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Breeders' Cup 2017
HRN Original Blog:
Handicapper's Corner

Jose Arias wires the NHC!

NHC in Las Vegas, 2014


Jose Arias of Bell Gardens, CA held off a slew of fantastic handicappers to win the 15th National Handicapping Championship at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Starting the day with $326.00, Arias only increased his bankroll by $12.20, but it was just enough to be crowned top handicapper by $1.20 over Tony Brice of Colleyville, TX.


Entering the final race, Brice sat in 3rd behind Arias and Nick Alpino of Laguna Hills, CA. His winning selection of Fit to Rule ($15.60/$9.80) in 9th and final race at Santa Anita moved him to the runner-up spot. For his victory, Arias took home $750,000 and will be honored at the Eclipse Awards next January as the nation’s top handicapper. Brice received $200,000 and Alpino $100,000.


Modifications were made to the tournament format this year, and they paid big dividends as the excitement was palpable throughout the event. Changes included allowing players 2 entries, adding a third day to the contest, implementing a cut down to the final 50 after day 2 and having a final table of 10 compete over the last 5 races to determine a champion.


Those not making the final 50 competed in a separate tournament. Nisan Gabbay of San Francisco, CA accumulated a bankroll of $145.60 and won the $20,000 consolation prize.


The NHC is only limited to handicappers that qualify in preliminary tournaments either online or at tracks throughout North America. Arias qualified at the Surfside Race Place tournament in Del Mar, CA on December 28th. In addition to his grand prize earnings, Arias won $6,000 and free entry into the $10,000 buy in Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge this November at Santa Anita by accumulating the highest total on Day 1.


Though the tournament probably needs some tinkering to its purse structure, the concept of adding the cut down to 50, and final table of 10, made the event much more exciting on site and throughout social media.



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Older Comments about Jose Arias wires the NHC!...

Hey check out The Super Screener Mike Shutty in the Top 10 of the Conso Tourney!!
I agree, Matt. I don't think the winner of the consolation tournament should get more than any of the bottom half of the final table members.
It was exciting to interact during the final 10 table on TWITTER. I agree the final 10 purse structure was a bit top heavy. You should get more than $10,000 for making the final 10.
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Meet Jasen Mangrum

My interest in the Sport of Kings goes back over 25 years with my father taking me with his friends to the old Ak-Sar-Ben Race Course in Omaha, NE.  From those early experiences I was able to read the Daily Racing Form before the age of 10.  Once The Woodlands opened in Kansas City in 1988, I became totally hooked on the sport studying racing charts after homework and tennis practice.  In recent years, with the explosion of handicapping tournaments, my love for handicapping the races has risen to a new level.  Primarily focused on New York, Chicago and Louisiana racing, I have now been forced to study races far and wide in attempt to find “cap horses” in the tournaments I play.  I have also dabbled in horse ownership within syndicates and on my own.


My fondest memories in racing include Silver Charm’s 1997 Kentucky Derby victory.  Both my father and I selected him, which made for a memorable day.  The best race I’ve seen was Tiznow’s first Breeders Cup Classic win in 2000 when he outdueled Giant’s Causeway down the length of the Churchill Downs stretch.   My biggest windfall as a gambler was a pool-scooping pick-4 win, paying over $6,600 at The Woodlands in 2005.


The point of this blog is to get everyone out there a few winners, but also to go in depth at how I come to the conclusions that I do.  From week to week, I’ll explain angles I think are important to locate winners.  I encourage others to post picks they like too, but please explain how you come to your conclusions.  That way everyone can learn a little more about this great game, and add another weapon to their handicapping arsenal.-Best of luck, Jasen Mangrum

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