BRIAN TROOP WINS $500,000 GRAND PRIZE IN 2010 DRF/NTRA NATIONAL HANDICAPPING CHAMPIONSHIP
Canadian Brian Troop won the $500,000 first-place prize and title of DRF/NTRA Handicapper of the Year at the 11th annual Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Saturday night.
The 61-year-old Troop, an accountant who resides in Barrie, Ontario, amassed a winning score of $266 from 30 mythical $2 win-and-place wagers over the two-day tournament held at Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa in Las Vegas. After putting up an NHC Day 1 record score of $232.60 on Friday, he held off a field of 300 other handicappers who earned their seats in the NHC XI finals in qualifying tournaments over the past year. Players represented the host tracks/OTBs/casinos/websites where they qualified. Troop earned his trip to NHC XI at the Turfway Park tournament on December 6 of last year. He finished fourth in the tournament that awarded three spots but was moved up when two of the players ahead of him had already qualified for the NHC.
Troop’s score was the third-highest winning score in NHC history behind Steve Wolfson Jr.’s $279.60 in NHC VI and Richard Goodall’s $272.30 in NHC IX. He managed to maintain his lead on Day 2 despite having just one winner and one place horse on Saturday.
"I was lucky a lot of short prices came in," he said. "I feel like I backed into it."
Robert Gregory, 53, of Durango, Colo., (who qualified online at TwinSpires.com) made a run at the leader and finished with a score of $249.80 to win the second-place prize of $150,000. Tim Simmons, 55, of Lexington, Ky., (qualified at TVG.com) was third at $249.20 to collect $100,000 plus another $5,000 for having the top Day 2 score of $181.80. Brian Herrity, 53, of Mankato, Minn., (qualified in the Breeders’ Cup tournament at Santa Anita) was fourth at $240.80 to take home $40,000 as well as another $1,000 for having Saturday’s third-highest score. Elaine Kowaleski, 57, of Farmingdale, N.J., (qualified at NHCQualify.com) was fifth at $237.80. That score was good for $25,000 plus $2,500 for having Saturday’s second-highest score.
The NHC XI finals paid out to the top 30 finishers from a total purse of $947,850. Including $190,000 awarded to top finishers of the year-long NHC Tour, the aggregate payouts this weekend to contestants totaled $1,137,850.
Troop also automatically earns an exemption into next year’s finals. NHC XII will be held again at Red Rock on January 28-29, 2011.
Registrations for the 2010 NHC Tour are now being accepted at www.ntra.com/nhctour
. Full standings and results for this weekend’s just completed NHC can be found at http://www.ntra.com/content.aspx?type=news&id=44565
In just its 11th year, the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship 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 Web sites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals.
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 Rye Brook, N.Y. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA web site, NTRA.com.