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NHC Day 2 Recap - Arias Still on Top

NHC in Las Vegas, 2014


Though Groundhog Day isn’t until next week, Day 2 of the National Handicapping Championship duplicated what took place on Friday. Longshots reigned supreme, especially at Santa Anita, and the leader remained the same.


Four of Santa Anita’s 10 races were won by cap horses, led by 65-1 Susans Express in the Cal Cup Oaks. Aside from the Cal Cup Oaks and Weewinnin’s 21-1 upset of the Cal Cup Turf, the rest of the NHC mandatory races were rather chalky, with the next highest payoff being Cloud Scapes ($10.00/$6.40) in the Endeavor Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.


Despite tote boards short circuiting due to high payoffs, the leader board stayed pretty much intact from Friday to today. Jose Arias added to his bankroll and still leads with $326.00. Nick Alpino ($279.20) from Laguna Hills, CA climbed to second, and Chris Skotz of Campbell, CA moved up from 6th to 3rd on Saturday.


Only contestants in the top 50 are eligible to for the top prize. Just making the cut was Richard Mueller by amassing a bankroll of $173.60. Past champions James Michelson Jr. (24th) and Judy Wagner (47th) still have a chance to become the first two-time winner of the event.


Sunday the final 50 will compete in a 10-race tournament consisting of 7 optional and 3 mandatory race selections. Once complete, the top 10 will move onto the final table and compete over an additional five mandatory races. Once the smoke clears a champion handicapper will be crowned for 2014 receiving $750,000 and an Eclipse Award.


Though Arias leads Alpino by $46.80, those chasing him are more focused on making it to the final table. The $33.80 gap between 10th and 50th assures there will be plenty of anxious moments with every close finish on Sunday.


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Older Comments about NHC Day 2 Recap - Arias Still on Top...

Most chips accured at the end of the day at ALL the places and ways they want to wager. That spells ability and managerial competence.
These contests have NOTHING to do with the realty of the game Players are entrepuenres and select races and sitiations that fit their style. OPEN these up and let the real abilites come out by giving the entrants a flat number of dollars and then let them go to ply their game the way they really would in THE REAL WORLD, not forcing them to all chose the same races to play. IT comes down to dumb luck that way.
Damn, those guys can pick the bombs!
Last 2 races for the Final Table are SA 8 & 9 >> Drill and Tribal Smoke imo
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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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