1).  It was and still is the greatest $180 profit I have ever made.

Do you have any hobbies, experiences or past accomplishments that others might find unique or interesting? This year I had the pleasure of meeting Phil Mickelson and playing a few rounds of golf with him at our club, the week following his win at the British Open. He brought the Claret Jug into the Men's Grill, poured a bottle of Silver Oak into the jug and let me drink from it. It was the most selfless act from a professional athlete that I had ever heard of, let alone to experience it firsthand. He stood in the dining area and let probably 150 members hold the Claret Jug, take photos with him, ask him questions - you name it - everything. He hung out there for a solid two hours and smiled and took a photo after photo with everyone that asked. What a guy.

Does anyone else in your family share your enthusiasm as a horseplayer? My dad.  He is the worst handicapper in the world, citing information that makes no sense, like, "I liked him because of this workout ... "  ME: "You mean the workout that was before his race three races back?!" And he is the only guy I know, myself included, that I know is ahead of this game. He bets $1 or $2 a race, and has hit some incredible stuff - one time cashing a superfecta for over $12,000.

UPCOMING EVENTS

NEW!  Gulfstream Park - October 19  Two NHC berths awarded.  Contact Nancy Berry,nancy.berry@gulfstreampark.com for details.

October NHC Contests

TVG/4NJBets - Oct. 26

NHCQualify.com - Oct. 19

Horsetourneys.com - 
Oct. 20, 26 & 27

TwinSpires.com - Oct. 19, 20, 26 & 27

RESULTS AND RECAP

Diane Carco of Elkhorn, Wis., finished first in the NHC Tour Free Online Challenge on Saturday, October 5.  Diane along with Jason Hamm (Rogers, MN), Richard Mueller (St. Paul, MN), Josh Kamis (East Brunswick, NJ) and Karl Butera (Jamestown, NY) earned berths into the $1.5 million Guaranteed Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship presented by Racetrack Television Network, Sovereign Stable and Treasure Island this past Saturday on NTRA.com

 STANDINGS & LINKS

Click here for the current 2013-2014 NHC Tour schedule.

Click here for an alphabetical list of current 2013 NHC qualifiers.

Click here for the overall 2013 DRF NHC Tour Leader Board.

Click here for the overall 2013 DRF NHC Tour Leader Board.

Click here to join the 2013 DRF NHC Tour.

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Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to Mackenzie Kirker-Head, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Mackenzie: "Silverette, trained by Dale Romans, having a bath one morning at Saratoga. Her bunny ears make her all the more photogenic." Want in? E-mail a .jpg with a brief caption to photos@ntra.com.

Photos of the week

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