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John Doyle, Handicapper of the Year

John Doyle accepted the Handicapper of the Year award at the Eclipse Awards ceremony on Jan. 16. The Scottsdale, Ariz. native earned the award by winning the 2011 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship final in Las Vegas.

In his remarks Monday, Doyle said that education and technology were critical to increasing growth in the sport.

"Look at our tournament now, in Las Vegas," said Doyle, referring to the 2012 National Handicapping Championship. "It’s going to double this year, in terms of the size, in terms of the enthusiasm, in terms of the prize structure. I mean, I always hear about all this decline - that’s a growth segment. I was in business for a long time and we’ve got to capitalize on that."

Doyle has taken action to help educate as well as foster innovative horse racing technology by becoming the spokesman for Derby Wars, the interactive horse racing tournament site.

"I was so passionate about Derby Wars that I joined the team," he said.

Derby Wars launched in October and has quickly picked up a community of dedicated players, most of them new to tournament play.

In his remarks, Doyle also stressed the importance of caring for the equine athletes. "I was a fan first before I made my first wager," he said. "The Thoroughbred is the most important thing. And if we take care of the Thoroughbred, we’re gonna take care of racing."

John Doyle will defend his title Jan. 27-28 at the 2012 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, which offers an unprecedented $2 million purse this year. Also in the field are 4 players who qualified by playing Derby Wars: Argie Bertolucci, Frank Sorensen, Phil Hoedebeck and Travis Reese.


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