LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 18, 2019) – Each week, the NTRA will provide a rundown of those who have qualified for the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) the previous weekends.
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. The 2020 NHC will take place in the Bally’s Events Center from February 7-9.
Saturday, June 29
Monmouth Park – $300
Gary Machiz, a horse trainer, from Cream Ridge, NJ qualified to the NHC for the seventh time. He was double qualified in 2014 and 2019 and cashed twice at the NHC in 2012 and 2015 for $6,975.
Fiorenzo Esposito, of Monroe, NJ, has earned his first trip to the NHC. He will join hundreds of other horseplayers and dozens of Monmouth Park qualifiers in February.
Lou Filoso, an Asbury Park, NJ native and 2017 Final Table member is also a seven-time NHC Qualifier. Filoso was a double qualifier in 2017 when he cashed $100,000 from a fourth-place finish.
Sunday, June 30
HorsePlayers.com – $210
Michael Caposio, a 2017 Final Table member from Temecula, CA won the first $210 HorsePlayers.com qualifier and final NHC qualifier in June. This will be Caposio’s fourth NHC appearance. He was double qualified in 2019 and 2017. He finished 10th at the NHC in 2017 and cashed $50,000.
Myles Richards, an engineer from Hollywood, FL, joins his brother, Mark, as a 2020 NHC Qualifier. Myles has had a successful NHC career, qualifying for the 12th time. He was double qualified in 2018, and has finished in the Top 5 of the NHC twice, once in 2007 and again in 2015. He has cashed three times for $116,400.
Thursday, July 4
HorsePlayers.com – $125
Howard Blumberg, from Baltimore, MD earned his second NHC entry for 2020. He earned his first seat on April 12 on HorsePlayers.com. This will be Blumberg’s second trip to the NHC. He is currently ranked 11th on the 2019 NHC Tour and in contention for a portion of the $325,000 in prize money given to the Top 20 leaderboard finishers.
Carl Thobe, of Ellicott City, MD had even more reason to celebrate on Independence Day when he earned a seat to the 2020 NHC. This will be Thobe’s first NHC appearance.
Saturday, July 6
HorsePlayers.com – $210
John Agnello, an automotive salesman from Fort Myers, FL earned his second 2020 NHC seat. He won his first NHC entry on March 17 on HorsePlayers.com. This is his fourth NHC qualification finishing just below the cut line in 2016 and 2019.
Chris Cennamo, from Brooklyn, NY will be escaping the frigid New York winters and heading to Las Vegas for his first NHC appearance.
Belmont Park Stars & Stripes Challenge – $500
Ernest Hey, Jr., a corrections officer from Lancaster, NY is currently ranked 18th on the 2019 NHC Tour and qualified to the NHC for a second year in a row.
Thomas Holland, of NYC, qualified for his first NHC during his first contest of 2019 after joining the Tour in 2018.
Dave Weaver, TVG Host and known as @icecoldexacta on Twitter, earned his third trip to the NHC after an impressive run during the Los Alamitos NHC contest. Weaver won the 2019 NHC Consolation contest and cashed $10,000.
Linda Rodriguez, a former ballerina from San Diego earned her way to the NHC for the sixth time. She was double qualified in 2015 and 2016.
Tom Noone, the 2010 NHC Tour winner from Redondo Beach, CA, will make his 15th NHC appearance. He was double qualified in 2014 and was a 2018 Final Table member where he finished fourth. Noone has cashed twice for $104,500.
Steve Hartshorn, of Fallbrook, CA, will head back to the NHC for the 13th time. Hartshorn, who has had NHC appearances since 2001, was a 2017 Final Table member, finishing sixth, and has cashed three times at the NHC for $80,500.
Sunday, July 7
HorseTourney.com – $165
Eugene Cahalan, a consultant from Charlotte, NC is currently ranked tenth on the 2019 NHC Tour leaderboard is headed back to the NHC for the eighth time. He was double qualified in 2016 and has cashed twice for $11,365.
Stephen Diaz, a master carpenter for the Metropolitan Opera House, has qualified for what will be his eighth NHC appearance. Diaz was double qualified in 2018.
Friday, July 12
HorsePlayers – $75
GT Nixon, from Port Jervis, NY, has qualified for the sixth time in a row to the NHC. Nixon was double qualified in 2019, 2018, and 2017. His best showing to date was in 2015 when he finished 55th, less than $10 and five places from the cut line.
Scott Cavalieri, of Attleboro, MA, will return to the NHC in 2020 after his first trip in 2019. He is currently ranked 24th on the NHC Tour leaderboard.
Saturday, July 13
Philip Webber, from Hot Springs Village, AR, will attend his first NHC in 2020 after his qualifying performance at the Arlington Handicapping Challenge.
Patrick Gianforte, the now 13-time NHC qualifier from Cary, IL has earned double qualifier status for 2020 after notching his first seat in January at the Pegasus Betting Challenge on Xpressbet. He was also double qualified in 2019, 2016, and 2014 and cashed once at the NHC in 2014 for $4,000.
Henry Wessel, of Roselle, IL is returning to the NHC for the first time since 2013.
Nate Newby, a contest director for Santa Anita, earned his double qualifier status for 2020. This is his second year attending the NHC as a qualifier. He earned his first NHC seat for 2020 on HorsePlayers.com in June.
Cheryl Kaufman, is now a 13-time NHC qualifier from Hacienda Heights, CA. She has qualified every year since 2007, with the exception of 2019. She has cashed twice for $25,200 in 2013 and 2017.
Len Hanson, a wealth advisor from Redondo Beach, CA has qualified for the fifth year in a row and for the first time as a double qualifier. Hanson earned his first seat at Santa Anita in May.
Sunday, July 14
HorsePlayers – $165
Joe Scanio, a sales associate for Hilton Grand Vacations from Brooklyn, NY, earned double qualifier status for 2020 after first qualifying in April at Lone Star Park. He is currently ranked 27th on the NHC Tour leaderboard. This will be Scanio’s 15th time qualifying for the NHC. He was double qualified in 2019, 2018, and 2014 and has cashed for $83,020 in four times, twice in 2018 with two entries above the cut line.
Adam Bright, of Marina Del Rey, CA has broken his NHC maiden by qualifying for 2020.
Lone Star Stars of Texas Betting Challenge
George Bryant, a Fort Worth resident and consistent Lone Star contest player won the Stars of Texas Betting Challenge to earn his first NHC qualification for 2020.
Thomas Goldsmith, of Vacaville, CA is returning to the NHC for the first time since 2016.
Trey Stiles, the 2019 Hall of Fame Inductee earned his 18th NHC qualification. Stiles has qualified every year since 2003 and was double qualified in 2018, 2016, and 2014. He serves as an NHC Mentor for new Tour members and has cashed twice for $10,750.
David Muse, of Benbrook, TX earned an NHC entry for the first time.
Travis Church, of Fort Worth, TX won an NHC entry for 2020 at his first Tour member qualifying contest.
Click here to view the 2019 NHC Tour Leaderboard Unofficial Standings.
Click here for upcoming NHC qualifiers